As we continue to celebrate the 150th year of your National Rifle Association, I want to highlight the annual NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest. This contest encourages young people to nurture their interest for the visual arts, hunting and wildlife conservation. The 2020 winners were selected last fall, and for the first time, submissions were sent in electronically. Every year, I look forward to seeing the incredible entries submitted from all over the United States.
Since its inception in 1987, the NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest has challenged young artists to create exceptional works of art depicting North American wildlife. Entries must portray any North American game bird or animal that may be legally hunted or trapped. Open to any student in grades 1 through 12, including home-schooled children, the contest does not require NRA membership to participate.
For students who are interested in hunting and wildlife, this contest is an outlet for creative talent, practicing artistic techniques and refining wildlife identification skills through the creation of original works. The goal has always been to foster young artists’ enthusiasm for the outdoors by honing animal identification skills, along with expanding their knowledge regarding the continent’s indigenous wildlife. Over the years, it has resonated with young artists, who must carefully study an animal and hone their techniques to not only accurately depict a species, but also to give their entry life. The contest also reinforces the positive effects of hunting and wildlife conservation with the public at large.
During the 2020 contest, a total of $7,000 in cash prizes were distributed. Entries are divided into four categories based on grade level: Category I (1st – 3rd), Category II (4th – 6th), Category III (7th – 9th) and Category IV (10th – 12th). Judges select first-, second- and third-place entries from each category to receive prizes of $750, $500 and $250, respectively. Additionally, the Best in Show recipient, selected from the entries across all four categories, receives a $1,000 grand prize.
Ten-year-old FayFay He of Chandler, Ariz., is the 2020 NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest Best in Show winner. He submitted a scene of an elk herd crossing a river that really wowed our judges. Congratulations to He, along with all the other award winners!
You can see all of the 2020 winners, as well as details on how to enter the 2021 contest, at artcontest.nra.org.