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Sandy High freshman named state finalist in national Doodle for Google contest

PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Cinthya Bautista, a Sandy High School freshman, is the state finalist for the national Doodle for Google contest. Sandy High School freshman Cinthya Bautista has been practicing art since she was old enough to pick up a brush, and now she may have painted her way onto the Google homepage.

Thursday, May 30, Bautista was visited by representatives from Google who announced she is the Oregon finalist for the Doodle for Google contest. Fifty-three students were chosen nationwide to compete for the prime Google homepage space, and voting runs from Monday to Friday, June 3 to 7. Everyone across the United States can vote for their favorite doodle once per day per device throughout the week at doodles.google.com/d4g.

The national winner will receive a $30,000 scholarship.

As a state finalist, Bautista already received a Chromebook, a certificate of recognition and a T-shirt featuring her design.

The theme of this year's contest was "When I grow up, I hope …." Bautista's design features a young girl reading about saving endangered species while surrounded by colorful animals.

"This represents how I hope that one day in the near future we can save our endangered species from extinction because they are beautiful and deserve to live," Bautista said. "The reason there is a child is because they are the key to our future: and it won't matter what gender, ethnicity or color."

Dan Shanklin, Bautista's art teacher, wasn't surprised, but thrilled to hear she'd received this recognition from Google. He said Bautista is "advanced" for her age in her artistic capabilities.

"I was excited for her," Shanklin said. "She's an awesome student, incredibly talented, and she takes critiques well. She's really good at cartoon work (and can depict) a lot of movement, a lot of color and a lot of expression in her work."

"(Sandy High) offers a lot of good classes," Bautista noted. "(And Mr. Shanklin's) teaching me a lot of different techniques I couldn't have learned if completely self-taught. I'm looking forward to growing as an artist and seeing where high school takes me."

Google isn't the first to recognize Bautista's artistic prowess. Last year, as a student at Boring Middle School, she received three gold key awards for her artwork in the Scholastic Art and Writing Contest. This year she's also won one gold key and one silver key in that same contest, and she also won a grant from the University of Oregon for a weaving project she undertook with her father.

Her parents hand dye and weave rugs and tapestries, so the creative gene is apparently hereditary. Though her whole family is artistic, Bautista is the only painter, with five years of experience under her belt. She explained that she likes acrylics because, "I like how it's very fluid."

"If you make a mistake, there's always a way to fix it, and even if it's not the way you intended it to look, it usually comes out better," Bautista noted.

As one of 20 from Sandy High to submit a design to Google and one of hundreds, if not thousands, from Oregon, Bautista said she was surprised to be chosen as the state finalist.

"It's kind of surreal," the teen painter said. "I worked really hard on that piece and I'm proud I got it this far."

In the future, Bautista said, she'll be torn between a career in art or a career in medicine, but either way she hopes to impact people's lives.

It's a motivation to make a difference that shapes her artistic inspiration, including for her doodle.

"I think about all of the things the earth is going through — a lot of the injustices," Bautista said. "Kids in the future will be able to fix a lot of what we can't right now."

She added that medicine appeals to her because, "I've always been fascinated by how the human body works."

That fascination translates into her art; it's the human visage that most appeals to her as a subject.

"I like people's faces and how expressive they are," she explained. "You can tell a lot by how someone reacts."

Whether she ends up at art school or studying pre-med, Bautista said, "I want to strive for big things."

"(For now) I just want to make an impact in our school through my art," she noted. "I hope that people become more aware of our Earth's crisis right now. A lot of people put it off, thinking it won't affect them in their lifetime. It's going to affect your future family and I want them to put more thought into that. I want to use art to inform people of things occurring in our world. I want to use my talent to my advantage."

Send your hometown artist's design to the Google homepage

Voting for the Doodle for Google contest is open from Monday to Friday, June 3 to 7.

Visit doodles.google.com/d4g/ to vote for Cinthya Bautista's "Rebirth" design.

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