Following official judging and public voting, United Airlines has revealed the two winning designs of Her Art Here, a contest designed to discover and motivate underrepresented women artists by offering them a chance to have their work painted on an aircraft. So why a female-only contest? According to The National Museum of Women in the Arts based in Washington DC, while 51% of today’s artists are women, less than 13% of art on display in museums is by women artists .
The prize will help offset that imbalance, as having a design painted on a B757 provides artists with a canvas that flies on average 1.6 million miles a year and 476 cross-country trips. The aircraft is roughly 3,666 times larger than the typical 18in x 24in canvas.
The first winner is Tsungwei Moo of San Francisco, who has been selected for her design depicting iconic landmarks as well as the palm trees and ocean that are synonymous with California. Corinne Antonelli of Washington, New Jersey is the other worthy winner, with a design that features a globe, reflecting United’s worldwide route network and classic imagery including a New Jersey Mill, the New York City Skyline and the Statue of Liberty. The two winners will be mentored by renowned artists prior to one aircraft per region being painted this fall/autumn.
Tsungwei Moo grew up in Taipei, Taiwan before emigrating to San Francisco, California. For the past seven years she has served as an artist in residence at Yosemite National Park. Focused on ceramics, printmaking and painting, her art is an expression of the wonders of nature and humanity.
“I believe creating and appreciating art should not be defined by gender and cultural differences. As an emerging immigrant female artist, winning Her Art Here gives me a great platform to let the world see my art,” said Moo. “14 years ago, I arrived in the USA on a United Airlines flight to follow my dreams and to be an artist, so it is truly surreal to have won this contest.”
Corinne Antonelli is a New Jersey native, studying illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design. Her design is a tribute to her home region, and hopes it serves as an example to young girls around the world who are interested in a career in the arts that anything is possible.
“Winning the Her Art Here contest means the world to me,” said Antonelli. “When I was a young girl I had many artists I looked up to and felt inspired by, and now I have the opportunity to become a role model for other young girls looking to pursue a career in the arts. It feels amazing being selected as the winner from the New York and New Jersey region – I’ve lived in New Jersey my entire life and have fallen in love with the state.”
The Her Art Here contest was open to those who identify as a woman, including cisgender, transgender, woman-aligned or non-binary, and who reside in the USA. United asked artists to visually represent either New York/New Jersey or California, two key markets for the airline, in their own style, while combining the company’s mission and what the communities in each region mean to the artist. Entries were scored by a panel of judges based on contest criteria, and winners were determined based on a combination of judging scores and public voting.
The winners, along with the top finalists, will have the opportunity for their artwork to be displayed inside United terminals throughout the remainder of 2019, with their works available to purchase. Winners and finalists all received 100,000 MileagePlus award miles and the two regional winners will be awarded a US$10,000 cash prize.
United has a history of advancing women in the aviation industry. Today the carrier has more women who are pilots than any other airline in the world, including Bebe O’Neil, United’s system chief pilot, who manages the carrier’s 12,600 pilots. The airline has worked with Women in Aviation, a non-profit organisation which provides networking, education, mentoring and scholarship opportunities, for more than 25 years and Girls in Aviation Day to help encourage a growing number of female pilots.