Wildlife of Arkansas

Student Art Contest Winners 

The Arkansas Wildlife Federation (AWF) and Creative Ideas again hosted the annual Wildlife of Arkansas Student Art Contest promoting wildlife education through the arts. To overcome the challenges faced this past year, the Wildlife of Arkansas competition was held online with more than 600 students from kindergarten through 12th grade submitting images of their artwork and a panel of jurors selecting the winning pieces of art.  The competition is supported through an education grant from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC). Thank you to our volunteers, Sharon Hacker, Jim Taylor, Geralyn Hoey and Mandy Clark, for your commitment to making this program a success. 

Special thank you to our jurors for their time and expertise reviewing and selecting the winners for this year’s contest.

Bryan Winfred Massey, Sr., Professor of Art-Sculpture/3D Design, University of Central Arkansas

Jessie Hornbrook, Assistant Professor of Printmaking , University of Central Arkansas

Peter P. Bella, Jr., Assistant Professor of Art, University of Central Arkansas

Juror Statement from Peter Bella, Assistant Professor, UCA, Department of Art & Design

The Wildlife of Arkansas Student Art Contest was a great success and to be a member on the jurors’ panel was indeed a privilege. It was impressive to see how well the competition was attended with submissions and how wonderful this year’s online student art contest was assembled. The submissions never seem to disappoint and were, as always, impressive examples of outstanding instruction and student talent. The past year of uncertainty and challenge was not present in the works of art that were presented by this year’s participants. Rather, the submissions were bountiful with brilliant colors, expressions of joy and happiness and represented a variety of wildlife — from the fluttering butterflies to the wading fish in their pools. To see these young artists succeed through challenging times and uncertainty is reassuring that our youth are ready to be our future leaders and educators.

English artist Henry Moore told us, “To be an artist is to believe in life.” As a young student, Moore showed a talent for art and in his lifetime, he created over 1,000 sculptures, more than 700 graphics and nearly 5,500 drawings. The young artists represented in this year’s student art contest, like Moore, discovered that belief in life and assurance in our future within the wildlife artworks which they created. Once again, the wildlife of the Natural State was celebrated in paints, marker, colored pencil, and other media. Fish swam through watercolor and splashed in vibrant marker, while racoons peered innocently off their canvases through their masked eyes. Turtles rested peacefully in their painted shells, as a wide array of birds perched gracefully in their trees. The honey bees and butterflies pollinated the garden landscapes, as water flowed through nature as soft as the brushstrokes which made it. All give us opportunity to believe in life, to believe in our youth and in ourselves. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer,” words to believe in from Harriet Tubman. Tubman shared, “Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” These young artists are our dreamers — we can see every great dream, their strength, their patience, and their passion. Through their creativity and imagination, they will reach for the stars and change the world.


1st place - Monarch on a Butterflyweed by Jasper Hankins
2nd place - Busy as a Bee by Cynthia Rorie
3rd place - The Nature Rainbow by Jon Ryan Boyd

Honorable Mention - Fishy by Emmalee Slavings

1st Grade

1st place - Widgeon Duck Swimming by Erin Hankins
2nd place - Tweet tweet scissortail flycatcher by Tavish Anand
2nd place (tied) - Arkansas Red Fox by Louie Urena
3rd place - Squirrel on a Log by Finnegan Stevens

Honorable Mention - Beautiful Butterfly by Madison Collingsworth

2nd Grade

1st place Happy Spring! by Nethra Nirmal
2nd place Little pond...big animals by Holt Williams
3rd place Baby Bird by Elijah Smith

Honorable Mention Arkansas Wildlife Harmony by Chloe Parry

3rd Grade

1st place - Hummingbird in Arkansas by Sydney Faulkner
2nd place - Sunrise at Beaver Bridge by Asmi Pathak
3rd place - Raccoon by Blake Ritter

Honorable Mention - Black Bear by Harper Hill

4th Grade

1st place - The mighty waterfall by Saanvee Patro
2nd place - Big Bear by Marley Guajardo
3rd place - Survival in the wild by Vaibhav Sathish

Honorable Mention - Snapping turtle by Emily Collingsworth

5th Grade

1st place - The sparrow by Isabella Hendricks
2nd place - Eastern Bluebird by Akia Mitchell
3rd place - Northern Mockingbird by Bella Hale

Honorable Mention - Cedar Waxwing in Spring by Rose Ware

6th Grade

1st place - Arkansas Oriole by Collin Little
2nd place - Fox and Buttercups by Ellie Birch
3rd place - Arkansas Flower by Mallory Lafferty

Honorable Mention - Black Bear by Inara Rupe
Honorable Mention (tied) - Diana Fritillary Butterfly by Abby Chi

7th Grade

1st place - Arkansas Bobcat by Cara Jackson
2nd place - Just Keep Swimming by Skylar Maxwell
3rd place - The Mysterious Beauty of the Crow by Mallory Vasilj

Honorable Mention - Peaceful Perch by Jade Ross

8th Grade

1st place - Swan by Elizabeth Mitchell
2nd place - Eye of a Bobcat by Lluvia Flores
3rd place - Reflecting Thirst by Ethan David

Honorable Mention - Neverland by Kyrsley Hernandez

9th Grade

1st place – Honeybee by Seth Jackson
2nd place – Raccoon by Emily Akers
3rd place – Together by Hendricks

Honorable Mention - Into the Wild by Hannah Jackson

10th Grade

1st place - Goliath by Avery Henley
2nd place - Reds Grandma house by Gautami Lohakare
3rd place - Serenity by Lifted David

Honorable Mention - Trout Adventure by Dominic Sellers
Honorable Mention - Bird by Sadie Akers

11th Grade

1st place - Full of Nature by Mimi Ryall
2nd place - Natural State by Rylee Smith
3rd place - Cutthroat trout by Sidney Wire

Honorable Mention - Beetle life by Hannah Penn

12th Grade

1st place - Red-winged blackbird at a Stream by Daye (Catherine) Kwon
2nd place - The Herron Family by Karissa Herron
3rd place - Swamp at Golden Hour by Brenna Metts

Honorable Mention - Arkansas nature by Raphael Delgadillo 

Best in Show (two pieces tied)

Goliath Colored by Avery Henley, 10th Grade

Full of Nature by Mimi Ryall, 11th Grade

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