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AMERICAN YOUTH RECOGNIZED IN INTERNATIONAL ART CONTEST FOR WORLD OCEANS DAY
7/6/2012
Credit:
Wildlife Forever Press release
BOOKLYN CENTER, MN – Wildlife Forever and the Get to Know Program, along with other national partners the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Federation, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, National Recreation and Park Association, Wildlife Habitat Council, and Outdoor Afro, have joined together to encourage American youth to get outdoors and connect with nature through the 2012 Get to Know Contest. The contest began in Canada over a decade ago, founded by renowned artist Robert Bateman, and expanded across the United States this year.

The contest encourages young people to spend more time outdoors, connecting with nature, and learning about their neighbors of other species through the expressive arts, from painting and drawing to writing, photography, video, and music. The contest is intended to be a gateway experience for youth to connect with nature and other partner programs. By linking young people with other environmental programs, they are provided with multiple opportunities to develop a sustained and lasting interest in the outdoors and important environmental dates and opportunities.

In celebration of World Ocean’s Day—and to help raise awareness amongst youth about their “wild neighbors” of the water—Wildlife Forever and the Get to Know Program coordinated a special contest promotion inviting youth to submit artwork featuring marine and freshwater species. Of the hundreds of entries received, four young United States winners were selected, one from each grade category.

“I am thrilled with the Rivers to Oceans Gallery and have selected four absolutely wonderful entries to receive a fishing rod & reel so they can get outdoors and go fishing!” remarked Karen R. Hollingsworth, Manager of Wildlife Forever’s State-Fish Art Program.

Lione Clare painted hers as a school art class project. She remarked, “I liked the project, but it was challenging, because we had to use tempera paint. I was very pleased with my final product, because I'd spent extra time working on it. I'm very happy and excited about winning honestly, I wasn't expecting it! Thank you for choosing me!” When Jay York was told he had been chosen he exclaimed, "I can't wait to use the rod and reel I won! Can we go fishing as soon as it gets here?"

Each year, the 1st Place state and international winners in the State-Fish Art Contest are invited to attend the EXPO to be personally honored on stage for their talent and hard work. As part of the partnership between Wildlife Forever and the Get to Know Program, 2013 will mark the first year that four Get to Know Contest winners will also be invited as VIP guests to attend the EXPO at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry, Georgia on July 12th and 13th. Conversely, Christine Clayton, the winner of the 2012 State-Fish Art Best of Show Award, has been invited to attend the 2012 Get to Know International Unconference this September in Jasper National Park. More information about the State-Fish Art Contest and EXPO at www.statefishart.org.

Online entries must be received by no later than 8:00AM PST on July 23rd 2012. Mail in entries must be postmarked by July 16th. Winners will receive an invitation to attend a week-long Art and Nature Camp at Point Pelee National Park in Canada, a special educational experience for themselves and their family at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, publication of their artwork in a nationally distributed calendar, and many other prizes from partners and sponsors.

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About the State-Fish Art Contest

The Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest seeks to involve students worldwide in the outdoors through art. Entering its 15th year of bringing children, art and aquatic conservation together, young artists create an original illustration of any official state-fish and a written essay detailing their personal connection to its behavior, habitat, and/or efforts to conserve it. Entries are categorized in four grade levels: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Educators nationwide utilize Fish On!, the full-color State-Fish Art Lesson Plan, combining the disciplines of science and art. It is available on CD, at no charge, or can be downloaded. Entries are due by March 31st each year. Get all the details at: www.statefishart.org.

About the Get to Know Contest

Canadian wildlife artist Robert Bateman launched the Get to Know Contest in Canada in 2000 to inspire youth to “get to know their wild neighbors” by going outdoors and actively connecting with nature. All entries must be based on first-hand experiences with nature to qualify. After a successful two-year pilot in the State of California, the U.S. Get to Know Contest is expanding across the country this year, open to all American’s age 19 and under. Entries will be accepted until July 16th.

The Get to Know Program envisions a continent-wide shift in thinking, towards an understanding that conserving biodiversity is our shared responsibility. The Get to Know Contest provides young people with a gateway to the transformative educational programs of its partners—with the goal of inspiring the next generation of passionate environmental stewards. Recent Get to Know initiatives include Virtual Hikes - interactive learning resources which introduce youth to local green spaces OISEAU – Agents of Nature, a program which draws youth outside to local parks in search of hidden hieroglyphs and the Get to Know BioBlitz, a Canada-wide event which invites youth to participating parks, wildlife refuges, and other natural areas. For more information, visit www.get-to-know.org.