The Arkansas Wildlife Federation and Creative Ideas have come together to promote wildlife education through the arts in the annual Wildlife of Arkansas Student Art Contest. For the 2021 contest, students from kindergarten through 12th grade will submit artwork online through a portal on the AWF website, www.arwild.org.
For eight years, the Wildlife of Arkansas Student Art Contest has encouraged students in grades K-12 to explore and celebrate Arkansas’ wildlife. The shift to this online submission process will allow students, teachers and parents the ability to submit a photograph of the artwork online, rather than mail the original artwork in to be scored. This new process has many benefits including expanding to new schools and areas of the state that may not have had the funding to mail the original artwork.
“With the impact of COVID-19, identifying ways to encourage youth to explore the outdoors is even more important. This program gets children interested in wildlife and the outdoors through direct observation and recollection in developing their works of art,” said Sharon Hacker, founder of Creative Ideas and AWF Board Member. “All categories will be ranked and awarded as in previous years. A panel of jurors select four artworks per grade; 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honorable Mention and an overall Best in Show,” said Hacker.
The competition is supported through an education grant from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Pat Fitts, Director of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, is proud to have AGFC support this educational art contest.
"This competition offers a unique way for youth to understand nature and express what they have learned by creating pieces of art," said Fitts.
The AGFC Nature Centers are free of charge and offer a variety of educational opportunities for the entire family to explore nature and learn about the wildlife of Arkansas.
Winners in each grade will receive cash awards, trophies and certificates. Images of the Best in Show and all first-place winning artwork along with the entire list of winners will be announced in the summer issue of Arkansas Out of Doors magazine (a publication of Arkansas Wildlife Federation). Tentative plans are to have all winning artwork displayed at the AGFC Witt Stephens, Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center.
Artwork must be submitted by March 15, 2021. The Wildlife of Arkansas Student Art Contest is free and open to all K-12 students in Arkansas.