The FLY Art Challenge is a student competition that celebrates birds of the New River Gorge through art! Through this program and the spring online exhibit, twenty students have the opportunity as community leaders to raise awareness of bird conservation and diversity of avian species found in this region. Using varied mediums to create handmade art inspired by a bird of the New River Gorge area, all 9th - 12th grade students of Fayette County, WV may enter their art independently, through their school, or through a youth organization. The top five art pieces are framed and put on exhibit at the 2023 New River Birding & Nature Festival. These top five pieces are included in the Festival's silent auction used to raise money to support the Fayette County Education Fund, Inc., a nonprofit organization providing youth programs in Fayette County, West Virginia.
• Who can enter: Any 9 - 12 grade students of Fayette County. Students do not have to enter art through a school.
• Medium: All entries must be an original work of art in a two-dimensional format, 8" x 10" in size. Entry may be created in any art medium type (pencil, ink, acrylic, oil, glass, charcoal, pastel, watercolor, clay, paper, wood, etc.). Computer-generated art is NOT accepted.
• Bird species contest checklist: The bird depicted MUST be a species from this list. Photos of birds can be used as reference but should not be traced or copied.
• Must be art created by hand.
• Quantity: Each student can enter one piece of original, handmade bird art.
• Size: Entry must be two-dimensional art size 8" x 10" ONLY, portrait or landscape in orientation. Thickness of art must be 1/2" or less. Do NOT frame or mat art.
• Art subject: Entry MUST be inspired by a wild bird that lives or migrates through the New River Gorge Region from the provided list. If the art includes a background, it should be representative of the bird’s natural habitat (local forest, river edge, or field) and in the appropriate blooming season. The bird should be the focal point of the art, though appropriate plants from the same habitat may be included in the piece. It is inappropriate for contest entries to include a bird in a cage, on a hand, in a house, or with domestic animals. Please remember that a contest goal is to teach people about the region's diverse bird species through art.
• January 5 - February 18: Image submission window.
• February 28: Decision notification (sent via email).
• April 10: Top five artist notification.
• April 23: Online exhibit opens at birding-wv.com.
• May 1 - 6: Top five entries included in silent auction at New River Birding & Nature Festival.
• May 7 - 15: Art pick-up deadline (does NOT include top five). Original art, certificate, and Festival t-shirt will be delivered to exhibit participants by mail or in person by special arrangement made by the contest coordinator.
1. Read and follow all contest rules or be subject to entry disqualification.
2. Download a copy of the digital contest entry form.
3. Create your art entry, then scan or photograph your completed artwork. NOTE: those artists whose entry is selected for this exhibit will have to turn in their original art.
4. Complete your digital entry form. You can print out this form to fill it out by hand, then scan or photograph the completed form to create a digital file.
• Judging criteria: Art entries must be a creative rendering of a wild bird from the New River Gorge region (MUST be a species from this list). Works will be judged on the basis of original design, composition, artistic technique, and its representation of a bird species.
• Judging process: The first jury panel will review all art entries and select 20 pieces of bird art to included in this year's online contest exhibit. The art selected for this exhibit will be evaluated a second time by a different panel of judges to pick the top five Best in Show overall contest entries. Participants will be notified of art selected for exhibit via email by February 28.
• Display and awards for exhibit artists: All contest artwork juried into the 2023 exhibit will be included in an online display at birding-wv.com. This online exhibit will open April 23, 2023.
• Awards for exhibit artists: the twenty exhibit artists will receive a certificate and a Festival t-shirt. These items will be mailed or delivered to these artists between May 7 - 15, along with the return of their original artwork (original art will NOT be returned to the Best in Show artists). Each artists can request to receive a digital copy of their art by email if desired.
• Special exhibit for five Best in Show artists: in addition to the online exhibit, the art of the five Best in Show artist will be framed and put on physical display at the New River Birding & Nature Festival. These pieces will be part of a silent auction to raise funds for Fayette County Education Fund, Inc. These artists will also be invited to an evening dinner and a special award ceremony at the Festival during the week of May 1 - 6.
The five Best in Show pieces will be on display at the New River Birding & Nature Festival for Festival participants to bid for the purchase of these works in a silent auction during the week of May 1 - 6. At the end of the Festival each of these one-of-a-kind original works of bird art will be sold to the highest bidder from the Festival week. Each youth artist will receive 50% of that purchase price while the remainder of the purchase price will be donated to the nonprofit Fayette County Education Fund, Inc. to provide youth programs in Fayette County. NOTE: these five artists will NOT get their original artwork back; a scan of their artwork will be emailed to them after the end of the Festival.
(WV content connection) This program is also designed to help teachers meet elements of West Virginia Education Content Standards and Objectives. Related subjects can be found at wvde.us. Use wvde.us to search for teacher resources with such key words as biology, environment, habitat, nature, and birds. Such content connections can be used to further your students’ learning experiences through this contest.
FLY Art Gallery