BIDDEFORD — A Biddeford seventh-grader has won the the 2019 Google doodle contest for the state of Maine.

John Gatchalian was honored at a Biddeford Middle School assembly Thursday as the 2019 Maine winner of the Doodle 4 Google contest. His artwork depicting paint supplies on a table spelling out Google was chosen by judges and Google Doodlers as the best doodle this year from the state and it will now be displayed in an online gallery on the Doodle for Google website.

Gatchalian’s winning doodle for grades 6-7 will be entered in the Doodle for Google national contest. Voting for the Doodle for Google National Finalist awards begins June 3 and ends June 7 at doodle4google.com. The online voting will determine five finalists, one from each grade group, and then Google executives will choose a national winner. Google will display the winning doodle on its homepage for a day and give the winner a $30,000 college scholarship and the student’s school $50,000 for technology initiatives.

“I was pretty nervous when they called my name,” Gatchalian said. “I kind of had an idea I was going to win, but it was pretty amazing to be up there on the stage and have everybody cheering for me.”

By winning the Maine contest, Gatchalian finds himself in the company of accomplished young artists who have won previously. Since 2008, contest Doodles are intended to surprise and delight people when they visit Google.com with past Doodles celebrating some of the most brilliant, talented, and passionate people throughout history.

The theme for this year’s contest is ‘When I grow up I hope …’ Liz Ames, Biddeford Middle School art teacher, said “… John’s response was that he hoped in the future that he would be a famous artist so that he could bring color and happiness to the world through his art. John reimagined an artist’s studio transforming all of the letters of ‘Google’ as different parts of his artist’s desk.”

Biddeford Middle School Principal Scott Descoteaux said Gatchalian’s win should be a source of pride for the entire city.

“It’s an indication of some of the great things that go on in our school and there’s a lot of wonderful things happening in Biddeford,” Descoteaux said. “It’s an indication of all of the good things in this school.”

In winning the state contest, Gatchalian’s artwork was judged on artistic merit, artistic skill, creativity, representation of the contest theme, use of the letters in the Google logo, a unique approach to the doodle and how well the contest theme is expressed in both the artwork and his written statement describing why he entered the contest.

Gatchalian received a certificate and a Google Chromebook for winning the state contest.

Ed Pierce — 207-282-1535

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