Young artists interested in Californian ecology have a new outlet through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The state agency recently announced the California Invasive Species Youth Art Contest, which is open to children in grades two through 12.
This year’s theme is “United to Fight Invasive Species”, reflecting the need for all Californians to work together to prevent the spread and impacts of invasive species.
“The Youth Art Competition is an opportunity for students to combine science with artistic expression while learning about an important environmental issue,” said Elizabeth Brusati, environmental specialist with the program on CDFW Invasive Species, in a press release. “We want young people to look for ways to stop the spread of invasive species. Helpful actions could include choosing native plants for landscaping, not releasing unwanted pets into the wild, to report sightings of invasive species and to clean clothing and equipment to prevent organisms from moving unintentionally from place to place.”
CDFW’s Invasive Species Program will present the contest in conjunction with California’s Invading Species Week of Action, which runs June 4-12 this year.
California Invasive Species Action Week aims to raise awareness of invasive species issues and encourage public participation in the fight against invasive species and their impacts on our state’s natural resources and biodiversity.
There are three age categories for youth in grades 2-4, 5-8, and 9-12. All types of media are welcome and encouraged, including (but not limited to) drawings, paintings, animations, comics, videos, and PSAs. Nominations should reflect this year’s theme.
The top three winners in each age category will receive prizes and have their entries announced on CDFW’s social media channels.
Additional details and inspiration, including winning entries from previous years, can also be found on the CDFW website (wildlife.ca.gov).
The deadline for art contest entries is April 1st. Completed entries and entry forms must be submitted electronically. Submission instructions can be found on the CDFW website.
Stamp Art Contest Winner Announcement
Speaking of state contests, the winner was announced during the 2021-2022 California Highlands Bird Stamp Art Contest.
It wasn’t a Californian who won, but rather Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind., whose mountain quail painting will be used as the official design for this year’s California Upland Game Bird Stamp.
It was a sweet victory for Klinefelter, who previously placed first in the 2019-20, 2018-19 and 2017-18 California Highlands Bird Stamp Art Contests, as well as the Art Contest of California duck stamps 2020-21.
The jury was drawn to Klinefelter’s realistic depiction of the mountain quail, noting the vibrant color and excellent proportions and commenting on the precision of the quails’ plumes and the lifelike sparkle in the birds’ eyes.
Klinefelter said he found it difficult to get the quails’ perfect proportions and coloring.
“It’s a species that we don’t see in my area, so it’s a challenge when you don’t see them in real life,” he said in a press release, adding that he had noticed many color variations in the photographs he had studied. .
Jane C. Jordan of Volant, Pennsylvania, won second place in this year’s contest. Erik Fleet of Julian, Calif., placed third. Armando Abedoy II of Whittier, California received honorable mention.
For hunters, the physical stamp has been replaced with the Upland Game Bird Validation, which is required for hunting migratory and upland resident game birds in California. The stamp is still produced and made available free of charge to hunters upon request.
CDFW sells approximately 165,000 upland game bird validations and distributes approximately 24,000 stamps each year. Funds generated from upland bird validation sales are directed towards upland bird-related conservation projects, hunting opportunities, public outreach and education.