It’s been forty years since the Endangered Species Act was first introduced to protect fragile wildlife in the United States. Eight years ago, the United States Senate created Endangered Species Day in an effort to help educate the public on how our everyday actions can protect or harm endangered species and their habitats. One of the pinnacle events of the celebration is the Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest, which is open to K-12 students across the country.
Students wishing to participate can submit posters and pictures to the contest. Entries should highlight at least one endangered species—either land or water dwelling—that can be found in the United States. Winners will be chosen in four grade-level categories: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. From those four winners, one grand prize winner will be chosen.
Artwork submitted must follow several strict guidelines, including size: 8 ½” x 11” and less than 1/8” thick. Students are invited to use ink, oil or acrylic paint, pastel, crayon, or pencil. No photography or computer generated artwork will be accepted, and students may not use computers or other mechanical devices to create the artwork. Originals must be submitted, and no lettering or initials can be included on the front of the artwork. For more information on guidelines, visit the contest page on stopextinction.org.
All entries must be postmarked with a “Do Not Bend” label by March 15th, 2013. Winners will be chosen based on four categories:
- Concept: How well the work relates to the endangered species theme
- Composition: How well the elements of line and form work together
- Color: How color enhances the work
- Expression: How imaginatively the work conveys an idea or emotion
The Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest is organized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Endangered Species Coalition, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the International Child Art Foundation.