ATHENS, Texas (KETK) – The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center has announced the Texas Division of Wildlife Forever Fish Art Contest winners for 2022 and a Hawkins native took first place in the K-3 category.
The Fish Art Contest is part of an international conservation education program designed to inspire young people’s interest in fish, fishing and fishing. The program encourages K-12 students to submit original artwork of any fish and an essay or poem (Grades 4-12) about the participant’s fish entrance, habitat, or his efforts to keep it.
“The Fish Art Contest does a wonderful job of exposing Texas students to the wonders of fish and fisheries resources through the nexus of art,” said Tom Lang, director of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. “We always look forward to that time of year when we are once again in awe of the exceptional work and artistic interpretations of these young Texans.”
This year, judges from the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center chose the top 12 out of 243 total entries. These top 12 works of art will be featured in the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center and in the 2023 Texas Fish Art Calendar.
In the K-3 category, the winners were: first place, Jackson White by Hawkins; Second place Ethan Luo from Coppell; Third place, Aarya Doddapaneni of Dallas.
In the Grades 4-6 category, the winners were: First place, Emma Adams of Keller; Second place, Seha Jeong of Lewisville; Third place, Rohan Velma of Irving.
In the Grades 7-9 category, the winners were: First place, Judy Yang from Houston; Second place, Claire Liv from Coppell; Third place, Saanvi Mhatre of Houston.
In the Grades 10-12 category, the winners were: first place, Diya Hegde of Irving; Second place, Alice Won from Flower Mound; Third place, Cindy Wang from Dallas.
The first-place winners in each category will advance to the national level and compete against winners from other states.
The scholarships for the first, second and third place winners from Texas are provided by the 2020 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest. The scholarships for grades 10-12 are $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place, and $500 for third place. Prizes in tiers 4–6 and 7–9 are $200 for first, $150 for second, $100 for third. In the K-3 division, prizes are $100 for first, $75 for second, $50 for third.
Scholarships for Texas winners are supplemented by additional support provided by the William E. Armentrout Foundation and the Friends of Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.
“We have a unique opportunity to celebrate the talents of our Texas students, our beautifully diverse species of fish, and the hard work of our biologists who protect these resources,” said Kate Barkalow, Education and Interpretation Coordinator. . “At the end of our Fish Art Contest, the TFFC hosts a celebration for our State Finalists, their teachers, and their families on Free Fishing Day. Here they can see their work on display, learn about our aquatic resources, what it takes to conserve them and go fishing, some for the first time! None of this would be possible without the help of our sponsors. We believe that through the Texas Fish Art Contest, a new generation of stewards is being created.
Educators interested in having their students enter the 2023 competition can find information here.
The Fish Art Contest is a Wildlife Forever project. Located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, Wildlife Forever is a nonprofit, multi-species conservation organization dedicated to conserving America’s wildlife heritage. Working at the local 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.
Click here to see the winning artwork.