Calling all kids to draw (and honor) their favorite endangered species

January 16, 2019, 12:57 p.m.

Every year, more animals and plants are added to the Endangered Species list. Sadly, some are removed from the list because they've become extinct — animals like George, the last Hawaiian land-snail species, Achatinella apexfulva, who died on Jan. 1.

The Endangered Species Coalition is a national network of conservation, scientific and other organizations that work together to "safeguard and strengthen the Endangered Species Act." In honor of Endangered Species on May 17, the coalition is hosting its annual youth art contest to give kids a chance to show off their artistic skills and also recognize the importance of saving endangered species. In fact that’s last year’s grand prize-winning entry above, a hawksbill sea turtle created by Brandon Xie.

The contest is open to any students (including home-schooled students and those who are part of a youth art program) in kindergarten through 12th grade. Students can choose to draw a species from one of the following four groups: invertebrates, vertebrates, non-flowering plants and flowering plants.

From those groups, "students' artwork must depict a land or ocean-dwelling species that either lives in or migrates through the United States and its waters, or a plant/flower that is found in the United States, and has been placed on the threatened or endangered species list," the rules state on the website.

When thinking about which species to draw or paint, students should consider the following:

  • Concept: How well does the work relate to the endangered species theme?
  • Composition: How well do the elements of line and form work together?
  • Color: How does color enhance the artwork?
  • Expression: How imaginatively does the work convey an idea or emotion?

Students have until March 1 to submit their original artwork. A grand prize winner will be selected along with category winners for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.