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Posted: 01/29/14

Above, Lindsey Simon's poster that won grand prize during a NAIAS contest.

(Photo illustration courtesy of Lindsey Simon)

Romeo student takes first
prize for NAIAS poster

Observer Staff Writer
      A love of art and automobiles earned a Romeo student the top prize in a statewide contest.
       Lindsey Simon, a senior at the Romeo Engineering and Technology Center (RETC), won the grand prize for her entry in the 26th North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) poster contest.
       She was chosen among 989 entries from 73 high schools, a record number for the contest. For winning the Chairmen's Award, Simon received $1,000, two free tickets to the auto show and her winning image printed on the official NAIAS program.
       Lew Page, Simon's art instructor, said he was surprised and pleased at her winning, as her piece differed from the traditional approach students take to the posters.
       "It was one of those deals where they (the judges) were probably going to really like it or dismiss it immediately, but that's why I entered it, because it was definitely unique," he said.
       He said the project was a three-week assignment for his graphics students. This is the second year he included it in his curriculum, with only two of his students entering the contest this year.
       "Winning that contest is a pretty major bullet in your resume gun," he said.
       The winners were announced on Dec. 19. Simon said when Page pulled her out of class, he initally pretended that something was wrong with the image, but then told her the good news.
       "I was honestly in shock, I thought my teacher was playing around with me," she said. "It's a great way to top off my senior year."
       She said her drawing began as a pencil sketch with the idea that she would create something both modern and retro, but also unrecognizable.
       "Looking at a lot of the posters from past years, I noticed a lot of them were brand-specific," she said. "I wanted to keep away from that, to have something very different."
       She scanned the drawing and built upon it from there on the computer. The end result was a highly-stylized red car on a black background accompanying a blue NAIAS logo.
       The project was a mix of Simon's passions. She said her interest in cars was inspired by her dad, uncle and friends, and has taken art classes throughout high school.
       She attended the auto show on Jan. 19, having not gone since she was a freshman. She said it was humbling it see her own image in a public venue.
       "All through high school I've had art classes with Mr. Page and I've seen my work in the school art show, but to actually see it out in the public with something as big as the Auto Show, it's a very exciting experience," she said.
       Simon plans on majoring in marketing after she graduates with a minor in graphics. She said her ideal job would be to work in the marketing department for one of the major auto companies.
       When asked what vehicle she would've driven off the show floor at the auto show, she said her choice would be the Ford F-350 Super Duty truck.
       "I'm a truck girl," she said with a chuckle. "Any of the Ford pickup trucks I would gladly drive away."
       The NAIAS is celebrating its 25th anniversary as an international event. The show is open to the public from Jan. 19-27 at the Cobo Center.

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