By Molly Kirk/DWR
Calling all artists! After a resounding success last year, the Restore the Wild Artwork Competition is returning to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) and calling for artists to submit artwork supporting Restore the Wild’s mission of creating and maintaining habitat to help Virginia’s wildlife thrive. Entries in the contest will be displayed in an exhibition, and winning Restore the Wild Artwork Competition is used to help promote Restore the Wild’s mission.
Last year, more than 100 artists took on the unusual challenge of depicting the Eastern hellbender, an aquatic salamander nicknamed the “snot otter.” This year, we’re trading slime for fur and asking artists to submit art featuring the Eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius). Not to be confused with the common striped skunk ubiquitous to back yards throughout the state, the spotted skunk is a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Virginia and found in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and further west. This species is known for its unique handstand warning posture before it sprays.
Pieces selected for the 2024 Restore the Wild Artwork exhibition will be displayed in the Pine Camp Cultural Arts and Community Center in Richmond from Friday, March 8 until Friday, March 29. On Friday, March 8, there will be a public opening reception, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Thereafter, the exhibition will be open to the public daily, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Artists are invited to submit in the categories of Natural History Illustration, Artistic Expression, Youth 10 & Under, and Youth 11-16. See more details about submissions in the Restore the Wild Artwork Competition Rules and Guidelines. Please note that photography submissions are not allowed.
Virginia has more than 900 species of wildlife whose numbers are in decline mostly because of impacts to their habitat—natural areas that provide necessary food, water, and shelter. DWR is the lead agency in Virginia for the conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitat. DWR’s Restore the Wild initiative allows DWR to expand the work the agency does to preserve, establish, and maintain vital wildlife habitat areas and keep Virginia’s wild places wild. Memberships and donations to Restore the Wild provide funds directly for DWR habitat projects.
Restore the Wild’s Artwork Competition calls for submissions from the public (excluding photography) that reflect Restore the Wild’s mission to restore and create natural habitats vital to the survival of Virginia’s wildlife. Contest judges will evaluate the works not only on their artistic merit, but also on their precision in illustrating the species’ physical characteristics and habitat. Make sure to visit the Artwork Competition Rules and Guidelines for complete details.