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Press Release

2008 State Fish Art Contest Winners Announced

October 31, 2008

Alabama’s winners of the Tenth Annual State-Fish Art Contest are announced following competition among talented young artists statewide. 2008 winners are:
Grades 4-6: Connor Holcomb – Crossville, Crossville School
Grades 7-9: Saumer Neely – Birmingham, Booker T Washington School
Grades 10-12: Hanna Foushee – Odenville, St. Clair County High School

Winning artwork is displayed on the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Web site at

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources partners with Wildlife Forever for this art contest that uses art to educate a new generation of aquatic resource conservationists.

The nationwide contest encourages young artists to draw and learn about their state fish and fish from other states as well, and to compete for art scholarships to attend the Art Institutes International Minnesota. The contest is open to all students in grades 4-12. Entries are separated into three grade categories: 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Winning contestants from every state are honored in each category.

“Wildlife Forever is pleased to honor the talented young artists, educators and parents who make the State-Fish Art Contest a memorable event,” said Douglas H. Grann, President and CEO of Wildlife Forever. “Together, we are using art to empower a new generation of conservationists. By sharing their fish art with family, friends and the general public, our young people are becoming ambassadors for good stewardship of fish and wildlife habitat.”

Winning entries from each state were selected by a prestigious panel of judges in the three grade categories. Judges for the 2008 State-Fish Art Contest included Charlie Wooley, Regional Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Commissioner Mark Holsten from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Jelena Tosovic from the Art Institutes International Minnesota, Mark Fisher of Rapala Lures, David Frederick of Barr Engineering, and Scott Grieve, Chairman of Wildlife Forever.

To enter the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest, young artists create an illustration of any official state fish and a written composition on its behavior, habitat and efforts to conserve it. Alabama has two state fish for artists to choose from; the largemouth bass is the state freshwater fish and the fighting tarpon is the state saltwater fish.
Educators nationwide have utilized the full-color State-Fish Art Contest Lesson Plan, an interdisciplinary educational supplement specific to aquatic natural resources that includes fishery lessons and activities, a species identification section profiling each state fish, a glossary and student worksheets. The lesson plan can be downloaded free from the State-Fish Art Web site,

Located in Brooklyn Center, Minn., Wildlife Forever is a non-profit multi-species conservation organization dedicated to conserving America’s wildlife heritage. Working at the grassroots level, Wildlife Forever has funded conservation projects in all 50 states, committing millions of dollars to on-the-ground efforts. Wildlife Forever supports habitat restoration and enhancement, land acquisition, research, and management of fish and wildlife populations.

Sponsors for the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest include Bass Pro Shops, Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, Izaak Walton League of America, The Art Institutes International Minnesota, Mall of America, Minnesota Twins, North American Fishing Club, Rapala, Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service Eastern Region, and the Wonders of Wildlife.

For information on the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest, visit The deadline for the 2009 contest is March 31, 2009.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.