UAA graphic design student wins artistic license plate competition

Anita Laulainen, a UAA graphic design student from Palmer, submitted the winning design for the artistic license plate competition.

In a state where vanity plates are aplenty, Alaskans now have one more way to get creative with their cars– the new artistic license plate.

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The Alaska State Council on the Arts announced that Anita Laulainen, a UAA graphic design student from Palmer, submitted the winning plate. Her design showcases spruce trees, tall, snowy peaks and a teal green blend of aurora lighting up the night sky.

Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, whose office helped organized the competition, congratulated Laulainen on her winning design.

“I’m excited that Alaska’s hundreds of thousands of license plates have the potential to transform into miniature six inch by twelve inch canvases of beautiful aurora borealis-inspired art,” Kreiss-Tomkins said.

There were 142 design submissions from Alaskans of all ages and locations around the state. A panel of celebrity judges then whittled those submissions down to just five.

According to the arts council, more than 17,000 people voted for their favorite.

The winning design will be in circulation by the Department of Motor Vehicles for the next four years until the next competition. The plates will be available to purchase in early summer of 2018, with proceeds going to artistic and cultural programs by the Alaska State Council on the Arts.

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Emily Russell is the voice of Alaska morning news as Alaska Public Media’s Morning News Host and Producer. Originally from the Adirondacks in upstate New York, Emily moved to Alaska in 2012. She skied her way through three winters in Fairbanks, earning her Master’s degree in Northern Studies from UAF. Emily’s career in radio started in Nome in 2015, reporting for KNOM on everything from subsistence whale harvests to housing shortages in Native villages. She then worked for KCAW in Sitka, finally seeing what all the fuss with Southeast, Alaska was all about. Back on the road system, Emily is looking forward to driving her Subaru around the region to hike, hunt, fish and pick as many berries as possible. When she’s not talking into the mic in the morning, Emily can be found reporting from the peaks above Anchorage to the rivers around Southcentral.