141 Young Artists From 45 States, Canada and Beyond Invited to Attend the State-Fish Art EXPO July 12th and 13th

Wildlife Forever is proud to announce the winners of the 2013 State-Fish Art Contest supported by NRG.  A distinguished panel of fish artists and honorary judges selected 141 winners from a field of thousands to be “the best of the best” in their state and grade category and for the international entries in each grade category.

“Wildlife Forever is pleased to honor the talented young artists, educators and parents who make the State-Fish Art Contest such a successful program,” 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 our aquatic resources.”

All winning entries can be seen at: www.statefishart.org.

Each state’s winner will have the opportunity to join talented young artists from across the country at the 15th Annual State-Fish Art EXPO July 12 and 13 at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry, Georgia.  All winning artwork will be on display and an awards ceremony, at the Perry Arts Center, will recognize the winners before the crowd.  Each winning artist, attending the EXPO, will receive an award, great prizes, art supplies, goodie bags, and a fishing rod & reel from Rapala.

The “Top 12” National Awards will be announced at the State-Fish Art EXPO honoring the top three pieces of artwork in each grade category selected from all the states, Ontario and international first place winners.

An overall “Best of Show” winner will be announced to receive the “Seth Thomas Spradlin Best of Show Award” given in honor of the 2008 winner who lost his life in an Alaska bush plane accident in August of 2010.

The People’s Choice Award will be determined by a world-wide public online vote through links on the State-Fish Art website www.StateFishArt.org and on the Contest Fan page: www.facebook.com/StateFishArtContest. Online voting will begin on Friday, May 17th and conclude on Friday, June 28th with additional votes collected in person at the State-Fish Art EXPO.  Over 54,000 views and votes were cast in the 2012 contest!

One outstanding piece of artwork will win the “Art of Conservation” Stamp Award and be reproduced as the 2013 Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Conservation Stamp.  Proceeds from the stamp will be used to fund the Contest.

The “Smile Award”, will be given to a piece of art, selected from all the entries, that just “makes you smile and feel good inside” … how cool is that!

This year’s “Invader Crusader” will be chosen from the entries in the Silent Invader Category.  The art and essay include both a state-fish and an invasive species.

For the second year, the essays accompanying each piece of art will be judged and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place essays in each grade category will receive the new national Fish Make You Smarter Award.  The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service judged the Grade 10-12 Category and will be on hand to award the trophies for excellence.

Judges for this year’s art competition included: Kate DiLeo – she envisioned the contest 15 years ago, Nick Schmal, Ph.D. – Fisheries Program Leader Eastern Region, US Forest Service, Shawn Bjonfald – North American Membership Group Fisherman Magazine, Jeffrey Pridie – Past President, Art Educators of Minnesota and William Kobe – artist and educator.  Steve Pennaz, President of EverFire Group, served as Alternate Judge.

Judges for the essay competition included: Caroline Lehman – writer, Teri Heyer – USDA Urban Connections, Craig Springer – USFWS, Editor Eddies, Denise Wagner  – USFWS Aquatic Conservation Program and Karen Hollingsworth – Manager, State-Fish Art Program.

Wildlife Forever’s 15th annual State-Fish Art Contest and EXPO is made possible by support from NRG, as Title Sponsor, North American Fishing Club, U.S. Forest Service, Rapala, Blick Art Materials, Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, U.S Fish & Wildlife Service Fisheries and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Image courtesy Wildlife Forever

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