T-Shirt Art Winners Announced in Youth Birding Competition

Owl Drawn in Pastel Crayons
Social Circle, GA
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 09:00

Four budding bird artists recently were selected as T-shirt Art Contest winners in Georgia’s 13th annual Youth Birding Competition, the state Department of Natural Resources announced today.

A great horned owl drawing by Alston Li, a sixth-grader at SKA Academy in Duluth, led all 123 contest entries. As grand-prize winner, the 11-year-old will receive a $100 Michaels gift card and will have his artwork featured on T-shirts at the Youth Birding Competition at the end of this month.

Art contest coordinator Linda May praised participants and stressed that the focus “isn’t just about art.”

“It’s about teaching kids to observe and connect with nature,” said May, environmental outreach coordinator for the DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section. “Birds are a great focus since they’re beautiful, fun to watch and easy to find.”

To encourage stewardship, awareness and appreciation of wildlife and their habitats are essential. The contest helps form that foundation through art.

The T-shirt Art Contest is part of the Youth Birding Competition, an annual event in which teams of children and teens try to find as many bird species as possible throughout Georgia in 24 hours. This year, the free bird-a-thon runs from 5 p.m. April 27 to 5 p.m. April 28, ending in a banquet at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center near Mansfield. Registration for the birding competition closed March 31.

Alston Li’s art entry also led the art contest’s Middle School division. Other division winners included:

  • Primary (pre-K through second grade): eastern bluebird by Aleena Huang, 7, of Duluth.  
  • Elementary (third-fifth grade): painted bunting by Alexis Tan, 9, of Duluth.  
  • High School (ninth-12th grade): rose-breasted grosbeak by Leonardo Maduro-Salvarrey, 18, of Duluth.    

All division winners this year are students at SKA Academy of Art & Design, a testament to the school’s training and the students’ talent. Contest submissions represented 39 public, private and home schools statewide. Entries were judged by a four-person panel including a DNR biologist, two artists and a graphic designer. In this “blind” process, judges do not see a participant’s school or hometown.

Entries will be displayed and division winners honored during the awards banquet April 28 at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center. Photos are posted at www.flickr.com/photos/wildliferesourcesdivision in the “YBC T-shirt Art Contest” album.

The birding competition and T-shirt Art Contest are sponsored by DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section, The Environmental Resources Network Inc. or TERN—friends group of the Nongame Conservation Section – and others including the Georgia Ornithological Society and Atlanta Audubon Society.

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