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The Vermont Wildlife Coalition (501(c)4 parent organization of the 501(c)3 VT Wildlife Education Fund) is pleased to announce the 2nd. Annual “Give Wildlife a Voice” Vermont Student Art Competition.

The contest idea came from a desire to celebrate Vermont's wildlife while giving students an incentive to explore or deepen their art skills. Claudia Mucklow, a Vermont Wildlife Coalition Board member noted that “With the increase in online learning keeping young people tied to their screens, our Board thought it was important to take a step back from the digital world and celebrate the richness and diversity of wildlife in Vermont.”  We encourage young artists to draw inspiration from their local woods, fields, or even their own backyard. The Vermont Wildlife Education Fund was created with generous support from the Vermont Wildlife Coalition, and the Highland Center for the Arts.

A jury of nationally known, professional wildlife artists will select 40 pieces of art from the entries which will be hung at the Highland Center for the Arts and the Vermont State House, and pick the award winners for ten (10) cash prizes:

1st. Prize: $1,000

2nd. Prize: $750

3rd. Prize: $500

4th Prize: $250

Chelsea Wing Sikora Memorial Award - $200

Five Honorable Mention cash prizes of $100 each

Important Dates:

Submission deadline:  Friday, March 17, 2023, for email submissions.

Notification of Jury Results:  By Monday, March 27, 2023

Delivery of Selected Artwork:  Friday, April 7, 2023

Dates of the Show:  Friday, April 21-Sunday April 30.


Artists must be enrolled in a Vermont School or an accredited home school program in grades 7 - 12.

Artwork must be:

  • 2-D (two-dimensional “flat art”)

  • Of any species of Vermont wildlife.

  • The original work of the student/artist and created by hand (no straight copying from published sources, photographs, or computer work). Note: The judges understand that student artists especially, will sometimes rely on published material for reference (we were all starting out once), but use it as reference for your own work, don’t just copy it. Found material such as parts of photos, fabric, or printed materials may be used if their use constitutes an essentially new image unique to the artist such as collage. 

Artwork may be:

  • In any medium (watercolor, oil, acrylic, pencil, pen, etc.).

  • In any style (representational/realistic, impressionist, abstract, etc.).

Submission Procedures:

  • Students may submit up to 4 pieces of art using the Submission Form link above.

  • All submissions will be by digital image of the art, NOT the artwork itself.

    • Submissions will be judged on the photo images so take care to do the best job of photography as you can.

    • For best results, the image size should be between 1 – 5 MB. Photograph in good, indirect light and/or with your phone or camera on a tripod for a sharp image.  If you do not have a tripod, brace your phone or camera on a bean bag or steady surface to avoid movement.

    • Name the file with your first and last name and the title of the entry

    • Shoot your art straight on (not at an angle), with no distracting background. Shooting against a black or other dark background can reduce glare and reflection. Avoid photographing in direct sunlight to avoid glare. 

Entries must be submitted by Friday, March 17, 2023.  If you have any questions about submitting the form please contact:

Judging Criteria:

  • Execution/technique

  • Originality/creativity

  • Composition/lighting

  • Story/natural history

Note: the judges will factor age differences. There is no preference for any species of wildlife. A sow bug in your backyard (especially with good lighting and composition), can beat battling black bears (especially ones copied from a magazine).

Artwork Delivery Procedures:

The original art of the accepted submissions (Top 40) must be delivered, unframed, to the Highland Center for the Arts by Friday, April 7, 2023.

  • All originals must have a copy of the submission form attached to the back of the artwork or its backing material, OR …

  • For small works and/or unbacked work on paper, carefully, in pencil, write on the back of the artwork:

    • The name of the student.

    • The title of the art.

    • The student’s grade.

    • The student’s school.

    • Phone and/or email contact for the school.

    • Note: especially for work on paper: Do NOT use pens or markers – they can bleed through and damage your work).

Cash award winners will be selected from the Top 40 and announced at the opening of the show. Artwork must be sent to the Highland Center and be displayed in the show to be eligible for any award. All artwork remains the property of the artist.

Artwork that is juried into the show must be shipped to the HCA, with your school as the return address and a copy of the shipping receipt sent to or, if you live close enough to Greensboro and you and/or your parents want to hand-deliver the artwork, you may do so Friday through Sunday Noon - 4:00 pm. Email with a notice that you have hand-delivered your artwork to the HCA and a signed note of receipt from HCA.


Shipping and delivery address:


The Highland Center for the Arts

2875 Hardwick Street

Greensboro, VT 05841

(802) 533-2000

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