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News Release
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May 14, 2007

State Fish-Art Contest Winners Announced

ATHENS, Texas—Winners in the Texas division of the 2007 State-Fish Art Contest have been announced by Wildlife Forever and the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, the sponsoring organizations.

First place in the grades 4-6 category went to Stanislav Nedzelskyi of Keller, Texas, a home-schooled sixth grader. His acrylic drawing of two Guadalupe bass is titled “The Underwater Meeting.”

Nikita Samarin of Victoria won the grades 7-9 category with “Down in the Blue,” a black-and-white pencil drawing of a catfish. Samarin attends Profit Magnet High School in Victoria. His art teacher is Melanie Burns.

Winner of the grades 10-12 category was Clayton Bowen of Eagle Lake. He attends Rice High School in Altair, where his art instructor is Debbie Christ. Bowen’s watercolor shows a Guadalupe bass diving into the water and is titled “Splashin’ Bass.”

The Texas division of the national contest is headquartered at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens. Initial judging takes place at TFFC, and winning entries are sent to Wildlife Forever headquarters in Brooklyn Center, Minn, for judging at the national level. Results of the national contest will be announced at the State-Fish Art Expo July 21-22 at the Mall of America, where all winning artwork will be on display.

National awards to be announced at the July expo include Best of Show for the top three pieces of artwork in each grade category and the Art of Conservation Stamp Award. Winner of the Art of Conservation Stamp Award will be reproduced as a stamp for sale to collectors; proceeds will be used to fund conservation education and aquatic restoration projects across America.

“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 the good stewardship of fish and wildlife habitat.”

Second place in the grades 4-6 category went to Jessica Zhuge of Pearland. Third place was won by Rama Imad of Houston. Earning honorable mentions were Elizabeth Donaldson, Athens; Stephanie Nguyen, Ft. Worth; Craig McCain, Kerrville; Mitchell Byrum, Spring; Mario Fernandez, Clint; Peter Young, Keller; and Ethan West, Fredericksburg.

In grades 7-9, the second-place winner was Amalie Arambula of Mabank. Third place went to Jesus Gudino of Pasadena. Honorable mentions were awarded to Keelye Smith, Waco; Matthew McMahon, Payne Springs; Taylor Walker, Sherman; Kristen Stock, Cuero; Billy Dyson, Winnsboro; Francisco Treviño, Pasadena; and Bobby Aschenbach, Pasadena.

In grades 10-12, Kenneth McDaniel of Angleton took second place, and Tiana Hargrave of Athens won third. Honorable mentions included Dean Quach, Houston; Miranda Hargrave, Athens; Laela Armstrong, Athens; Mario Reyna, Pasadena; Kaitlin Andress, Athens; William Brock, Bremond; and Kevin Hopper, Athens.

Educators and students in Texas have embraced the State-Fish Art Contest so enthusiastically that the number of entries from Texas alone, 570, amounts to about one-fourth of the entries for the entire country.

To enter the contest, students create an illustration of an officially recognized state fish and write a composition about its behavior, habitat and efforts to conserve it. The Texas state fish is the Guadalupe bass, but contestants may depict any state fish of their choice. Entries are due at TFFC March 31 of each year. For contest details visit the TFFC web site.

Wildlife Forever is a non-profit multi-species conservation organization dedicated to conserving America’s wildlife heritage. Wildlife Forever has funded conservation projects in all 50 states. It 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 Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, The Art Institutes International Minnesota, Mall of America, Minnesota Twins, North American Fishing Club, Rapala, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the U.S. Forest Service Eastern Region.

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LH 2007-05-14


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