As the November 1st deadline for this year's newly renamed George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest draws closer, we are beginning to get inundated with entries.
Open, sort, enter into the database - this is the procedure for the hundreds of entries we receive until it is time for our judges to select each category's winners.
We have received some great entries this year and I'd be lying if opening package after package, not knowing the contents, didn't remind me a little of Christmas morning.
If you've forgotten to put your entry in the mail or are a speedy artist there's still time to get your artwork in. Send your entries to: George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030 and don't worry about applying too much tape to protect the packaging - I know my way around a knife.
If this isn't your first year entering the contest, you've probably noticed the addition to our contest's name. The George Montgomery Foundation, created by the late artist and actor George Montgomery, gave a very generous endowment to the contest this past year that will allow for growth in the future.
Immediately, the endowment has allowed us to increase the amounts of the prizes we award for placing in the contest. This year first, second and third place winners will receive $750, $500 and $250 respectively. A new 'Best of Show' award has also been created for the most impressive artwork, as determined by our judges, across all four categories. This award carries a $1,000 prize along with a plaque for the winning artist.
Judging will occur on November 10th and the list of winners, and pictures of their artwork, will be available within a day or two. It all depends on how quickly we can photograph or scan the art. Good luck to everyone who entered this year's contest and if you missed out there's always next year.