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Bloomington, MN 55425
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2012 Minnesota Endangered Species Youth Art Contest

Rules and Guidelines

Drawing of whooping crane.  Semi-finalist in 2011 National Endangered Species Day art contest.

Whooping Crane/Lonely
By Chiupong Edison

Contest Winners Announced!

View the winning entries


The deadline for submitting entries to the contest was April 20, 2012.


The Minnesota Endangered Species Youth Art Contest provides students with an opportunity to learn about endangered and threatened species in their state, and to express their knowledge and support for conservation through art work. This contest is organized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Twin Cities Ecological Services Field Office.  It is the first of what we plan to be an annual youth art contest.


The Minnesota Youth Art Contest is also held in conjunction with and to support Endangered Species Day - a day to celebrate our nation’s wildlife and wild places. Started in 2006 by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day is an opportunity to learn about and to actively show support for endangered species conservation. The art contest is an integral part of celebrating Endangered Species Day, May 18, 2012



Submission Date

All entries must be postmarked by April 20, 2012 - - the contest has closed.



Contest Eligibility – Who May Participate?

All K-12 students attending public, private, or home schools in Minnesota are eligible to participate.  Only one entry per student is accepted.



Subject Matter

Artwork must highlight one federally listed endangered or threatened species found in Minnesota. Information and photos of Minnesota’s endangered and threatened wildlife and plants are on our website at  The list of eligible species (Minnesota’s 11 federally listed threatened and endangered species) is provided under “Eligible Species.” 


Note! The bald eagle and gray wolf are not included in the list of eligible species.



Entry Requirements


  • The physical size of submitted art work must be 8.5" x 11" or 9" x 12" and less than ¼" thick.
  • Image must be a live portrayal of one or more of Minnesota’s native endangered or threatened species (refer to eligible species list: Federally Threatened and Endangered Species in Minnesota).
  • Artistic liberties may be taken as long as the depiction is a recognizable endangered or threatened species.
  • There should be no border around the image.
  • Entries should not be matted, mounted, laminated, framed or folded.
  • A loose detachable cover sheet may be laid over the art face to protect it during shipping. Chalk and pastel entries should be sprayed with a fixative to safeguard art work.
  • The entry may be multi-color, black and white, or a single color; it may be rendered in ink, paint, pastel, crayon, marker, or pencil.
  • Techniques may include scratch-board, airbrush, linoleum printing, paper collage, dry brush, crosshatch, pointillism. No photography, weak pencil, or computer-generated art will be accepted. Computers or other mechanical devices may not be used in creating artwork.
  • No lettering, words, signatures or initials may appear on the front of the design. Such markings will result in disqualification.
  • Design entries must be entrant's original, hand-drawn creation and may not be traced or copied from published photographs or other artists' works.
  • One entry per student is accepted.
  • Completed entry form should be affixed to the back of the artwork.
  • Entries must be postmarked by April 20, 2012.



Drawing of Karner blue butterflies.  Semi-finalist in National 2011 Endangered Species Day art contest

Karner Blue Butterfly
By Jaclyn Ralston


Using References to Prepare Your Entry

Scenes should depict animals and plants in their natural habitat; for example, western prairie fringed orchid should be shown in a prairie. Entrants may rely on photographs or published images as guides. However, especially when references are used for the subject(s), the entry must be the entrant's own creation and idea. Students must not reproduce other artists’ visual images for the purpose of presenting them as their own creative work. For some ideas on how to create your artwork, read the article, Have Fun Painting Ducks in the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer (September-October 2009).  Learn as much as you can about your selected species.  Our hope is that you to learn about Minnesota’s rarest animal and plant species and their habitats. 




Winners will be chosen in four categories: K-Grade 2, Grades 3-6, Grades 7-9, and Grades 10-12. First, second, and third place winners will be selected from each category this year. From these, one overall state winner will be selected. Contest entries will be evaluated by a panel of 5 judges, including artists and conservationists. Contest winners will be notified before the end of the current school year (May 2012).


The art will be judged on the basis of:


  • 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 art work.
  • Expression: How imaginatively the work conveys an idea or emotion.



Conservation Message

Students are encouraged, but not required, to write a short conservation message that expresses the spirit of what they have learned through classroom discussions, research, or planning for their Minnesota Endangered Species Art Contest entry. Please limit the length of the conservation message to the space provided on the Entry Form.


The Conservation Messages (with authors cited) may be used to promote future contests or used in association with the artwork to promote threatened and endangered species conservation.




Each winner will receive a plaque and Visa Gift Card. Visa Gift Cards will be awarded in $100, $50, and $25 denominations for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each category. The contest’s grand prize winner will receive a $250 Visa Gift Card and plaque.


The top 20 pieces of artwork will exhibited at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and at other selected National Wildlife Refuges in Minnesota.  Other exhibition venues throughout Minnesota are also planned.




Artwork will not be returned to schools or participants. Through submission of artwork, entrants and their legal guardians grant non-exclusive reproduction and publication rights to the works submitted, which will not be returned. Though the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will attempt to treat all submitted work with the utmost care, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is not responsible for any damage or loss that may occur during the sending of entries through the mail. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will have permission to use artwork for non-profit educational purposes.




The deadline for submissions is April 20, 2012.


Entries should be sent to:


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
ATTN: Endangered Species Day Art Contest
4101 American Boulevard East
Bloomington, MN 55425-1665


Direct questions to:


Kim Mitchell at 612-713-5337 or

Nick Rowse at 612-725-3547, ext. 2210 or


Entry form



Eligible Species

Please submit an entry featuring one of the species listed below. 


Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis)


Piping plover (Charadrius melodus)


Whooping crane (Grus americanus)


Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka)


Higgins eye pearlymussel (Lampsilis higginsii)


Winged mapleleaf mussel (Quadrula fragosa)


Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis)


Leedy's roseroot (Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi


Minnesota dwarf trout lily (Erythronium propullans)


Prairie bush-clover (Lespedeza leptostachya)


Western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara)




Minnesota Art Contest

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Last updated: February 11, 2016