State-Fish Art Expo Coming to Texas
Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center to Coordinate Contest, Host National Event
ATHENS, Texas-The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) has agreed to host the 2010 national State-Fish Art expo next July.
“The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is an ideal location to host the expo,” said TFFC director Allen Forshage. “We have a conference center, aquaria and educational exhibits and stocked fishing ponds on-site. Athens is conveniently located just 1.5 hours southeast of Dallas, and the community fully supports TFFC’s activities.”
For the past three years TFFC has managed the Texas division of the national conservation art contest, and during that time Texas has led the country in the number of entries. Last year 624 Texas students in grades 4-12 submitted entries, a fourth of all the entries nationwide.
“We’re thrilled that Texas, the leading State-Fish Art state, offered to host the expo to highlight the national winners in true Texas style,” said Doug Grann, president of Wildlife Forever, national sponsor of the contest. “By moving the expo to Texas, we hope to inspire other states’ participation and get more students to enter the contest.”
The State-Fish Art contest is open to all students in public, private or home schools and requires submission of a one-page essay and a drawing of an officially recognized state fish. Entry deadline is March 31 each year.
Educators who wish to have their students enter the contest can download the free “State-Fish Art Contest Lesson Plan” at http://www.statefishart.com. The interdisciplinary curriculum includes lessons and activities, a species identification section profiling each state fish, a glossary and student worksheets.
Contest rules, guidelines and entry information can be found at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishart. Additional information can be obtained from the coordinator of the Texas division, Zoe Ann Stinchcomb, at (903) 670-2239 or zoeann [dot] stinchcomb [at] tpwd [dot] state [dot] tx [dot] us.
The public portion of the State-Fish Art Expo will be held July 17, 2010 and will feature fishing, instructional seminars and demonstrations and a display of all the state and national contest winners. Plans are being made for a day-long schedule of events with food booths and outdoor activities and displays that the public can enjoy in addition to viewing the artwork and voting for the People’s Choice Award. Public admission to the expo and related activities will be included with paid admission to TFFC.
One outstanding piece of artwork each year is selected for the Art of Conservation Award, and a commemorative stamp featuring the artwork is produced for sale. Proceeds from sales of the stamp are used to fund conservation projects. In 2007 a drawing of a Guadalupe bass, the Texas state fish, by Eagle Lake student Clayton Bowen, was selected as the Art of Conservation winner. The 2010 winner will be unveiled at the expo.
Support for the Texas division of the contest and the expo are provided by the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, which makes it possible for the top three Texas entries in each grade level to win cash prizes. First place in grades 10-12 wins $1,000; second place $750; third place $500. Prizes in the 4-6 and 7-9 grade levels are $100 for first; $75 for second; $50 for third.
Located in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, 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.