For Immediate Release

Oregon Wild Unveils 2020 Youth Art Contest Winners, Virtual "Walk-Thru" Gallery

May 15, 2020

Today, Oregon Wild unveiled the results of their 2020 Youth Art Contest and debuted the virtual gallery where all the entries would be hosted. Art was submitted from youth artists all across the state in six categories, with a different prompt to encourage learning, imagination, and a deeper connection to Oregon’s wildlands, wildlife and waters. Winners were awarded with a certificate and prize money.


Oregon Wild's Youth Art Showcase

The different ages were separated into categories with different prompts. Children up to 5 years old were given a coloring page of one of Oregon’s most charismatic native species - the gray wolf - while other artists got to create their own animals, and older artists were asked to reflect on examples of balance in nature.

“In a time when so many of us have been staying home to protect the health and safety of our communities, we have been excited to create a positive opportunity for kids and young people to strengthen their connection to the natural world,” said Gaby Diaz, Oregon Wild’s Membership Manager. “It actually surprised us how delightful it was to see young people engage with so much skill and creativity. This really has been one of the highlights of the last few weeks.”


All of the entries received have been placed in a virtual art showcase that can be visited via a desktop computer. Attendees can “walk around” the virtual space and examine individual pieces.

“We wanted to be able to show off the incredible works these young artists submitted, but having a physical gallery not only didn’t make sense in this time of social distancing,” said Jennifer Reynolds, Oregon Wild’s Outreach Associate. “Not only does this virtual space give us the ability to recognize the work of these artists, but it makes it easier for people from across the state to see and appreciate their pieces from their own homes.”

This was Oregon Wild’s first Youth Art Contest. It ran through the month of April.

Age Group & Prompt Artist Art (Click for Bigger Version)

Up to 5

Coloring contest (download the page here)

Sawyer's "Big Poop Wolf" (Age 2)

Sawyer was very excited to use brown to draw, in his words, "big wolf poop!"  He also wanted the sun to be going to bed, and Mt. Hood to be pink!  So the wild is very vibrant (and a little stinky) in this 2 1/2 year old's creative opinion!


Draw one of Oregon's native species. 

Roz's "Coastal Marten" (Age 8)

A beautiful little Martin. I didn’t really draw woods background, but I drew artistic leaves and a flower background. I think he’s really cute. I think Martin’s are really cute so I think I did pretty good.


Oregon has some weird wildlife - giant salamanders, fish that cross the street, and jumping slugs - but what about wildlife that COULD be in Oregon? Create your own Oregon native wildlife and tell us what is special about it and why it loves Oregon.

Bennett's "The Tree Trout" (Age 9)

The tree trout loves Oregon because it is full of trees. It lays seed-filled pods which float up to the shore. The tree trout is highly endangered and you can only find them in the Willamette River.


What is your favorite place outdoors? Beach? Mountains? Rivers? Desert? Make a landscape featuring the plants and animals of your favorite landscape.

Marek's "Forest and Field" (Age 13)

Watercolor painting of a meadow through the forest with Mt. Hood in the background


Keeping nature in balance requires many relationships. For example, beavers create dams, making a home for trout. Otters eat sea urchins, allowing kelp to grow. Wolves help keep elk from overeating certain plants near riverbanks. Create a piece of art that illustrates a relationship that helps keep balance in nature.

Tate's "Fire Ecology" (Age 16)

Because I am a graphic design major at Benson Polytechnic High School, I am Interested In digital art. I chose this medium to illustrate the importance of fire in the environment. On the  left side of the drawing it shows a forest fire and on the right side it shows new growth that comes after.


What does 'wild' mean to you in this time of stress and uncertainty? Why is it important? Create a piece of art that embodies your answer.

Sequoia's "World of Nature" (Age 17)

Often at this time of year we head to the forests, coastlines, mountains, deserts and rivers to touch and be touched by nature. In these strange times, may the interconnectedness of nature allow us fortitude. May our memories of time in nature with loved ones get us through this. May we not resort to isolating, or connecting through technology. May we still return to nature, be it in the forests, or in our own backyards.