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DWR welcomes original art submissions in 2024 Restore the Wild Artwork Competition

Rebecca Barnabi
(© gnagel – stock.adobe.com)

The Department of Wildlife Resources welcomes artist creations and submissions of original pieces of art for the 2024 Restore the Wild Artwork Competition.

Artwork for Restore the Wild should reflect Restore the Wild’s mission to restore and create natural habitats vital to the survival of Virginia’s wildlife.

Photography will not be accepted, and all entries must be received by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources before 5 p.m. on February 2, 2024. Entries postmarked by February 1, 2024 will also be accepted.

All art selected for the competition will be displayed in the Pine Camp Cultural Arts and Community Center, 4901 Old Brook Rd, Richmond, from Friday, March 8 through Friday, March 29.

A public opening reception will be held on Friday, March 8, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibition will then be open to the public daily, Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m.

The subject focus of 2024’s artwork is the Eastern Spotted skunk and young forest habitat. The Eastern spotted skunk is a relative of the very commonly seen striped skunk, but a different creature altogether. While the striped skunk has continuous white stripes extending down its body, the Eastern spotted skunk’s white shows up as broken stripes, or distinct blotches, along its body. Spotted skunks are also smaller than the striped, reaching a maximum weight of one to two pounds.

In Virginia, Eastern spotted skunks are resident in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and west of that area. The species prefers young forest habitat, including hardwood forests with dense understory growth, probably to provide protection from predators. Eastern spotted skunks are listed as a Tier 4 Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Virginia’s Wildlife Action Plan.

A panel of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), and other conservation organizations or artists deemed appropriate by the DWR, will judge all submitted art.

Judges will evaluate entries according to the criteria outlined in these rules and guidelines including, but not limited to accuracy of the subject species and its habitat, composition and esthetic merit, inclusion of any mandatory elements or theme and overall impression.

Complete rules and guidelines are available online.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.