2024 General Rules and Guidelines
We welcome artists to create and submit an original piece of art (not photography) 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.
The subject focus of 2024’s artwork is the Eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius putorius) and young forest habitat. The Eastern spotted skunk is a relative of the very commonly seen striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), 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—hardwood forests with dense understory growth, probably to provide protection from predators. They’ve been known to den in tree cavities and in underground burrows. 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
- overall impression
Rules and Guidelines:
- Complete submission form including uploading a photo of your artwork, then send us your artwork (details below).
- Contest judges and their immediate relatives are ineligible to submit entries.
- Any artistic style or medium accepted, except for photography, but it must be two-dimensional art, able to hang on a wall. Design may also include DWR’s Restore the Wild logo (file available here), but this is not required.
- Each artist may submit no more than one original work.
- Each submission must be an original work of the artist’s own creation. While photographs and published images may be used as references, the work submitted must be original and not a copy.
- Artists may submit artwork to one of the following categories:
- Natural History Illustration – Artists should create realistic scenes depicting the species in its natural habitat. Judges will be looking for a piece of art that celebrates Virginia’s wild spaces and Restore the Wild’s mission to restore and create natural habitats vital to the survival of Virginia’s wildlife. The Spotted Skunk must be the dominant feature/ obvious focus of the design and be anatomically accurate. It should also be noticeably larger than any other elements. Artists are encouraged to include other terrestrial wildlife species that may be found in the Spotted Skunk’s habitat, but again, the Spotted Skunk should be the primary focus. Any plants or other wildlife species depicted should be of those native to Virginia and relevant to the Spotted Skunk’s natural habitat.
- Youth (ages 10 and under) – Artists should create scenes depicting the Eastern spotted skunk in its natural habitat and celebrating Restore the Wild’s mission to restore and create natural habitats vital to the survival of Virginia’s wildlife. The Eastern spotted skunk must be the dominant feature in the design. The species should be noticeably larger than any other elements. Artists are encouraged to include other wildlife species that may be found in the Eastern spotted skunk’s habitat, but again, the Eastern spotted skunk should be the primary focus. Any specific plant or other wildlife species depicted should be of those native to Virginia and relevant to Eastern spotted skunk habitat.
- Youth (ages 11–16) – Artists should create scenes depicting the Eastern spotted skunk in its natural habitat and celebrating Restore the Wild’s mission to restore and create natural habitats vital to the survival of Virginia’s wildlife. The Eastern spotted skunk must be the dominant feature in the design. The species should be noticeably larger than any other elements. Artists are encouraged to include other wildlife species that may be found in the Eastern spotted skunk’s habitat, but again, the Eastern spotted skunk should be the primary focus. Any specific plant or other wildlife species depicted should be of those native to Virginia and relevant to Eastern spotted skunk habitat.
- Artistic Expression (no age restriction) – Your creative interpretation of Spotted Skunk and their habitat.
- Winning artworks
- One winner will be selected from each category.
- Winners will be announced at the opening reception on Friday, March 8, 2024.
- Additionally, we will be selecting two pieces of art, one to be used as a Restore the Wild sticker and one to be used as a fine-art print, to help promote Restore the Wild in 2024 and to provide gifts to Restore the Wild members.
- All winners will receive the following recognitions:
- Their winning artwork posted on Facebook and Instagram with the announcement of the artist as the winner of the Restore the Wild annual artwork contest, either tagging them or including a link to their website
- A short article about the artist and their work in the Restore the Wild quarterly newsletter, which will include a link to their website
- A press release
- Recognition of the artist’s accomplishment to the DWR board and the agency
- An announcement of the winning art selection in Virginia Wildlife magazine
- Each artist may submit no more than one original work.
- Work must be two dimensional and no bigger than 20” in either direction (including matte or frame). Work must be ready to hang on the wall. If framed, it must have a wire. If matted, it will be hung with clips. If framed, please do NOT use glass.
- Signatures are not permitted on the front of your artwork.
- Pieces selected for the 2024 exhibition will be at the discretion of the DWR Contest Panel. All art selected will be displayed in the Pine Camp Cultural Arts and Community Center, 4901 Old Brook Rd, Richmond, VA 23227, 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 – Saturday, noon to 4:00 p.m.
- It is the artist’s choice whether the work is for sale or not. If it is for sale, the sales transaction is entirely between the buyer and the artist. Pine Camp Cultural Arts and Community Center will not process the sale or take any commission. Whether the work is for sale or not, it must remain in the exhibition until March 29th.
- Artwork may be collected by the artists or a representative at the end of the exhibition on Friday, March 29, or from DWR Headquarters (7870 Villa Park Drive, Henrico, VA 23228) during business hours (9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Mon-Fri). Any work not collected by the artist or including a pre-paid UPS label provided by the artist will be retained by DWR.
- DWR may reproduce images of the artwork. DWR is authorized to sell, distribute, display, reproduce, or otherwise use said images at its discretion. Artworks selected for use as the Restore the Wild sticker or fine-art print may have the Restore the Wild graphic/text added to it, but not in a way that will obscure any major portion of the works.
- While every effort will be made to handle the work with care and protect it, neither DWR nor Pine Camp Cultural Arts and Community Center will be held accountable for minor damage (e.g. dings, creases, indentations) caused in the process of the exhibition or in transport.
- 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.
- Please direct questions to Andrea Naccarato (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Please include the title of work and confirmation code that was supplied when you submitted your form both on the outside of the packaging and on the back of the artwork itself.
- Each artist not planning to pick up their art must include return shipping with their entries. This shipping must be in the form of a pre-paid UPS shipping label (US Postal Service and FedEx are not acceptable shipping methods). Create a UPS shipping label (or find a local UPS shipping location).
- Please notify the DWR of any changes to your return address by emailing email@example.com. If artwork is not picked up or does not have pre-paid postage provided, artwork will not be returned. Please note that due to the volume of artwork received and the need to carefully pack and re-ship, the return of artwork via shipping may be delayed. Please do NOT include packing material for re-shipping.
Mailing Address for Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources:
Restore the Wild Art: Attention – Andrea Naccarato
P.O. Box 90778
Henrico, VA 23228
Physical Address: 7870 Villa Park Drive, Suite 400, Henrico, VA 23228