Wildlife Coalition Offers $2,500 to Student Artists

by David Kelley
courtesy photo | Rob Mullen, aboard the “Artful Otter,” painting a scene from Lake Champlain. Rob is one of the nationally recognized wildlife artists participating in the Vermont Wildlife Coalitions Lake Champlain Art Expedition.

GREENSBORO – This October, the Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro will be exhibiting artwork by more than a half dozen of North America’s most renowned wildlife artists. In conjunction with that exhibit, the Vermont Wildlife Coalition Education Fund is offering $2,500 in prizes to students in grades 7 to12 who submit their own works of art depicting Vermont Wildlife.

First prize is $1,000; second prize is $750; third prize is $500; and fourth prize is $250. Student winners will have their work displayed along with the work of the nationally recognized artists.

Participating nationally recognized artists who will be exhibiting their work include Jean Louis Courteau (jeanlouiscourteau.blogspot.com), Cole Johnson (colejohnsonart.com), Rob Mullin (robertpaulgalleries.com/artists/rob-mullen/), Patricia Pepin (patriciapepin.com/gallery.html), John Pitcher, Sue Westin (westinpitcherart.com/johns-archived-works/), John Potter (johnpotterstudio.com/) and Bonnie Rowell (bonniesbotanicalsvt.com/contact).

Many of the works by these renowned artists that will be on display in October at the Highland Center will be “plein air” paintings. Plein air painting is about leaving the studio and getting outdoors to experience the wildlife and landscapes being painted. In this case, the artists are all engaged in an expedition to sail the length of Lake Champlain and to paint scenes of wildlife and wildlife habitat on and around Lake Champlain. The lake is one of Vermont’s most precious natural resources. The artists hope to support and to bring greater public attention to the importance of this priceless resource and the wildlife it supports. The art produced on the expedition will be sold to help support the work of the Vermont Wildlife Coalition’s Education Fund.

The Vermont Wildlife Coalition’s Education Fund is intended to encourage young Vermonters to get outside and to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of Vermont’s landscapes, lakes, rivers and streams and, in particular, Vermont’s wildlife and wildlife habitat. The hope is that by encouraging students to recreate those scenes in works of art others will likewise be able to share and appreciate Vermont’s natural resources.

To help celebrate Vermont wildlife and these works of art, these artists will be joined at the Highland Center for the Arts on October 17 in a concert by musicians including Tish Hinojosa from Austin, Texas; Dave Mallett, one of New England’s native sons and a nationally renowned singer/songwriter; as well as Dave’s sons, Luke and Will Mallett, who have become one of our country’s most popular new indie folk/country bands.More information about the student art competition can be found at  vtwildlifecoalition.org/artcontest. More information about the October 17 concert can be found at vtwildlifecoalition.org/concert.