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Cross Creek’s Audrey Wieringa Named Runner-Up in Governor Whitmer’s State of the State Art Contest

Cross Creek eighth-grader Audrey Wieringa finished as a runner-up in Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s State of the State art contest with a painting of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula.
Artistic talent runs strong in the Wieringa family, so when approached about the opportunity to enter a state-wide contest, Audrey was up for the challenge.
“My mom heard of the contest on the news,” Audrey said. “She suggested I should enter. I thought it would be fun to try something different.”
Wieringa’s mother, Nicole, is the K-8 art teacher at Cross Creek, and her father, Eric, is a full-time artist. She draws inspiration from both.
“It's pretty cool (to have mom as an art teacher) but she can't take all the credit, my dad is a professional fine artist,” Audrey said. “He teaches me a lot of techniques and advice on how to get better.”

The art contest challenged K-12 students across Michigan to come up with a creative design for the 2022 State of the State program cover following the theme “Why do you believe in Michigan?” Students were encouraged to be as creative as possible and were welcome to use crayons, markers, paint, or any other materials.
Gov. Whitmer announced the results of the contest by video Jan. 18.
“Michigan is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth, but it’s also home to some incredibly talented students who turned those backdrops into amazing works of art,” Gov. Whitmer said. “I want to thank every student who took the time to create these masterpieces and submit their interpretation of why they believe in Michigan. It’s inspiring to see the passion and potential in all of the gifted and creative students in this state.”
As the governor sorted through the top five selections, she stopped to praise Audrey’s work.
“Oh my gosh, this is so beautiful, it’s got to be in the Upper Peninsula, it’s just gorgeous,” she said. “This is really spectacular.”
Audrey said Pictured Rocks holds a special place in her heart.
“My family visited there for the first time two summers ago,” she said. “I found the landscape to be a spiritual and peaceful experience. It has a lot of different elements in one site and brings together several elements that you can draw.”
Seventh-grader Grace Murtha of Hemlock Middle School was selected as winner by the governor for her piece depicting multiple postcard-like images on a tree trunk-like background. Nearly 800 students submitted their artwork for the contest. The winning art piece will be featured on the 2022 State of the State program cover.

About Cross Creek Charter Academy
Cross Creek Charter Academy, located in Byron Center, Mich., is part of National Heritage Academies (NHA), a charter school management company in Grand Rapids, Mich. with 98 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 60,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.