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State-Fish Art Contest

Date Updated: January 6, 2014

Alabama Students Can Win a National Fish Art Contest

Doug Darr
Aquatic Education Coordinator
Montgomery, Alabama

Each year Wildlife Forever conducts a national State-Fish Art Contest each year. Alabama’s State Freshwater Fish is the largemouth bass, and Alabama's State Saltwater Fish is the "fighting tarpon."  Alabama students may also create state fish of other states.  Winners and second and third places will be chosen in four age groups: grades 1 to 3, grades 4 to 6, grades 7 to 9 and grades 10 to 12.  Contest entries must be sent to Wildlife Forever, and postmarked on or before March 31. Except for the youngest group, entries must include a one-page composition about the fish.

Chastin Hall won the Seventh to Ninth Grade State-Fish Art ContestIn 2013, Vicki Wang, a student at Barbara Keel Art School in Auburn, won the Kindergarten to third grade award for the second year.  Jocelyn Wand and Grace He were awarded second and third place respectively.  For grades 4-6, Rachel Tao, also of Barbara Keel Art School, took first place.  Isaac Stubbs and Lee Farrow garnered second and third place.  Chastin Hall of Cleveland High School won in the 7th to 9th grade division, with Jenna Moore and Ethan Gentry finishing behind.  Falkville High School's Heather Henderson took top honors in the oldest division. Christopher Carter and Laura Dube won second and third place, repectively.

Wang's artworkEach of the Alabama winners in the 2012 contest came from the Barbara Keel Art School in Auburn, Alabama.  For the youngest group, Vicki Wang was the winner. Second and third place went to Andrew Holmes and Aron Stainbrook, respectively.  For grades 4-6, Hannah Fox was the winner. Second and third place went to Eric Wang and Riley Foster, respectively. For grades 7-9, Samantha Bell was the winner. Second and third place went to Maya Bian and Rei Zhang, respectively. For the oldest group, Cathy Shenwas the winner. Second and third place went to Rocio Santacruz and Stephanie Bissett, respectively.

The 2011 winners drew largemouth bass and bluegill.  Hannah Willson is in the Sixth Grade and drew Alabama's State Freshwater fish, a largemouth bass; she is in the Barbara Keel Art School in Auburn.  Sam Darring is in St. Patrick School in Robersdale; he chose to draw a colorful bluegill.  Bluegill are the State-Fish of Illinois, and they are the most common fish in Alabama.  Christina Rodes is a senior at Brebaker Technology Magnet High School in Montgomery; she drew a largemouth bass in black and white. 

In 2010, the grades 4-6 winner was Maya Bian with a drawing of a largemouth bass jumping to catch a dragonfly. The "Fighting Tarpon" was captured by Bonny Chen to win for grades 7-9.  The grade 10-12 winner was a familiar one; Sabrina Steuber won the 2007 competition at a younger division.

The 2009 Alabama's state-fish art winners were spread throughout the state.  Madelyn Howard, who is from Citronelle and attends, won for grades 4-6. Taylor Perkins, a student at Magnet School in Montgomery won by drawing a largemouth bass chasing a crankbait.  Anna Riley, who is from Hoover and studies at the Birmingham School of Fine Arts, drew upon her creativity and sketched a pair largemouth bass as part of the food chain.

In 2008, north Alabama dominated the Alabama fish art contest winners.  Connor Holcomb of Crossville won with a drawing of a largemouth bass hooked on a spinnerbait.  Connor also won in 2007.  For grades 7-9, Saumer Neely won with another bass drawing.  With a revision in rules, Hanna Foushee of Odenville won with her artwork of a sailfish. Connery Carson, 2005 Best of Show State Fish Art Contest Winner from Alabama2007 Alabama state fish art winners were Connor Holcomb from Crossville for grades 4-6; Sabrina Steuber from Lee Arts Magnet High School, Huntsville, for grades 7-9; and Joseph Brooks from New Hope High School for grades 10-12. The Alabama winners in 2006 were Belinda Patterson of Birmingham (grades 4-6), Fellycia Karana of Montgomery (grades 7-9) and Blake Funderburke of Odenville (grades 10-12). 

Alabama’s 2005 winners included the "Best of Show" winner, homeschooler Connery Carson of Birmingham. Other 2005 winners were Alexis Sylvester (grades 4-6) and David Duggan (grades 7-9). The Alabama winners for 2004 were Phillip Estes (grades 4-6), Ashley Anderson (grades 7-9) and Megan Graves of Hartselle (grades 10-12). The Alabama winners for 2003, shown below, were Kalee Reid of Morris (grades 4-6), Megan Graves of Hartselle (grades 7-9), and Chad Griffith of Fairhope (grades 10-12). Alabama winners during 2002 were Gunnar Pierce, Megan Graves, and Joseph Graves.

Contest entries must be 8-1/2-inch by 11-inch or 9-inch by 12-inch horizontal artwork without a mat, frame, cover sheet or border.  Art techniques may include scratch-board, pointillism, chalk, charcoal, dry brush, watercolor, crosshatch, lead, collage, linoleum printing, or crayon.  Contestants using chalk, charcoal, or lead should seal it with an adhesive.  The students must also write a one-page composition on their subject. The essay should not exceed one page, and they should discuss the characteristics of the fish, its state, habitat, behavior, or efforts to conserve it.  Entries must include an entry form and be postmarked their entry by March 31.

Complete rules, entry forms and more information about the State-Fish are available from Wildlife Forever or the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. Wildlife Forever may be contacted by telephone toll-free at 1-877-FISHART, through the Internet at www.statefishart.com.  The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division may be contacted by telephone at 1-334-242-3471, through the Internet at via email to Doug Darr, or by writing to: 64 N. Union St., Montgomery, AL 36130.

The State-Fish Art Contest gives students a chance to use their imagination about what happens underwater.  Students also learn about nature.

Alabama 2002 Winners
Gunnar Pierce Grades 4-6
Megan Graves Grades 7-9
Joseph Graves Grades 10-12

Alabama 2001 Winners
Eddy Levin Grades 4-6
No Entries Grades 7-9
Joseph Graves Grades 10-12

Alabama 2000 Winners
Eddy Levin Grades 4-6
John Sanford Grades 7-9
Joseph Graves Grades 10-12

Official Web site of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
©2008 Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources   |   64 N. Union Street, Suite 468 - Montgomery, Alabama 36130