2014 contest winners

What an amazing year! The number of submissions in 2014 tripled from last year, and over two thirds of all the submissions were in the art category. There were many great entries, and many worthy ones did not get prizes, but all of them met the difficult challenge of finding effective ways to combine art, science, and ocean advocacy!


Dafne Murillo

San Silvestre School, Lima, Peru

Dafne has created a masterful work of art that impressed the judges across the board. Her whale is stunningly rendered with its graceful movement and refined detail; she also beautifully incorporates miniature pieces of plastic debris. Her work sends a poignant and clear message about the out-of-sight-out-of-mind issue of disposing plastic into our oceans. The judges returned to Dafne’s piece again and again as a work that exemplifies the mission of From the Bow Seat and inspires thought and stewardship to an audience around the world.


San Silvestre School

Lima, Peru


Juwan Mayes

Eisenhower Senior High School, Houston, TX

Juwan’s piece has the power to communicate to all ages and levels of understanding with his striking piece.  Its simple concept is powerful and engaging, and paired with his eye for color and expression this piece takes the viewer beyond the image itself and makes one think critically about the issue of plastic pollution.

Katharine Wu

Cheshire High School, Cheshire, CT

Katharine’s outstanding work is intricately made, emotionally hopeful, and evocative. The attention to detail and a keen eye for light, shadow, balance, and color make this a vibrantly compelling piece.  The judges were impressed by the skill that Katharine used to create the details like the nets, bottles, and cans, as well as her clear messaging and positive voice both in her statement and her art.


Alexandra Shaulis

Round Rock High School, Austin, TX

Alex creates a commanding visual with this modernist-esque digital creation - it carries a clear and poetic message with brilliant graphic elements.  Her work grabs at the emotions and represents an obvious mastery of the digital arts which has led to this impressive piece.

Ming Wang

The Winsor School, Boston, MA

Ming’s art not only is beautifully rendered, with exquisite realistic detail, but it also has a compelling emotional tug on the heart.  Her eye for shading, coloring, and representation of this powerful metaphor really hits home. The work clearly stresses the importance of addressing plastic pollution and its horrific effect on seabirds.


A note to the winners from Dianna Cohen,
artist, TEDx speaker, and co-founder of the
Plastic Pollution Coalition

These are just gorgeous and extremely powerful, and I am so impressed by all five winners as well as by all the top submissions. They are excellent both in idea and execution. These works are visually expressive and wonderful communication tools as they allow the students to convey information about a complex and pressing science-related issue, the crisis and prevalence of plastic pollution!

To all the students, I say bravo, the nexus of art and science is where we can effectively address enormous issues. Plastic pollution is a global crisis, and we must address it urgently. We can stop the flow of this irresponsibly used yet valuable material and the toxins which leave from it, into our environment, into our oceans, into animals and into us. This is the the job of the Artist/Scientist, to change the world by expanding and interpreting science into art and communicating it with our hearts.


Johanna Poedubicky

New Egypt High School, New Egypt, NJ

Kristof Turzo

Tóparti Grammar and Secondary School, Székesfehérvár, Fejér Megye, Hungary

Michelle Huang

Dulles High School, Sugar Land, TX

Alyssa DeSilva

Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School,
South Paris, ME

Emma Beightol

Carmel Christian School Matthews, NC

Athina Herrera

Vernon Hills High School, Vernon Hills, IL

Julia Ebert

Parker School, Waimea, HI

Eliezer Garcia

South Grand Prairie High School,
Grand Prairie, TX

Tortuga Marinas Group

Todd Beamer High School, Federal Way, WA

Emma Spies

Catherine McAuley High School, Portland, ME

Benjamin Lee

Wake Forest High School, Wake Forest, NC


To recognize particularly excellent work that did not claim a top prize (or entries that stretched the boundaries of the contest into new territory), we asked each judge to pick one entry in each category which they personally felt deserved special recognition for its high quality work.

Claire Kincaid

Soldotna High School, Soldotna, AK

Courtney Fucaloro

Triton Regional High School, Byfield MA

Geneva Martinez

South Grand Prairie High School,
Grand Prairie, TX

Hallie Ferguson

South Shore Charter Public School, Norwell, MA


Sarah Bobbe

Mountain Heritage High School,
Burnsville, NC

Courtney Fucaloro

Triton Regional High School, Byfield MA

Lexie Peru

Carver Middle High School,
Carver, MA

Hyun Sung

Corona del Mar High School,
Newport Beach, CA