ESD Art Contest Judges Panel Staffed by Distinguished Artists & Conservationists

With one week to go until the 3-26 deadline to postmark entries to the
Endangered Species Day Art Contest, we’re excited to tell you about the prestigious judge’s panel that is going to choose the winning entry. Panel members include Admiral Stephen Rochon, White House Chief Usher; Jeff Corwin, host of Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin Experience; and Jack Hanna, host of Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild.

Also participating in judging the artwork entries will be prominent artists, including marine life artist Wyland, sculptor Tom Sachs, sculptor and painter Hope Atherton, painter Alex Rockman, and artist Tim Grosvenor. Several award winning photographers also sit on the judges panel, including Andrew Zuckerman, author of three photography books, Creature, Wisdom and Bird; David Liittschwager and Susan Middleton, authors of Witness: Endangered Species of North America; National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore, who is releasing Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species; and Jason Houston, picture editor at Orion magazine.

“We are incredibly grateful to our magnificent judges,” said Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition. “It will be quite an honor for the contest winners to know that their work was selected by these distinguished artists and conservationists.”

The Endangered Species Day Art Contest provides young people with an opportunity to learn about endangered species and express their knowledge and support through artwork. The contest is organized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Coalition, Association of Zoos and Aquariums and Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans.

“In its school programs, The Ogden Museum celebrates the relationship between a sense of place and art, so we are especially pleased to participate in this contest which encourages students to connect their art to nature and to the wonderfully varied animals we are in danger of losing,” stated Kate Barron, Education Coordinator at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Endangered Species Day Art Contest Judges Panel:

Hope Atherton is a sculptor and painter. Her shamanistic sculpture was included in “American Bricolage” at New York City’s Sperone Westwater in 2000.

Jeff Corwin is the host of popular TV series and specials, including Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin Experience and NBC’s Jeff Corwin Unleashed, which won an Emmy for Outstanding Host. In 2009, Jeff executive produced 100 Heartbeats for NBC, a documentary that investigated our planet’s endangered wildlife species and the conservation heroes trying to save them.

Jack Hanna is Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and a well-known conservationist, author, and TV personality. After 12 years hosting Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures, he launched his latest syndicated TV series, Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild, which received an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Series. Jack has made countless TV appearances on shows such as Good Morning America, The Late Show with David Letterman, and Larry King Live.

Jason Houston is picture editor at Orion magazine, a nonprofit, award-winning periodical that examines the relationships between nature, culture, and place through an array of cultural lenses. Jason has also worked for nearly 20 years as a documentary photographer in a dozen countries.

Tim Grosvenor was born in Tananarive, Madagascar, and studied in England. In March he will show his work at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. In October 2009, Tim organized an event at the Zoo Zurich, which focused on protecting the rainforests of Madagascar.

David Liittschwager is a freelance photographer who, after working with Richard Avedon in New York in the eighties, left advertising to focus on portraiture and natural history. Now a regular contributor to National Geographic, Liittschwager has produced a number of books.

Susan Middleton has been photographing at-risk species since 1986, and her work, with collaborator David Liittschwager, is collected in four books. Middleton and Liittschwager were featured in an Emmy Award–winning National Geographic television special America’s Endangered Species: Don’t Say Goodbye.

Rear Admiral Stephen W. Rochon is the Director of the Executive Residence and White House Chief Usher. Admiral Rochon is a highly decorated military officer, and has earned three Legion of Merit medals. A New Orleans native, Admiral Rochon served as the Coast Guard’s Director of Personnel Management in the aftermath of the 2005 hurricanes.

Alexis Rockman is an American artist known for his paintings depicting the precarious relationship between man and nature. His mural, “Manifest Destiny,” exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, offers a view of the Brooklyn waterfront after catastrophic climate change.

Tom Sachs is a sculptor, best known for his recreations of various modern icons, masterpieces of engineering and design. His works also include “Balaenoptera Musculus” (2006), a life-size reconstruction of an 18-metre-long blue whale exhibited at the Fondazione Prada in Milan.

Joel Sartore has been a photographer for National Geographic magazine for over two decades. He is co-founder of the Grassland Foundation and a founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers. He has written several books, including Face to Face with Grizzlies and Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species.

Wyland is a marine life artist who has earned distinction as one of America’s most creative influences and is a leading advocate for marine resource conservation. He was hailed as a “marine Michelangelo” by USA Today, His successful Wyland Foundation is actively engaged in teaching students about our oceans, rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands.

Andrew Zuckerman has published three photography books. Creature, a portrait series of animals, was released worldwide to critical acclaim. Wisdom is an ongoing project of portraits and interviews made with the support of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. His latest book, Bird, a visual study of birds from the rarest to the most common, was released in October 2009.

For more complete biographies of the judges, please visit

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