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Dakota Gavin Selected as Finalist in National Art Competition

Christina Yasutomi

Glorifica. By Dakota Gavin '19.

The weary soldier reaches out into the darkness, as a carrier pigeon gracefully hovers over him. It’s appearance is almost angelic, providing hope in this dark moment of our world’s history. But the pigeon is not a symbol of peace or tranquility, rather, she is the heroine who is celebrated in this art piece. Her name is Cher Ami, and she saved the lives of 194 American soldiers who were trapped behind German enemy lines during World War I. She delivered her message despite being shot through the breast, blinded in one eye and having her leg badly injured. 

Senior Dakota Gavin, the creator of this piece, has been fascinated with World War I, particularly with the animals who served alongside the brave men and women on the battlefield. He says he first heard Cher Ami’s story from a video on YouTube.

“World War I is often forgotten by the history books and gets next to no attention when compared to other major wars such as World War II and Vietnam. I hope ‘Glorifica’ will inspire others to explore the history of a war that forever changed our understanding of conflict and global politics,” said Gavin.

Gavin is currently studying Advanced Placement Studio Art 2D. He submitted his piece to the Unsung Heroes ArtEffect Competition in February, a national competition where students must research an “Unsung Hero,” then create a work of art based on their story. In March, “Glorifica” was listed as one of 24 finalists. The winners will be announced in April. The grand prize winner will receive $6,000, followed by Best in Show for $3,000, and Second Prize for $2,500. Gavin has shared his work with his homeroom and a U.S. History class. His work is currently on display at the high school library.