ATHENS— The 2018 Texas Division of the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest first place winners include Juliann Dooley of Warren for grades 10-12, Madeleine Alexander of Keller for grades 7-9, Lauren Yue of Coppell for grades 4-6, and Sanjitha Yeruva of Irving for grades K-3.
The State-Fish Art Contest is part of a conservation education program designed to interest youth in fishing by encouraging K-12 students to submit original artwork of any officially designated state fish and an essay or poem about the participant’s fish entry, its habitat or efforts to conserve it. This year, judges at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) chose the top 12 out of 488 total entries from Texas students.
“All of the young artists who submitted entries this year demonstrated immense creativity and imagination in their depictions of state fish,” said Zoeann Stinchcomb, TFFC Education Director. “We hope that by exploring the state fish and their habitat through art, these students are becoming a new generation of conservationists and stewards that will help protect and preserve our natural resources well into the future.”
In the K-3 category, winners are: First Place, Sanjitha Yeruva of Irving; Second Place, Cecilia Chen of Southlake; Third Place, Sophia Liu of Coppell.
In the grades 4–6 category, winners are: First Place, Lauren Yue of Coppell; Second Place, Kadence “Kady” Martin of Forth Worth; Third Place, Tarini Gupta of Irving.
In the grades 7–9 category, winners are: First Place, Madeleine Alexander of Keller; Second Place, Sophia Zhukova of Dallas; Third Place, Ashley Zhang of Coppell.
In the grades 10–12 category, winners are: First Place, Juliann Dooley of Warren; Second Place, Isaac March of Grapevine; Third Place, Christa Gorman of Irving.
Scholarships in the grades 10–12 division are $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place and $500 for third place. Awards in the 4–6 and 7–9 grade levels are $200 for first, $150 for second and $100 for third. In the K–3 division awards are $100 for first, $75 for second and $50 for third. Scholarships for Texas winners are provided by fund raised through Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, with additional support for the contest provided by the William E. Armentrout Foundation and Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.
All winners and honorable mentions and their families and teachers will be invited to a free day at TFFC for an awards ceremony and luncheon June 23, where winners will receive their cash prizes and winners and honorable mentions will receive a set of free fishing gear.
First-place entries advanced to the national level and compete against winners from other states. Although none of the Texas entries won a national first place prize, the first place Texas winners will go up against the rest of the state entries for a 2018 People’s Choice Award, which is voted on by the public online throughout July and in person at a location that will be announced at a later date by Wildlife Forever.
Honorable mentions for Texas students in grades K–3 are: Ivory Vanover of Keller, Meghana Akarapu of Irving, Taylor Davis of Coppell, Hyunjeong Roh of Coppell, Anya Hegde of Irving, Dmitry Bondarchuk of Grapevine and Athalia Kyrushok of Irving.
Honorable mentions in grades 4–6 are: Jaden Whisneant of Silsbee, Jonah Kim of Flower Mound, Alice Won of Flower Mound, Arjun Pemmasani of Westlake, Richard Li of Addison, Alanna Sun of Coppell and Jamie Yoon of Flower Mound.
Honorable mentions for grades 7–9 are: Joshua Lee of Warren, Mya Caraway of Warren, Olivia Park of Dallas, Cady Lambert of Dallas, Maughan Rachel of Keller, Kristine Kim of Cedar Park and Ashley Mitchell of Irving.
Honorable mentions for grades 10–12 are: August Dooley of Warren, Harley McNeel of Village Mills, Ely Tafoya-Cozine of Woodville, Stacy Hong of Irving, Yougone Lee of Carrolton, Kevin Juarez of Pasadena and Yue Taira of Irving.
Educators who wish to have their students enter the 2019 contest can download the free “State-Fish Art Contest Lesson Plan” at www.statefishart.com. The interdisciplinary curriculum includes lessons and activities, a species identification section profiling each state fish, a glossary and student worksheets. Entries must be postmarked by March 31 each year.
The State-Fish Art Contest is a project of Wildlife Forever. Located in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Wildlife Forever is a nonprofit multispecies conservation organization dedicated to conserving America’s wildlife heritage. Working at the grassroots level, Wildlife Forever has funded conservation projects in all 50 states, committing millions of dollars to “on-the-ground” efforts. Wildlife Forever supports habitat restoration and enhancement, land acquisition, research and management of fish and wildlife populations.
To view the winning artwork online, visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/education/fish_art/artwork.phtml. To download high resolution images of the artwork, visit the TPWD Flickr page at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/texasparkswildlife/sets/72157696636049665/.