Newsroom Midwest Region

April 19, 2012

Valerie Fellows, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 703-358-2285
David Robinson, Director, Endangered Species Day, 619-697-1459
Leda Huta, Executive Director, Endangered Species Coalition, 202-320-6467

National Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest Winners Chosen

Grand Prize Goes to Eagan, Minnesota, Youth

Woodland Caribou, painted by Sky Waters from Minnesota, was selected as the grand prize winner of the 2012 Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest.
Credit: copy from Endangered Species Coalition.

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Coalition, Association of Zoos and Aquariums and Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans proudly announce the winners of the 2012 Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest.  The art contest is an integral part of the seventh annual national Endangered Species Day on May 18, 2012.

This year’s grand prize was awarded to 11-year-old Sky Waters, a fifth-grader from Eagan, Minnesota, for his depiction of a woodland caribou.

“The level of quality and record number of submissions from over 2,100 immensely talented children across the country is inspiring,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “Through art, students are using their imaginations and learning about threatened and endangered species. This creates an enthusiasm for wildlife, instilling a love for nature and the desire to learn how to protect it.”

Young artists from throughout the country entered the annual contest, which is an ideal opportunity to learn about and promote the conservation of endangered species through art.

The winners are:

Grand Prize:
Sky Waters (5th grade)
Eagan, MN

First place winners in grade categories:

Grades K-2:
Jasmine Lee
Freemont, CA

Grades 3-5:
Timothy Erwin
Davis, CA

Grades 6-8:
Meilynn Shi
San Diego, CA

Grades 9-12:
Ella Chen
Quitman, LA

Pauline Chen
Temple City, CA

The winners were chosen by a prestigious panel of artists, photographers, scientists and conservationists, including Wyland, the marine artist; Jack Hanna, host of Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild; David Littschwager, a freelance photographer and regular contributor to National Geographic Magazine; Susan Middletown, a photographer who has collaborated with Littschwager and whose own work has been published in four books; and Tom Sachs, whose work can be found in major museums worldwide.

“It is incredible to see children’s innate love of animals paired with their uninhibited artistic talent producing such inspiring works of art,” said Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition. “We congratulate each winner and also thank all students, parents, teachers, artists, and everyone else who was involved in making this contest a success."

Sky will be honored at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Congressional Reception in Washington, D.C. on May 9, 2012, and have his name engraved on a special trophy. In addition, he will receive an art lesson from Wyland, a plaque, and art supplies. First place category winners will receive a plaque and art supplies.

Forty semifinalists were chosen by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans, which will display the artwork in a special exhibit opening June14, 2012. “We reviewed such a variety of excellent entries from talented young artists from throughout the country; it was difficult to choose even the semifinalists,” stated Ellen Balkin, Education Coordinator at the Ogden Museum. Semifinalists will receive a Certificate of Achievement.

Started in 2006 by the United States Senate, Endangered Species Day is a celebration of our nation’s imperiled plants and wildlife and wild places, with an emphasis on success stories of species recovery.

To see the winning artwork, visit

For more information about the art contest, winners and Endangered Species Day, visit

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