T-Shirt Art Winners Announced in Youth Birding Competition

Social Circle, GA
Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 09:45

Four budding bird artists have been selected as T-shirt Art Contest winners in Georgia’s 14th annual Youth Birding Competition, the state Department of Natural Resources announced today.

A barn owl drawing by Kaichen Guo, an 11th-grader at Lambert High School in Suwanee, led the contest’s record-breaking group of 272 entries. As grand-prize winner, the 18-year-old will receive a $100 Michaels gift card and have his artwork featured on T-shirts at the Youth Birding Competition later 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 DNR’s Wildlife Conservation Section. “Birds are a great focus since they’re beautiful, fun to watch and easy to find.”

To encourage wildlife conservation, awareness and appreciation of animals 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 26 to 5 p.m. April 27, ending in a banquet at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center near Mansfield. Registration for the birding competition closed March 31.

Kaichen Guo’s art entry also led the art contest’s High School division. Other division winners included:

  • Primary (pre-K through second grade): purple finch by Olivia Wang, 8, from The Westminster Schools in Atlanta.
  • Elementary (third-fifth grade): cedar waxwing by Danhui (Hannah) Wang, 10, from Sharon Elementary in Suwanee.
  • Middle School (sixth-eighth grade): bald eagle by Alston Li, 12, from Riverwatch Middle School in Suwanee.

All division winners this year are after-school students at SKA Academy of Art and Design in Duluth, a testament to the facility’s training and the students’ talent. Contest submissions represented 57 public, private and home schools statewide. Entries were judged by a four-person panel including a DNR biologist, two artists and a graphic designer. Judges do not see a participant’s name, school or hometown.

All entries will be displayed and division winners honored during the awards banquet April 27 at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center. The winner of a new award for the best artwork by a birding team participant also will be revealed at the banquet.

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

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