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Milo Golding outside the gallery named for his family.

Milo Golding, son of late MSU art professor Deeno Golding, wins national Google Doodle competition

  As the son of the late MSU art professor Deeno Golding, Milo Golding is receiving worldwide recognition for his work while honoring his father's legacy.

Milo, a 16-year-old 11th grader at Lexington Christian Academy, was named the winner of the 2021 Doodle for Google competition. Now in its 13th year, the competition involves accepting submissions from K-12 students for their rendition of the Google Doodle, creative versions of its logo featured on the search engine's home page.    

As an MSU art professor for 23 years, Deeno created the graphic design curriculum for the University's College of Art and Design while also serving as a faculty advisor for the American Institute for Graphic Arts (AIGA). Deeno passed away from a heart attack in December 2017. The Golding-Yang Art Gallery on MSU's campus was officially renamed to honor him, his wife, Yanya Yang (Class of 1997), and his brother-in-law, Neng Yang (Class of 1993).  

Milo said he's been drawing for as long as he can remember, and his parents have always nurtured his love of art.  

"I remember once when I was young, I got in trouble for drawing on the walls at a relative's house," Milo laughed. "They had to apologize for that, but they never wanted to stunt my creativity. They always kept sketchbooks around for me to draw in."  

The theme for the contest was "I am strong because..." Thinking of the lessons he learned from his father, Milo finished the theme phrase with, "I have hope."  

"I remembered a conversation I had with my dad, where I asked him how he was able to face obstacles in his life and overcome them," Milo said. "He told me, 'I have hope. Hope keeps me strong.' So, it came to me-I am strong because I have hope."  

Milo said he's always been curious about how Google chose the artwork for its masthead, and he learned of the contest while researching the topic. He said the idea for the image came to him when he connected the contest's theme to his own experiences. His winning submission, titled "Finding Hope," is composed of imagery that expresses his loss and how he has remained hopeful for the future. The roller coaster and monsters in the background represent Milo's emotions and fears as he has processed his grief.   

Milo learned he won the spot as the representative for Kentucky in the contest when he came home from an advanced placement preparation session to find a group from Google waiting to congratulate him. He did a videoconference interview with the judges, and a short while later, they asked for a second interview, saying the recording of the first had poor sound quality. Milo was shocked when Google CEO Sundar Pichai joined the call to tell him he was the national winner.  

"It didn't hit me right away, but when it did, I was very elated and grateful," he said. "I'm just truly thankful for the opportunity to share my story and my message of hope. Regardless of the fluctuations and life obstacles we may face, hope is always there."  

In addition to having his artwork featured on Google's homepage for 24 hours, Milo also earned a $30,000 scholarship and a $50,000 technology package for his school. His award-winning submission also received national media coverage with an appearance on NBC's "Today Show." Milo also appeared on the "NBC Nightly News: Kids Edition with Lester Holt."   

Milo plans to study medicine in college and become a cardiologist, inspired yet again by his father. Still, he said art will remain an essential part of his life.   

"Art is a form of healing, so I want to incorporate that into my career in medicine to help my patients," he said.   

To view Milo Golding's award-winning submission, visit www.google.com/doodles/doodle-for-google-2021-us-winner.   

For additional information about the art and design programs at MSU, visit www.moreheadstate.edu/art.