BHHS student’s art to be featured at auto show

By: Brendan Losinski | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published December 29, 2017

 Regan Lee, a sophomore at Bloomfield Hills High School, had her  submission to the North American International Auto Show poster contest  selected for display at the auto show.

Regan Lee, a sophomore at Bloomfield Hills High School, had her submission to the North American International Auto Show poster contest selected for display at the auto show.

Photo provided by Samantha Paul

 The artwork created by Bloomfield Hills High School sophomore Regan Lee will be displayed at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit Jan. 13-28.

The artwork created by Bloomfield Hills High School sophomore Regan Lee will be displayed at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit Jan. 13-28.

Photo provided by Samantha Paul

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — A Bloomfield Hills High School student was declared the winner of the 30th annual North American International Auto Show poster contest and will have her winning piece displayed throughout the event.

Sophomore Regan Lee entered the piece alongside 28 of her classmates and found out on Dec. 15 that her work had been chosen and that she would receive a check for $500.

“I was not expecting to win at all. It was kind of crazy,” said Lee. “I was nervous and sweating when I found out, but it was exciting — for me and Peg, I think,” she said, referring to teacher Peg Pasternak.

The contest was open to Michigan students in grades 10-12. The poster entries were judged by an independent panel of recognized members of the local art community; $6,300 in scholarship money was awarded to 16 students from across Michigan.

Lee and her fellow students were informed of the contest by their graphic design teacher, Pasternak, who then guided them through the submission process.

“I’ve known about this competition since I started teaching in 2006,” said Pasternak. “The retiring graphic design teacher told me about it and emphasized the importance of engaging the students in a real-life project that is relevant to our community.”

Lee said she wanted to come up with a design that was different from many of the others being submitted, and she found inspiration in some of Detroit’s most familiar sights.

“I started the assignment four days before it was due by scribbling all of my ideas down,” explained Lee. “I decided I wanted to do a play on the letters, so I looked up Detroit landmarks. When I noticed the Joe Louis fist looked like an A, I went from there. … I think my idea was different. A lot of other submissions just had the logo and just slapped some color on it. I also think my sketchy style stood out from the more crisp designs that a lot of others did.”

Lee has taken ceramics, drawing and graphic design classes at BHHS. Her teachers said she is talented and that her strong character is a significant factor in her work. Pasternak applauded Lee’s use of several techniques in creating her artwork.

“Regan’s piece is strong both conceptually and technically,” explained Pasternak. “She incorporated some of Detroit’s cultural highlights, including ‘The Spirit of Detroit’ sculpture, Isamu Noguchi’s Hart Plaza fountain and Robert Graham’s ‘Monument to Joe  Louis’ in order to spell out NAIAS. The way the N is implied by the use of negative space is one of my favorite touches. She enhanced her original drawing and added type using Photoshop, but I think the design stands out because, ironically, it’s slightly anti-digital and appeals to our appreciation for something that is handmade and has a human touch.”

Lee said she is thankful for those who liked her work.

“I wouldn’t call myself an art student, but I’ve always enjoyed drawing and painting,” said Lee. “It’s something I find fun, but I’ve never considered myself an artist.”

Pasternak said that projects like this are vital for fostering talent in students and teaching them different ways to express themselves.

“The arts are so important to our students,” said Pasternak. “They allow them to express themselves in ways that are otherwise impossible. Art contests like the NAIAS poster contest are great opportunities for students to realize a vision, meet a deadline and take a chance of putting their creative work out there. Not every student wins, but in the process they’re  still creating and learning how to use their voice. When students like Regan win, it’s a thrill to see their work celebrated.”