Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) may be a dominate force in the world of technology, but it's also a patron of the arts. This week, the company based in Mountain View, Calif., launched two initiatives to give artists a chance to use Google as a platform to show off their creations.
On Tuesday, Google kicked off the seventh annual Doodle 4 Google competition, a contest open to U.S. students in grades K through 12. This year, the theme is, “If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place,” and for the first time ever, the winner will get the chance to work with the Google Doodle team to have his or her piece animate the Google homepage for millions to see. The winner will also receive a $30,000 college scholarship and their school will receive a $50,000 Google for Education grant.
"Ideas big and small, practical and playful, thought-provoking and smile-inducing, have started out as doodles," Ryan Germick, the leader of the Google Doodle team, wrote on the official Google blog. "And we're ready for more!"
Google partnered with Discovery Education to create classroom activities and online videos to help teachers and parents encourage young artists to participate. There are also “Connected Classroom” sessions that allow students to meet and learn from members of the Google Doodle team.
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Doodles can be uploaded to the Doodle 4 Google website or mailed in, and the deadline for entry is March 20. A panel of judges including authors, an astronaut, a robotics engineer and the directors of "The Lego Movie" will review the entries and will announce 50 state finalists on April 29. The winner will be revealed on Google in June.
Entire classrooms are encouraged to enter, but each student can only submit one doodle.
Google followed on Wednesday with the launch of “DevArt,” an interactive gallery of “creative coding” that encourages artists to submit their work online. One person will be selected to join three interactive artists already commissioned by Google to create an installation at an exhibition opening this summer at the Barbican in London as part of the Digital Revolution exhibition.
“Code is much more than just numbers on a screen,” Google said on the DevArt website. “When it is pushed to its creative and technical limits, code can be used to create beautiful digital art installations.”
If you have no idea where to even begin with “creative coding,” Google is featuring the work of their commissioned artists online on the DevArt website.
“You will be able to follow their journey -- from concept and early sketches to the finished piece -- through regular updates on their respective Project Pages,” Google said, adding that the idea of opening the creative process is congruent with the open-source philosophy of coding. “By sharing their creative process, the artists hope to involve and inspire the participating community of creative coders to do the same.”
Will you be submitting a project to either Doodle 4 Google or DevArt? Let us know in the comments.