College Art Contest

2020 Saving Endangered Species College Art Contest

The Endangered Species Coalition (ESC) and National Wildlife Federation (NWF) are pleased to announce our 2020 Saving Endangered Species College Student Art Contest, which is open to current college students, ages 17 to 30. The contest is an integral part of the 15th annual Endangered Species Day on May 15, 2020. College students are encouraged to share their art by entering the contest and also take action for wildlife on campus and in their community. Learn more about Endangered Species Day and get ideas to take action on campus.

Contest Guidelines

Please review and follow contest guidelines carefully

  • Only U.S or Canadian residents are eligible to enter.
  • All entries are to be submitted electronically at
  • All artwork must depict species chosen from one of the lists as noted in “Subject Matter” (below). We will make no exceptions to this rule.
  • Entries must be received by February 16, 2020. Late entries will not be judged.
  • All entries become the property of the Endangered Species Coalition and National Wildlife Federation.

Subject Matter

  • To be eligible, students’ artwork must depict a land or ocean-dwelling species or a plant/flower that has been placed on the threatened/endangered species list or is considered a recovered species or a candidate species (proposed to receive protection). You can choose a species from one of these groups.
  • Threatened/endangered vertebrate animals (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes), invertebrate animals (clams, snails, insects, arachnids, crustaceans), flowering plants, and non-flowering plants (conifers and cycads, ferns and allies, lichens).

Ideas on how to choose a species:

  • Is your campus mascot threatened or endangered?
  • Do you have any threatened or endangered wildlife on your campus or in your community?

If you choose a species not included on one of these lists, it will not be accepted.

  • 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.
  • Media: We 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. If you are submitting artwork with accepted writing, please check the appropriate box on the entry form.  Submissions that include prohibited writing will not be judged.
  • Photograph your artwork on a neutral background without a frame; center the artwork as much as possible.

Submitting Artwork

  • Artwork should be submitted electronically at It must be at least 2700×3600 pixels resolution. Accepted file types are limited to: jpeg, psd, tiff, jpg.
  • Follow directions carefully and provide all information requested on the submission form.
  • You must submit your artwork by February 16, 2020. Late entries will not be judged.

Judging and Prizes

All eligible entries will be part of a public vote via an online platform in late February 2020. The link for voting will be provided to all entrants to share. All entries will also be judged by a panel of judges. Prizes include:

  • First Place Winner: The first place winner be featured in National Wildlife magazine, and receive an award plaque and a $100.00 gift card for Blick Art Materials.
  • Second Prize Winner: The second prize winner will receive $75.00 gift card to Blick Art Materials. 
  • Third Prize Winner: The third prize winner will receive a $50.00 gift card for Blick Art Materials. 
  • Winner of Public Vote: The winner with the most votes will receive a $25.00 card for Blick Art Materials. 

Additionally, the winning art will be featuring in National Wildlife Federation promotions via email and social media for Endangered Species Day 2020 on May 15, 2020. 

Thank you to Blick Art Materials for their donation of gift cards to award the winners of the Endangered Species Day College Student Art Contest. 

Contest Partners

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.

National Wildlife Federation

National Wildlife Federation is one of the nation’s most respected conservation education and advocacy organizations with a mission to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. For over 25 years, NWF has worked with more than half of the nation’s 4,100 colleges and universities to green their grounds, curricula and advance students’ leadership development and careers in sustainability.