Budding artist Shanelle Jones saw an opportunity and a challenge presented, when she received the application form for the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA) Junior Clubs Art Competition, a few days before the closing for entries, last November.
The art competition asked members of JAA Junior Clubs across Jamaica to design and submit a road safety advertising campaign; as well as, to complete the slogan “Me and my crew…”
That she has emerged the overall winner came as a pleasant surprise to the shy, fourth form student at Godfrey Stewart High School, in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland.
“I decided to enter the competition because a lot of people are dying on the roads and there is not a lot of emphasis on road safety,” she said about her participation, which was also influenced by her membership in the JAA Junior Club at her school.
Shanelle, who hopes to become a pediatrician or mid-wife, chose to place emphasis on the danger of pedestrians using cell phones while navigating high traffic areas.
“I placed emphasis on that activity to prevent persons from becoming victims of a road crash because they are using their cell phones and not paying enough attention to traffic,” she explained.
Her winning design, titled “Me and my crew, don’t let this be you,” depicted a group of students in uniform approaching a pedestrian crossing, with one unaware student texting on his cell phone while crossing the road; and, as a result, he is hit by an oncoming vehicle.
Christopher Scott, Visual Arts Teacher and Faculty advisor for the JAA Junior Club at the school, says that although it was Shanelle’s first attempt at creating a graphic art poster, she put tremendous effort into her design.
“She went through about seven or eight sketches before getting to the final draft,” he said, adding that he guided her with the sketches, “and, she simply added and subtracted some images until she arrived at the final product.”
The winning artwork will be mounted in eight locations as large billboards, along high traffic roadways across the island; as well as, on a digital billboard in Half-Way Tree. Shanelle also received a Google Nexus tablet computer for her effort.
Roger Graham, Project Manager for the JAA Junior Clubs, says the competition formed part of the continued roll out and sensitisation process for the clubs. And, as part of her prize, Shanelle’s Club at Godfrey Stewart will also receive up to $100,000 towards a club service project, which addresses a road safety issue within the vicinity of the school.”
“Our club is also planning to do several activities, such as highlighting the pedestrian crossing outside our school and repainting the bus shed at the gate,” Shanelle explained.
The Godfrey Stewart High School, which joined the JAA Junior Club programme in October 2013, already has 35 members and Shanelle is eager to share her message of Road Safety with her peers.
The JAA Junior Club Project Manager advised that the Association has established more than 33 JAA Junior Clubs across the island and the organisation is closer to reaching its initial goal, to form 50 clubs within the first year of the programme.
The JAA Junior Club is an initiative of the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA), in collaboration with the Jamaica National Building Society Foundation, JN General Insurance (JNGI) Company Limited, the Ministry of Education, the FIA Foundation and the FIA Road Safety Grant Programme.