KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Children in East Tennessee created artwork based on a Black icon that has inspired or influenced them for the 8th annual Black History Month Art Contest.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley along with UScellular hosted the contest. To enter, children needed to create an original piece of artwork based on influential Black icons in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The winners of the contest were announced on March 9. Yvi Jara-Vasquez was in the first place, Vivienne Brooks was in second place and Jordyn Mitchell was in third place.

Vivenne Brooks, Soriah Al-Hussein, Yvi Jara-Vasquez, Jordyn Mitchell, Candice Champion, Rebekkah Epperson

“Working with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley to celebrate Black History Month and to highlight the achievements of Black STEM icons such as Mae Jemison, Katherine Johnson and George Washington Carver has been extremely gratifying,” said Thomas White, director of sales at UScellular for East Tennessee. “The creativity that club members displayed in their artwork was inspiring, and we congratulate our participants and winners in this year’s contest.”

The Boys & Girls Club held a “drawing day” on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 3:30 p.m. at 967 Irwin St.

In late January, 10 finalists were chosen by representatives from the Boys & Girls Clubs and local UScellular leaders. The artwork will be judged on creativity, quality, interpretation, clarity of theme and overall impression according to a release from UScellular.

“It is such an honor to work with UScellular on this annual contest in celebration of Black History Month,” says H. Walker, diversity, equity and inclusion officer at Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Not only does this partnership discover and amplify youth agency and creativity; it helps African American and Black kids and teens realize their dreams as they replicate the work of Black STEM icons.”

Finalists’ Artwork

The finalists’ artwork will be displayed in select stores and online. For the entire month of February, anyone 18 or older could vote for their favorite art piece online.

The top three artists were announced in March. The first-place winner took home $250, the second-place winner earned $150 and the third will won $100.