2020 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest


The Endangered Species Coalition (ESC) is pleased to announce our 2020 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest, which is open to K-12 grade studentsresiding in the U.S.–including those who are homeschooled or belong to a youth/art program. The contest is an integral part of the 15th annual Endangered Species Day on May 15, 2020.  For more background on the contest, including an art lesson plan for teachers and other resources, please visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org.

Subject Matter

To be eligible, students’ artwork must depict a land or ocean-dwelling species that either lives in or migrates through the United States and its waters, or a plant/flower that is found in the United States, and has been placed on the threatened or endangered species list. You can choose a species from one of these four groups:



Flowering Plants

Non-Flowering Plants

Alternatively, students may depict a species that was previously on the endangered species list but is now considered recovered, which is on this list.

We strongly encourage participants to have their pieces tell a story of hope. An example of this could be a painting of an endangered marine species with people in the background cleaning up a beach.

Judges particularly appreciate artwork showing species in their habitats. Don’t forget about the plants that support all life!



  • Students’ artwork must be original. Computer-generated images and traced images will not be judged. It is critical that submitted artwork not be overly derivative of images found on the Internet, in print media, or elsewhere. To avoid copyright infringement, works thought to be copies will be disqualified.
  • Students participating in the contest should compose their chosen threatened/endangered species on an 8 ½ x 11 or smaller surface.
  • Media: We can accept artwork done in crayon, ink, acrylics, oil paint, pastels, water color, colored pencils, scratchboard, color marker, chalk, pastels, charcoal, or paper collage. We cannot accept artwork done using plain black pencil or weak colored pencil.
  • No lettering, words, signatures or any other markings may appear on the front of the artwork. This includes labeling the depicted species, writing one’s name, or a signature. Lettering that is creatively incorporated into the art (such as a posted sign) is allowed. Submissions that include prohibited writing will not be judged.
  • To ensure the image best represents your artwork, avoid including distracting background such as your hand (holding the art) or a frame/mat that reduces the overall image. Also, please orient the artwork in the correct direction before submitting.
  • All artwork becomes the property of the Endangered Species Coalition. Submission of the artwork grants the Endangered Species Coalition a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to publish your student’s/child’s artwork in Endangered Species Coalition’s editorial, educational, and promotional print and digital materials, in our promotional and educational posts to social media, and for all other lawful uses—including artwork print sales—in furtherance of the Coalition’s mission. All published artwork will be credited with a copyright notice in the following form: “c Artist’s Name.”

Submitting Artwork

  • Artwork should be submitted electronically at www.endangered.org/submit-your-art. It must be at least 3300×2550 pixels resolution.
  • Follow directions carefully and provide all information requested on the submission form.
  • You must submit your artwork by March 1, 2020. Late entries will not be judged.


A prestigious panel of judges will select winners in four categories: Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12. The grand prize winner will be selected from the four grade-level winners. In choosing the grand prize winner, judges pay particular attention to the concept or story that the artwork tells. We encourage artists to pay attention to the theme, saving species.

The art will be judged on four primary artistic elements:

  • Concept: How well does the work relate to the endangered species theme?
  • Composition: How well do the elements of line and form work together?
  • Color: How does color enhance the artwork?
  • Expression: How imaginatively does the work convey an idea or emotion?


Grand Prize: The grand prize-winner will receive a round-trip flight arranged by the Endangered Species Coalition to Washington, D.C. and accommodations chosen by the Endangered Species Coalition for himself/herself and one guardian to attend a rewards ceremony in May, 2020. All other expenses related to the trip are the responsibility of the winner’s guardian. The grand prize is not redeemable for cash. The grand prize-winner will also receive an award plaque, an art lesson from a professional wildlife artist (in person or via Skype) and $50 worth of art supplies from Chartpak. In order to provide a competitive opportunity for as many youths as possible, the grand prize winner is not eligible to win again for three years.

Grade Category Winners: Each of the grade-level winners will receive a plaque and $25 worth of art supplies from Chartpak.

The Endangered Species Coalition will award certificates to second- and third-place finishers and contest semi-finalists (usually the top ten in each grade category).  In addition, teachers, parents, and youth leaders can download and print a Certificate of Participation for all contest participants.

The Endangered Species Coalition will seek opportunities to exhibit the artwork of the contest semi-finalists.

About ESC

Endangered Species Coalition

The Endangered Species Coalition is a national network of hundreds of conservation, scientific, education, religious, sporting, outdoor recreation, humane, business and community groups across the country. Through public education, scientific information and citizen participation, we work to protect our nation’s wildlife and wild places. The Endangered Species Coalition is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition working with concerned citizens and decision-makers to protect endangered species and habitat. www.endangered.org