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A Magical World of Nature and Notes Sails into Victory

“Toyota Dream Orchestra Car” by Young Artist wins “Grand Prize” in World Contest

For a 15-year-old musician from Mercer Island, Washington, cars of the future would include her “piano ship” vehicle, which performs classical music for passengers and passersby while floating high above and throughout the lush landscapes of the world.

A Magical World of Nature and Notes Sails into Victory

Originally trained as a pianist and now an award-winning harpist with her local youth orchestra, high school student Ava Yeh is also an accomplished artist. Fueled by her love of classical music and an appreciation of nature, she designed and submitted her “Toyota Dream Orchestra Car” to the annual Toyota Dream Car Art Contest, which won first place in her age group for both U.S. and the world competitions this year.

“My car plays music everywhere to soothe people and improve their mental and physical health,” shared Yeh, currently a junior at Mercer Island High School. “I added beautiful plants and flowers to my design to emphasize the importance of preserving nature and to inspire people to nurture their own homes.”

After receiving her Gold Award in the U.S. contest, Yeh’s artwork was then entered into the world contest (along with the other eight U.S. winners) where she won the Grand Prize in her age group (12-15 years). Nearly 1,000 other national winners representing 78 countries were in the world contest (a total of 531,692 artwork submissions were submitted to local contests globally).

“Ava is an outstanding musician who inspires us all. She is a model for young musicians everywhere, and she provides a wonderful example to our students on how music creates community within a school,” said Walter Kelly, principal of Mercer Island High School.

Two other U.S. winners were recognized as “Best Finalists” in the world competition for the FY22 year: 5-year-old Zongxuan Helena Zou of Ridgewood, New Jersey for her “Giraffe Car Delivers Happiness” artwork and 11-year-old Doyeon Lee of Mill Creek, Washington for her “Sweet Car” artwork.

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 ones inspired by the designs of Yeh, Zhu, and Lee – 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.

Each year, Toyota proudly hosts a contest that encourages 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.

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our nearly 1,500 dealerships. Toyota has created a tremendous value chain and directly employs more than 36,000 in the U.S. The company has contributed world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 30 million cars and trucks at our 9 manufacturing plants, 10 including our joint venture in Alabama that begins production in 2021. To help inspire the next generation for a career in STEM-based fields, including mobility, Toyota launched its virtual education hub at www.TourToyota.com with an immersive experience and chance to visit many of our U.S. manufacturing facilities. The hub also includes a series of free STEM-based lessons and curriculum through Toyota USA Foundation partners, virtual field trips and more. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.