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A Wave of Opportunity and Creativity: “Ocean Cleaning Vehicle” Winning Artwork

“Ocean Cleaning Vehicle” Wins Bronze Award in 2022 Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest!

A 5-year-old had a dream of an idea for a car that created an ecosystem in which killer whales could thrive. Taking the inspiration from a family vacation combined with her love of the sea, Emily Yi from Wellesley, Massachusetts won the “Bronze Award” in her age category for her artwork titled “Ocean Cleaning Vehicle” in the FY22 Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest. 

A Wave of Opportunity and Creativity: “Ocean Cleaning Vehicle” Winning Artwork

A first-time entrant, Emily drew inspiration from their family trip to SeaWorld in Florida. “She was so excited to see the killer whales perform,” shared Julia Yang and Xianhua Yi, her parents. “When she saw her older sister Allison paint a space vehicle to clean our earth’s orbit, Emily decided to paint a vehicle to clean the bottom of the ocean.”

Emily Yi drawing artwork
5-year-old Emily Yi works on her drawing

Emily embarked on a three-week artistic journey to plan and create her vehicle. She discussed her water wonder of an idea with her family before she finally sketched it with pencil. Utilizing marker pens, the car was completed with the earth-friendly mission of making the ocean a better place. Knowing that the animals she witnessed in wonder at SeaWorld were in captivity to be preserved, Emily’s wheels started turning to help these black-and-white aquatic giants’ original origin might have a fighting chance to create an ecosystem for them to thrive.  

“She wanted to remove and recycle the trash at the bottom of the ocean. That way, all marine life – especially killer whales, her favorite animal – could enjoy their lives in their underwater home.”

Emily Yi’s Parents, Julia Yang and Xianhua Yi
3D Rendering of 5 year old Emily Yi's "Ocen Cleaning Vehicle" bronze award winner
“Ocean Cleaning Vehicle” by Emily Yi

The Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest also inspired another exciting project that incorporates the STEAM approach to teaching and learning, combining science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math to guide student inquiry, discussion, and problem-solving. Presented in partnership by Toyota Motor North America, California State University Dominguez Hills (CSU-DH), and the Petersen Automotive Museum, university students create their own 3D interpretations of the contest’s top winning artworks. Seven of this year’s 3D models – including one inspired by Emily’s “Ocean Cleaning Vehicle” – are displayed at the Petersen Automotive Museum in the Rob and Melani Walton Discovery Center (Saturday, October 29, 2022 through Sunday, March 26, 2023). For museum hours, visit www.petersen.org.

Through the work of Emily and many other young artists, Toyota is proud to hold a contest that inspires children and teens to dream about the future of cars while using art to inspire others to make an impact on the world. Now in its 12th year, the FY23 Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest launched in the United States on October 1, 2022. Artwork by U.S. youth, ages 4-15, may be submitted online or by mail for this year’s U.S. contest through January 31, 2023. Entry forms for this year’s contest are available at www.ToyotaDreamCarUSA.com/entry-forms.

Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan held the first worldwide contest in 2004. Nearly 90 countries now host national contests. All countries submit their top nine winners to Japan as entries into the World Contest. To learn about the World Contest, visit www.Toyota-DreamCarArt.com.

About Toyota: Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 38 million cars and trucks in North America, where we have 14 manufacturing plants, 15 including our joint venture in Alabama (10 in the U.S.), and directly employ more than 47,000 people (over 36,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold 2.8 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2018. Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.