Winners of Wildlife Forever’s State-Fish Art Contest and their families assembled in Columbia, South Carolina on August 15 and 16 at the Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. Hosted by Title Sponsor FLW, the Awards Ceremony was held on the impressive FLW stage in the Colonial Life Arena. States across the nation were represented by the attending students who were 1st place winners of their individual states. Adding to the overall excitement was the announcement of whose fish art won the coveted National Awards.
The Seth Thomas Spradlin Best of Show Award is the top honor, given to one piece selected by a panel of judges as the “best of the best” from all winning entries. The recipient of this award was Jacqueline Flowers, a talented 12th grader from Crawfordsville, Indiana, with a unique perspective, “Beneath the Surface,” in her exceptional, colored pencil drawing of a largemouth bass.
Brady King, a 12th grader from Livingston, Texas, is the 2014 winner of the coveted Art of Conservation® Stamp Award with his watery painting of two Atlantic cod.
“Wildlife Forever is pleased to honor the talented Texas artist, Brady King with the 2014 Art of Conservation® Stamp Award,” said Douglas H. Grann, Wildlife Forever President and CEO. “This honor is awarded to the student whose winning design becomes part of the State-Fish Art Stamp Collection. By recognizing the work of students today, we hope to inspire the conservationists of tomorrow.”
Brady’s painting is available as a collector’s stamp, both as a single stamp and a souvenir sheet. Proceeds from sales of the stamp help fund the State-Fish Art Contest. Both versions of this year’s, and past years, stamps can be purchased at www.wildlifeforever.org/shop.
The Smile Award is given to a painting selected from all the contest entries that “makes you feel good inside when you see it. You just can’t help but smile!” said Karen Hollingsworth, manager of State-Fish Art. Emily Hsu, an amazingly talented 1st grader from Edison, New Jersey, was the winner with her smile-worthy painting of an exuberant brook trout.
The artist becoming this year’s Invader Crusader was selected from all the entries in the Silent Invader Category. The artist paints not only a state-fish species, but also an invasive species. Colleen Malley, an 11th grader from Trafford, Pennsylvania, won with her striped bass swimming near an invasive northern snakehead. Colleen is a student of Helen Loughner, the State-Fish Art 2012 Educator of the Year.
Claudia Jo, a 6th grader from New York, received the People’s Choice Award for her brook trout. Voting by the public took place both online, between June 1 – July 14 and at the FLW Cup on Friday, August 15th. Over 10,500 votes and 60,800 views online PLUS the thousands of attendees at the FLW Cup responded for this national award!
Top honors in the “Mighty Minnows” K-3 grades division went to Estella Yan of Massachusetts with her painting of a longear sunfish. Second Place was awarded to Michelle Lee from Oregon and Third Place to Shreenidhi Saravanan from Indiana.
2014 “TOP 12” 1ST PLACE NATIONAL WINNER GRADES 4-6
The 4-6 grade category was won by Jinhee Kwak from Washington with her jumping steelhead trout. Second Place went to McKenna Litynski from Maryland and Third Place to Young Kyoung Lee of Oregon.
2014 “TOP 12” 1ST PLACE NATIONAL WINNER GRADES 7-9
Ziche Wang of Georgia took First Place in grades 7-9 with her action-filled Guadalupe bass painting. The Second Place winner was Justin Lee of Virginia and Third Place went to Brandon Gregory from Kentucky.
2014 “TOP 12” 1ST PLACE NATIONAL WINNER GRADES 10-12
The grades 10-12 top honor went to Christopher Chen from California with his beautiful largemouth bass. Second Place was awarded to Anli Chen of Florida. Jacqueline Flowers from Indiana received Third Place.
National Fish Make You Smarter Awards were also presented for the best page of ‘written words” that are required in addition to the art. They can be read at here.
The Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest seeks to involve students in the outdoors through art. Students compete in four grade-level divisions: K-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. Deadline for submitting entries is always March 31. Information on the contest is available at: www.statefishart.org.
Karen R. Hollingsworth
Image courtesy Wildlife Forever