By NRA Staff Writers
Annually, the George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest offers young artists interested in hunting and wildlife an outlet to use their creative talent, practice artistic techniques, and refine wildlife identification skills through the creation of original works. This contest encourages youth to nurture their interest for the visual arts, hunting, and wildlife conservation. It also reinforces the positive effects of hunting and wildlife conservation with the public at large.
The 31st Annual George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest was held this past November at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, and featured 350 incredible entries submitted by young artists from all over the United States. Begun in 1987, the Youth Wildlife Art Contest challenges students to create exceptional works of art depicting North American wildlife and offers $7,000 in cash prizes.
The contest started out small with a specific goal: to foster young artists’ enthusiasm for the outdoors through letting them practice their animal identification skills and expand their knowledge on the continent’s indigenous wildlife. Over the years the contest has grown in size substantially and many past winners have gone on to make successful careers as professional artists. It makes us proud that the contest’s message has resonated with young artists, who carefully study an animal and hone their techniques to not just accurately depict a species, but to give their entry life.
The Youth Wildlife Art Contest is open to any student in grades 1 through 12, including home-schooled children, and does not require NRA membership to participate. Any North American game bird or animal that may be legally hunted or trapped is eligible to be depicted. Endangered species and non-game animals, such as eagles and snakes, are not eligible subjects.
In an effort to level the field of competition and recognize skilled artists of all ages besides the most talented high school seniors, the contest is divided into four categories based on grade level: Category I (1st – 3rd), Category II (4th – 6th), Category III (7th – 9th), Category IV (10th – 12th). Although many artists begin at different ages and advance at varying rates, grade-based categories are the easiest way to fairly group artists with similar skills. Judges select first, second and third place entries in each category, which receive prizes of $750, $500 and $250 respectively. A Best In Show award, selected from among all entries across all categories, receives a $1,000 prize.
Here are this year’s Best In Show and first place winners:
Best In Show
Emma Vande Vort, Grade 10
Christina Zhang, Grade 12
“Thriving in Adventure”
Anna Yao, Grade 8
“Together in the Snow”
Cynthia Liu, Grade 5
Jayden Cheuk, Grade 2
“The Duck in the Pond”
CLICK HERE to see second and third place winners from each category along with our honorable mentions.
A huge congratulations to all of our winners!
If you’d like to learn more about the Youth Wildlife Art Contest, click here and stay tuned for details on how to enter next year’s contest!