By Kyle Jillson | January 3 2014 15:15

Wolf and Canadian lynx join Dall sheep at top spot in art contest's Category IV

2013 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest Category IV First Place recipient Joanne Zheng

Fairfax, Virginia - And now for the winners of the George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest's final group - Category IV. Reserved for entries from students in grades ten, eleven, and twelve, Category IV is the contest's toughest division.

While the entire category is chock full of impressive work, these winning entries are a sight to behold. More than the hours upon hours these three students poured into their works, these entries are the culmination of years of practicing and honing artistic skill. Our judges, professional artists themselves, do not hold back when judging Category IV and scrutinize each entry, looking for the three that best follow the contest pillars of effort, creativity, composition, and most importantly anatomical accuracy.

Many past entries have been on the cusp of placing when an inaccuracy is noticed and the art is passed by another.

Above, and extremely well-deserved, is the First Place entry by tenth grader Joanne Zheng of Johns Creek, Georgia. An artist of exceptional skill, Joanne has previously won Category III Third Place in 2011 and Category III Second Place in 2012. With two years left of eligibility, we hope, and expect to see more of Joanne's work in the future. Her drawing of a Dall sheep, titled Guardian of the Mountain, earned the $750 First Place prize.

2013 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest Category IV Second Place recipient Matthew Mayers

Newcomer Matthew Mayers won Second Place this year for his wolf drawing titled The Sentinel. Adding to the impressiveness of Matthew's drawing, is that it was done on scratchboard, an illustrative technique using sharp knives and tools for etching into a thin layer of white China clay that is coated with black India ink. There is almost no room for error when working with scratchboard and this twelfth grader from San Jacinto, California definitely earned his $500 check.

2013 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest Category IV Third Place recipient Noah Bounds

This year's Third Place winner is another contest veteran. Going out with high recognition in his final year, twelfth grader Noah Bounds of Shreveport, Louisiana, took the $250 prize for Focused, his painting of a Canadian lynx. An amazingly talented artist who we wish great success as a professional artist, Noah has previously taken home Category IV Second Place in 2011 and Honorable Mention Category IV in 2012.

Congratulations again to the Category IV winners and, of course, everyone who participated in the contest. Don't worry, we're not done yet. There are still a few reveals left up our sleeve from the 2013 contest. Keep checking back on NRAblog for the 2013 Best in Show and all of our honorable mentions.

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