2007 State-Fish Art Contest Announced

The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division and Wildlife Forever announce the Ninth Annual State-Fish Art Contest for Alabama students. 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 State-Fish Art Contest is part of a conservation education program that sparks the imagination of students, while providing valuable lessons about fish and the importance of conserving the nation’s aquatic resources. “The State-Fish Art Contest is a fun and innovative way to introduce America’s youth to the wonders of our natural world,” said Wildlife Forever’s President & CEO, Douglas H. Grann. “With the new scholarship awards from The Art Institutes International Minnesota and other prizes, the State-Fish Art Contest provides unique opportunities that young artists and anglers will not want to miss.” 

Alabama’s 2006 winners include Belinda Patterson (Grades 4-6), Fellycia Kirana (Grades 7-9), and Blake Funderburke (Grades 10-12).  Their winning artwork can be viewed here.

This year, the entry rules have changed to permit young artists to create an illustration of any official state fish depicted in its natural habitat. The artwork must be the contestant’s original, hand-done creation. Participants must include a written composition on the fish’s behavior, habitat, and conservation. If contestants select to depict Alabama’s state fish, they will have 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 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.

All contest winners receive a certificate of participation, gift certificate for art supplies from Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, and fishing tackle from Rapala, among other prizes. Entries must be postmarked by March 31, 2007. Winners will be announced on May Day, May 1, 2007.

Winning designs will also be featured on the official State-Fish Art Web site, www.statefishart.com, and the Web site for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, www.outdooralabama.com.  An outstanding piece of artwork in each grade category will be awarded the top honor as “Best in Show for 2007. One “art-gallery caliber” entry will win the 2007 Art of Conservation Stamp Award. This art will be featured on the 2007 release of Wildlife Forever’s Conservation Stamp program. Sales of Wildlife Forever's Art of ConservationTM stamps have funded conservation education and fishery projects across America.

State winners of the 2007 State-Fish Art Contest will be recognized at the Mall of America in Minnesota for their outstanding artwork of their state-fish during the Ninth Annual State-Fish Art Expo, July 21-22, 2007. 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. 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.

For contest information or to download a State-Fish Art Lesson Plan and Entry Form, visit the State-Fish Art Web Site at www.statefishart.com, or call toll-free 1-877-FISHART (347-4278). 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.

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 “on the ground” conservation efforts.  Learn more at www.wildlifeforever.org.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) 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.