Another look at last year's Youth Wildlife Art winner for Category I - 1st through 3rd grade students

Untitled Dall Sheep Ram by Yuwen Li of Illinois
Untitled, a Dall Sheep Ram by Yuwen Li of Illionios - 1st Place in Category 1 of 2011 Youth Wildlife Art Contest

During last year's George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest, it was Yuwen Li out of Palatine, Illinois who won Category One — students in first through third grades.

We'll start posting this year's winners soon, but for now, here's a look at the art that arrived from last year's batch of five through nine year-old winners.

More on the 2011 Youth Wildlife Art 1st -3rd grade contest winners ...

Want your George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest entry back? Send us a pre-paid return envelope.

Return envelopes for the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest

Fairfax, Virginia - The George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest's judging may be over, but we're not done yet. Aside from revealing this year's winners we've begun the process of sending back artwork.

Students put a lot of effort into creating their entries and a lot want them returned to use in portfolios, participation in other contest, personal use, etc. Unfortunately we can't just send everyone's artwork back and ask for pre-paid envelopes if you'd like your entries returned. We receive a lot of these envelopes every year. Above is a big stack of them ready to be paired with their art.

More on how to get your Youth Wildlife Art Contest entry back ...

Selecting winners is no easy task in the George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest

Artwork from the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest

Fairfax, Virginia - The day of judging for the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest has finally arrived. All the artwork is laid out and our panel of judges is carefully going over every entry, looking at effort, creativity, anatomical accuracy, and composition.

With $7,000 in prize money on the line our judges want to make sure every entry gets a fair look and the best truly win. After winners are selected, we'll be taking hi-res photos for you to oogle here on NRAblog in the coming weeks.

More on the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest ...

Local artist enters NRA art contest with familiar animal

Squirrel entry in George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest by local Virginia artist

Fairfax, Virginia - Directing our attention back to the East Coast, here's an entry from this year's George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest that came from just down the road to NRA headquarters.

Jacqueline St. Clair from Jeffersonton, Virginia hand delivered an entry depicting the animal we're probably most familiar with in the Washington D.C. area - the squirrel.

More on Jacqueline's squirrel joining the Youth Wildlife Art Contest ...

Get ready to see some amazing artwork in the coming weeks

2011 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest Best In Show winner Ingrid Cai

Fairfax, Virginia - It's finally here. The deadline for the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest has arrived. Lots of hard work is about to pay off for a few talented artists - literally. This year the art contest is awarding $7,000 in prize money thanks to the generous endowment from the George Montgomery Foundation.

As you can expect, a great deal of artwork has piled up at our doorstep in the past couple days and we're racing to process it all so that our judges can start looking over this year's entries.

The artwork just keeps getting better and better each year. There are quite a few students out there who wield great artistic ability. To your left is last year's Best In Show winner, submitted by Ingrid Cai of Johns Creek, Georgia. Cai has entered the contest again this year and we dare say she's gotten even better. Will she take it all home again this year, or will a new overall winner be crowned?

More on the George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest ...

Will an Arizona artist scratch her way to victory?

Scratch art entry in NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest

Fairfax, Virginia - After highlighting a few of the older contestants in this year's George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest, we're moving back down a couple levels to our elementary school students in Category II. Above is Veda Thomas's unique quail artwork titled Beautiful Quail in my Yard.

While we allow entries to our contest to be done with any medium, most use pencil, paint and charcoal - traditional methods. Veda's artwork is unique because it is done entirely with scratch-art paper. Starting with an entirely black piece of paper, an artist uses knives or other sharp tools to scratch away the top layer, revealing a contrasting white underneath. Because you are only limited to the two colors of the paper, creating depth is up to the thickness and proximity of scratches.

More on Veda's unique entry in the Youth Wildlife Art Contest ...

Fourth grader paints vivid entry for NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest

Grizzly bear entry to the NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest by David Starovoytov of California

Fairfax, Virginia - Now that the George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest's deadline has been moved back to November 9 because of Hurricane Sandy, students have a little more time to finish up their work.

For weeks now the the stack of envelopes and boxes has been huge and continues to grow each day. It's clear that each artist put a lot of work into their drawings for a chance to win some of the $7,000 in prizes.

More on this David's grizzly entry to the Youth Wildlife Art Contest ...

In wake of Hurricane Sandy, students have a few more days to get entries in

A Pheasant Strolling on a Hill by Catherine Chen, Fremont, California

Fairfax, Virginia - Since Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast earlier this week, we've been getting lots of calls and emails from people asking whether the George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest's deadline has been pushed back or if it's been canceled all together. Fair questions considering how damaged some areas were after the hurricane passed.

More on the NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest's deadline extension ...

Blue-eyed cougar joins NRA art contest's toughest category

Cougar entry by Oregon student to the George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest

Fairfax, Virginia - While the envelopes are piling up here at NRA headquarters, many students are still hard at work on their entries for this year's George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest. The deadline for a chance at the $7,000 in prizes is now just one week away.

Highlighting another entry fresh off the top of yesterday's deliveries, we have Paige Rajnus' stalking cougar. Entitled Snow Queen, this beautiful watercolor painting came all the way from Malin, Oregon. And "snow queen" is right. This cougar looks every bit the part, staring at you in a way that's only comfortable on paper.

More on this entry to the George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest...

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