Alithia Ramirez's drawing for the Google Doodle contest (image courtesy Google)

“I want the world to see my art and show the world what I can do,” 10-year-old Alithia Ramirez wrote alongside the “Google Doodle” she submitted to the company’s annual contest earlier this year. “I want people to be happy when they see my passion in art.” She wanted to go to art school in Paris when she grew up.

But Ramirez’s dreams were brutally cut short on May 24, when she was one of 19 children and two teachers murdered by a gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. She is survived by her mother, father, brother, and sister.

At the beginning of the year, students in grades K-12, including Ramirez, submitted drawings to the nationwide Doodle for Google contest, held every year since 2008. The works incorporate the company’s iconic search page logo and include a brief written statement, and the winning artwork appears on Google’s homepage for a day.

Ramirez’s drawing portrays a girl sitting on the couch, wrapping yarn around her fingers and smiling down at her dog, which holds a toy that looks like a miniature version of itself. Behind her, art hanging on the wall and two windows spells out “Google”; through one of the windows, a rosy-cheeked sun shines into the purple room.

This year’s Doodle for Google winner has yet to be announced, but a banner on the contest’s landing page is now dedicated to Ramirez. The gesture is a way of fulfilling Ramirez’s wishes that her art would be seen and recognized, a spokesperson told Hyperallergic.

“Her story and art profoundly touched us, and we wanted to honor her family’s request to share her unique talents that were so tragically taken as a result of senseless violence,” the spokesperson continued.

Ramirez’s drawings drew attention last month when President Joe Biden asked her father for one of her artworks to hang in the White House in the wake of the shooting. Now, anyone in the world can see Ramirez’s art, just like she wanted.

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Elaine Velie

Elaine Velie is a writer from New Hampshire living in Brooklyn. She studied Art History and Russian at Middlebury College and is interested in art's role in history, culture, and politics.

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