2022 Young Artists and Authors Showcase (YAAS)

Sponsored by Sister Cities International (SCI), the showcase gives youth worldwide the opportunity to express their vision for a more unified peaceful world through original art (classical and digital) literature (authors and  poets), photography and music (original pieces).  Students between 13-18 years of age, associated with a Sister Cities Society may participate.  As an added incentive, winners of the international competition in each category receive cash awards: 1st place, $1000.; 2nd place, $250.; 3rd place, $100.  The winners of each category will be announced during the summer at the Youth Leadership Summit.

For the 2022 competition, SCI invited its youth members to create submissions that highight the importance of climate change and its impact on water resouces. The official theme this year was GENERATION RESCUE:  SUSTAINABLE WATER FOR ALL.

San Diego International Sister Cities Association (SanDISCA) is fortunate to have three students who entered the YAAS competition this year from local schools:  Hannah Ledoux, Joshua Suen and Varsha Curzon.  They submitted original art pieces accompanied by a descriptive paragraph to SanDISCA, and after approval of SanDISCA´s YAAS committee,  sent their art and paragraph  to the SCI competition.  The three students submitted in the classical art category and all three are students of artist Julia Lumetta.  We thank Julia for supporting and encouraging her student painters.

Although winners of the international competition have not been announced yet, we had a local competition and thanks to the generosity of the Vladivostok Society, we were able to offer cash awards for their work: 1st place, $75.; 2nd place, $50. and 3rd place $25.

Congratulations to our artists for their commitment to protect our environment and water resources by calling attention to climate change through their thoughtful and provocative art.  We met with these students in Carlsbad on May 1, 2022, to recognize and celebrate them with a congratulatory certificate from SanDISCA and to deliver the cash awards. It was a fun and exciting event for the artists, their instructor and their parents.

Included below are the students’ art and descriptive paragraphs, followed by photos of the ceremony in Carlsbad.

Respectfully submitted,

Penelope Bledsoe, PhD
Board of Directors, SanDISCA
President, San Diego/Alcalá Sister Cities Society


First Place


Joshua Suen

My artwork represents water conservation. The hourglass represents the flow of time and how we need to start to see the urgency of this issue. At the top of the hourglass are the various natural ways people get water. Below that is a city that is mismanaging water and adding waste to it. The waste floating in the green water represents the trash that was not properly disposed of, and the dirty water represents the water that will be purified and reused. The people standing on pipes are reusing water in various ways and demonstrating how future generations are striving to improve water conservation. At the bottom of the hourglass, the buildings depict a small community that reuses water.

Second Place

Sorrowful Day

Hannah Ledoux

Following the theme for this year of water conservation/global warming I decided to show the slight causings of global warming and poor water quality. When people dump trash and spill substances in the water supply(s), it ruins it for everyone. But some small things people and small communities can do is convert to using electric cars and ovens. The small community is represented through the house, which also uses solar panels to get its energy for its day to day life such as driving. And the barrel in the water spilling oil is the problem. It’s a cloudy day because of smoke and air pollution, which can show that if we don’t do something now, it won’t matter what we do in 10 years.

Third Place

Pollution: How to use technology efficiently

Varsha Curzon

This artwork is about how pollution affects animals. Pollution can kill them, but they have no way of defending themselves. Animals don’t have many options when it comes to the water they drink, so it’s important to protect them.

One way we can solve the problem is to use drones to pick up trash. It would be more efficient than having humans pick it up. After the trash is picked up, the drones can take it somewhere to be recycled. Filters could be used to clean water from toxins. This would work by using a pipe to suck in water which would be filtered and put back in the pond. The pipe would have to have a barrier or net on it to prevent fish from getting sucked into it.

Awards Ceremony in Carlsbad

L to R: Joshua, Varsha, Julia (art instructor) Hannah, Penelope
L to R: Joshua, Varsha, Julia (art instructor) Hannah, Penelope

Congratulations, and thank you for your submissions. May you continue to  make art, be involved and committed to calling attention to our environment, the ravages of climate change and water sustainability.