The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, in partnership with Wildlife Forever, sponsored the 2007 competition, which uses art to educate a new generation of conservationists. The nationwide contest encourages young artists to draw and learn about their state fish and fish from other states as well, and to compete for art scholarships to attend the Art Institutes International Minnesota. The contest is open to all students in grades 4-12. Entries are separated into three grade categories: 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Winning contestants from every state are honored in each category.
“Wildlife Forever is pleased to honor the talented young artists, educators and parents who make the State-Fish Art Contest a memorable event,” said Douglas H. Grann, President & CEO of Wildlife Forever. “Together, we are using art to empower a new generation of conservationists. By sharing their fish art with family, friends and the general public, our young people are becoming ambassadors for good stewardship of fish and wildlife habitat.”
In addition to having their artwork displayed at www.statefishart.com
, winners will have the opportunity to join talented young artists from across the country at the State-Fish Art Expo July 21-22 at the Mall of America’s Central Rotunda located in Bloomington, Minnesota. The Expo will feature a massive art display featuring all the winning artwork from across the country, an awards ceremony on July 21, and special recognition at a Minnesota Twins baseball game on July 22, in the Metrodome.
National awards to be announced at the State-Fish Art Expo include “Best of Show” honors for the top three pieces of artwork in each grade category from across the United States. The national “Best of Show” winner in grades 10-12 will receive a $2,500 tuition scholarship to The Art Institutes International Minnesota. The first runner-up in grades 10-12 will also receive a $1,000 tuition scholarship to the college. One outstanding piece of artwork will win the Art of Conservation Stamp Award and be reproduced as a conservation stamp. Proceeds from the stamp will be used to fund conservation education and aquatic restoration projects across America. Additionally, contest winners and their families will enjoy a field trip to Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and a fishing event with staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This year, the entry rules changed to permit young artists to create an illustration of any official state fish depicted in its natural habitat. Additionally, participants were required to include a written composition on the fish’s behavior, habitat, and conservation. If contestants selected to depict Alabama’s state fish, they had two choices. Alabama is unique in that it has two state fish. The largemouth bass is the Alabama state freshwater fish, and the fighting tarpon is the state saltwater fish. The 2007 Alabama winners all chose the largemouth bass as their subject for the competition. Information about largemouth bass may be obtained by contacting the Fisheries Section of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources at 334-242-3471, or by viewing information at www.outdooralabama.com
As a resource tool, educators nationwide utilize the full-color State-Fish Art Contest Lesson Plan,
an interdisciplinary educational supplement specific to aquatic natural resources that includes fishery lessons and activities, a species identification section profiling each state-fish, a glossary, and student worksheets. The lesson plan can be downloaded free from www.statefishart.com
along with contest information.
“This particular competition is an excellent opportunity for students to explore Alabama's aquatic resources, said Alabama Department of Education Arts Specialist Sara Wright. “The hands-on process of creating a piece of artwork not only correlates to the Alabama Course of Study: Arts Education, but it promotes interdisciplinary learning, which transcends to a more meaningful learning experience for our students.”
Wildlife Forever is a multi-species, non-profit conservation organization that works to preserve America's wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat, and scientific management of fish and wildlife species. Working at the grassroots level, Wildlife Forever has funded conservation projects in all 50 states, committing millions of dollars to conservation efforts. Learn more at www.wildlifeforever.org
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR visit www.outdooralabama.com