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Online voters can help Bailey Volchok beat out 52 competitors



TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Bailey Volchok spoke to her love of art following a brief ceremony introducing her Doodle 4 Google competition entry, which was the top submission from Oregon and is competiting with other state and territory winners.Bryan Volchok said his daughter Bailey has been doodling since she was a toddler.

Now Bailey Volchok’s doodles have a shot at being seen by many millions of people around the globe.

The Westview High School senior learned Friday that her artwork was named the best in Oregon in the Doodle 4 Google competition, which invites students in grades kindergarten through 12 to re-envision the tech giant’s logo with a company tradition known as a “Google doodle.”

The Oregon win means the 17-year-old artist’s creation, called “Digital Me,” is among 53 state and territory winners that will now vie for the top spot in Google’s annual competition, which attracted about 100,000 entries.

The top finisher, chosen with the help of online voting open now, will win a $30,000 scholarship and also score $50,000 to enhance technology at their high school. The winning artwork also will be featured on the home page for Google’s Internet search engine, one of the world’s most-used websites.

“I just love creating. It makes me so happy,” she said after the surprise ceremony in her first class Friday. “It’s what makes me, me.”

In fact, that was the theme of this year’s Doodle 4 Google, and company officials who came to Westview said Bailey Volchok nailed it with her drawing of herself wearing headphones and using a laptop, immersed in technology and emanating creativity.

TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Westview High School art teacher Kim Short (from left), principal Jon Franco, senior Bailey Volchok and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici pose for photographs during a celebration of Volchok's prize-winning Google doodle.“She is one of the most talented students I’ve ever had the privilege of working with,” said Westview art teacher Kim Short. “She is remarkable.”

With her entry form, Volchok explained the theme of her artwork for the competition this way: “I'm passionate about drawing and expressing my thoughts and imagination through illustration. With technology and social media at my fingertips, my reach extends around the world. If as an illustrator or animator I can motivate and encourage people through art, then the me that makes me ME, will succeed.”

“Every year the smartest ideas come from bright young minds like yours,” Google marketer Will Trang told Volchok and her classmates before unveiling an enlarged version of the doodle.

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, D-Beaverton, also attended the brief ceremony.

“I have been for a long time interest in seeing how the arts engage people,” Bonamici said, making mention of her continued support of so-called “STEAM education,” which brings the arts into science and technology education subjects collectively known as STEM.

Bonamici told students that employers she speaks with “are looking for people who are creative and look for new ways to solve problems.”

Google representatives also presented Volchok with a tablet computer and also gave Westview $2,500 worth of supplies.

Google will announce the winner and five finalists on March 21, the same day the winning doodle goes live on Google.com. The finalists also win a trip to Googleplex, the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., where they will meet with Google’s professional team of doodlers.

“Using technology to create digital art is me,” Volchok told her classmates and special guests. “That’s what I do.”

COURTESY OF GOOGLE - Bailey Volchok's state-winning entry in the Doodle 4 Google competition.

Help Bailey Volchok win

Everyone in the United States can vote in each age category in the Doodle 4 Google competition.

To help Volchok or other young artists win, see all 53 artworks and cast your vote at google.com/doodle4google.

Voting is open now through Feb. 22.