Canyon Crest Academy students create art for Thunderbird convention

L-R: Harmonie Lau, grade 10; Alan Cutsinger, president of the San Diego chapter of the Classic Thunderbird organization; Jenny Wang, grade 10 (winner of contest); Austin Silveira, grade 12; Ellen Ouyang, grade 11; Rachel Liu, grade 11; Haley Chung, grade 11; Ben Rose, grade 12; and Arathi Kumar, grade 12. Not pictured: Noelle Childers, grade 11; Daisy Valdivieso, grade 11; Jack Alexander, grade 11.
The winning entry.

As president of the San Diego chapter of the Classic Thunderbird organization, Alan Cutsinger is responsible for helping to organize the 2016 International Thunderbird Convention, which will take place in San Diego from Sept. 13-18, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Mission Valley.

The bi-annual convention, which draws thousands of members from over 15 countries, has never been held in this city. When Cutsinger was tasked with finding a logo for the convention, his wife, Kate, immediately thought of contacting art students at Canyon Crest Academy.

“My son, Ben Bush, graduated from CCA in 2014. He was a sound tech for the theatre department when he was a student there. We have seen how talented the kids at CCA are, and we just knew they’d be able to create something really special for the Thunderbird Convention.”

They felt that working with CCA students would be a great way to give the students an opportunity to publish their artwork, and for the Cutsingers to give back to the school. Alan Cutsinger contacted Rachel Edwards, art instructor at CCA, to propose a way for students to enter their original artwork into a competition. Students were given specific requirements for the artwork; a Thunderbird needed to be featured, along with a San Diego landmark. Eleven students submitted their original art.

“There were a lot of oohs and aahs by the committee when they saw the artwork,” Kate Cutsinger said when the winner was announced. “It was very difficult to decide on a winner.”

Sophomore Jenny Wang’s image, of a Thunderbird being launched off the aircraft carrier USS Midway, received $100. Her entry will grace the cover of the convention program, and will be featured in the marketing materials. The Cutsingers also donated $100 to the Canyon Crest Academy Foundation.

Alan Cutsinger also told the students that all of the art submitted would be published and displayed. “The artwork was too good not to share with everyone.”