FOREST HILLS, Mich. — A West Michigan high school student has been announced as the winner of the 2023 State of the State art competition.

Sydney Kuipers, a junior at Forest Hills North High School, was selected from five student finalists out of hundreds who created artwork across the state.

“I added the state tree, an eastern white pine, which is a white-tailed deer, and then a robin. I’m really excited. It means a lot. I didn’t know it was going to be such a big deal. I’m ‘Mmm, I’m really proud of myself and how far I’ve come with my art,” said Sydney Kuipers, winner of the 2023 State Art Competition.

It will be used as the creative design for the cover of the State of the State program on the theme “What Makes Michigan Strong?”.

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A West Michigan high school student has been announced as the winner of the 2023 State of the State art competition.

K-12 students from across the state participated in the competition.

Kuipers decided to enroll after learning about it from her art teachers.

“There were a lot of wonderful entries, but Sydney’s is simply wonderful and we are so proud of her. I think it’s really just amazing,” said Forest Hills North High School art teacher Kate Silvio Martus.

“Kate and I just looked at each other after she finished, and as art teachers, you know, you have that moment where kids finish something and they put something together and you just have a sense of pride.” said Forest Hills North High School Art Teacher Kendra St. Antoine.

It took her only 11 days to create the piece that won the heart of Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist. He announced her as the winner last week.

“We know Michigan has so many bright, talented young people, and I’m excited to see the artistic talents of students across the state showcased,” said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist. “Michigan’s strength is when we all work together to improve our communities, expand pathways to opportunity, and move Michigan forward. It is encouraging to see the strengths of Michigan through the eyes of these students,” he said.

Sydney will attend this year’s State of the State address in Lansing on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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