Posted on March 31, 2014

Locals Bring Global Themes to Life Using Tires in Michelin In-Tire-National Art Contest


GREENVILLE, S.C. (March 31, 2014) –The winner of the In-TIRE-National Art Contest, sponsored by Michelin North America, is a dimensional portrait that celebrates the life of South African leader Nelson Mandela.

 The winning submission is from Easley High School in Easley, S.C. and was created under the direction of the school’s visual arts director, Dr. Russell Jewell.  An awards ceremony was held today at Michelin North America’s headquarters in Greenville.

 More than 30 pieces of artwork were submitted for the In-TIRE-National Art Contest in support of Upstate International month. The artwork was submitted by individual artists and non-profit organizations along with arts societies, businesses and schools ranging from elementary to college. Teams used donated Michelin tires to create a wide range of pieces that included an elephant, a Palmetto tree and an “Eiffel Tire” inspired by the Parisian landmark.

 The winning entry, “Mandela Mandate,” was a vision of Jewell’s.  “With Nelson Mandela’s recent passing, I was inspired by the message he sent the world about the importance of freedom,” said Jewell. “And what better way to bring that to life than through a visual arts competition?”

 As the winner of the In-TIRE contest, Jewell selected the Easley High School art department to receive a $5,000 donation from Michelin.  He estimates that he, along with his fellow art teacher, Winston Cely, spent more than 60 hours transforming the tires provided by Michelin into the winning entry.

 Leesa Owens, community relations director for Michelin, said, “We were extremely impressed with the creativity and imagination of the teams that participated in this contest. The works of art that we received truly reflect the vibrant and international culture that thrives in our region.”

 The competition is part of Michelin’s ongoing support of Upstate International month, which took place during March. Open to local artists, groups, schools and organizations, registered participants received four tires donated by Michelin. Participants then had three weeks to craft a work of art that incorporated an international theme. Submissions were judged by a selection committee on overall design and execution, global premise and tire usage. 

 The selection committee members were:

Alan Ethridge, executive director, Metropolitan Arts Council – Before becoming MAC’s executive director in 2006, Ethridge served as director marketing and development.  He serves on the Board of Governors of the Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau as well as the Board of Governors of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Artisphere and the Board of Advisors of the Department of Visual Arts at Greenville Tech.

Elizabeth Goddard, executive director, Spartanburg Arts Museum – Prior to coming to Spartanburg, Goddard served as director of Exhibitions and Interpretation at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) in Grand Rapids, Mich.  She received her master’s degree in art education from the University of New Mexico and her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Pitzer College in California.

 Karen Chambers, principal, Sue Cleveland Elementary School – Chambers has been the principal at Sue Cleveland Elementary school for 17 years.  She has been recognized as Teacher of the Year at Sue Cleveland Elementary, a School Leadership and Executive Institute Fellow with the State Department of Education and a Clemson Fellow. She has been nominated for outstanding Principal of the Year at the state level.

 Paul Yanko, visual arts director, Governor’s School for the Arts – A teacher in the visual arts department of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Yanko has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions at institutions, including the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art and the McDonough Museum of Art.

 The artwork will be on display at various sites across the Upstate including the Michelin on Main store in downtown Greenville.

 For photos of the submissions please visit Please visit for more information about Upstate International month.

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About Michelin North America

Michelin, the leading mobility company, is working with tires, around tires and beyond tires to enable Motion for Life. Dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility and sustainability, Michelin designs and distributes the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its customers’ needs. Michelin provides digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences. Bringing its expertise to new markets, the company is investing in high-technology materials, 3D printing and hydrogen, to serve a wide variety of industries — from aerospace to biotech. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, Michelin North America has approximately 22,500 employees and operates 34 production facilities in the United States and Canada. (