Hydrocephalus Art Contest 2023

Thank you to all those that participated in this year’s art contest. We are thrilled to announce our winner Nathania “Nia” Simowibowo with her piece The Wishful VP Shunt Tree and Hopeful Mountain:

The Wishful VP Shunt Tree and Hopeful Mountain I have articulated this watercolour painting with the inspiration of my culture of being a Canadian-Asian who lives with hydrocephalus. Based on the Lunar Calendar, the Lunar New Year signifies the celebration of the first new moon and beginning of a new year. Much of the festivities have been passed down for generations such as the Wishing Tree. It is a banyan tree where individuals write their wishes onto red paper, tie it to an orange and throw it onto the tree with hopes of it to stay in order to make their wishes come true. This provided insight for me in celebrating the past. The tree in my painting represents individuals with hydrocephalus who often are supported with Ventriculoperitoneal shunts. We strive to live in an evolving society with many goals and dreams. The colour scheme of different hues of blue connects to the Two-tone Blue Ribbon for Hydrocephalus awareness where we are advocating for individuals who live with medical conditions. We are always in search for our own meaning of life through the wisdom and inspiration of others. Thus, this is the representation of living in the present. Lastly, the mountain represents the never-ending power and ambition to reach our goals. Purple is often associated with nobility, power and ambition. Predicting the future is like hoping that your wish will stay on the banyan tree during Lunar New Year. You can hope and dream, but to make your wish into a reality you will have to overcome the obstacles to climb to the top. I hope that my artwork will spark inspiration and remind individuals to embrace their strengths and weaknesses into making a positive impact towards future generations.

Our 2nd place winner is Julia Kurpiel with her piece showing the stages of life from the NICU to present of her baby sister:

Our 3rd place winner is Maya Kurpiel with her piece showing the types of devices used by her baby sister who was born with spina bifida:

HC Does Art: Help Us Tell Stories

In honour of Lorna Wreford and her dedication to the Hydrocephalus & Spina Bifida community

painting of white and purple trillium flowers
painting of childs playroom

Whether you’ve joined our Hydrocephalus Canada Community many years ago or recently, you deserve to be proud of the community and the numerous positive effects it has had on its members. This Art Contest is dedicated in honour of Lorna Wreford whom I first met in 1979. She became a very successful and prolific artist who contributed immensely to the community, including donating art for fund-raising calendars. All current members are invited to use their imaginations to create their own unique image that will celebrate the golden anniversary of HC.

To help you get started on this competition, here are some suggestions that will increase your chances of success and feeling good about what you create.

               Be sure your art fits into the THEME of the anniversary.

               Think of how you can make your art unique, something that is original and helps us understand and appreciate YOU.

               From time to time, try to self-evaluate your art by being your own judge. (Of course, you’ll have to read the judges’ criteria below.)

I wish you all the best as you let your creative ideas flow. 

-Alan Hirsch

The contest invited individuals from our SBH Community, their family members and caregivers to submit their traditional and non traditional artwork. Art pieces could include paintings, drawings and photographs . This contest aimed to encourage everyone in our community to use their creativity to shine a light on the millions of stories that exist in our Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida Community and to discover and reward outstanding artistic abilities. 




Contest Information


To celebrate our incredible 50th anniversary year we asked all submissions to reflect the anniversary spirit of CELEBRATE, LIVE & DREAM. Celebrate the Past, Live in the Present and Dream about the future! Whether your idea was from the past, to share the excitements of today, or imagine what might be available in the future, we invited you to share your story. Artwork could be more realistic or abstract and can include people, animals, events and objects. The creativity is all yours! 

Creativity: 20%

Originality: 20%

Technical Skill: 25%

Theme interpretation (including the Short Description submitted with the entry): 35%

  • Judging was based on creativity, originality, technical skill and interpretation of the theme
  • The first place winner will also have their art piece featured as the cover for the 50th anniversary special edition magazine 
  • All art submissions will 
    • Be featured on Hydrocephalus Canada’s website 
    • Receive a certificate of participation
    • Receive a sketch book/art supplies 
  • All winners will
    • Receive a cash prize
    • Receive a canvas of their artwork
    • Be featured on Hydrocephalus Canada’s social media platforms
    • Artwork will be featured in our Staying Connected