By Kyle Jillson | January 24 2014 14:00

Art contest's top honors go to incredible raccoon painting

2013 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest Best In Show recipient Justas Varpucanskis

Fairfax, Virginia - The final, and most prestigious award of the George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest is Best In Show. Chosen from among all entries regardless of category, the Best In Show recipient was judged to have the most creativity, anatomical accuracy, effort, and composition. And the prize? $1,000.

After a lengthy debate between our panel of judges, Justas Varpucanskis of Mokena, Illinois, received the ultimate award. His entry, titled Raccoon in Repose, is a photo-quality painting of an incredibly lifelike raccoon. Justas's involvement in the Youth Wildlife Art Contest began with his first entry in 2010. In 2012, the then-ninth grader won First Place Category III. Although very talented, the jump from Category III to Category IV is often tough on an artist, as their entries face stiffer competition. It is even more remarkable then, that Justas beat not only his Category IV competition, but every other contest entry.

Congratulations on your achievement, Justas. We hope you continue to enter the contest in your two remaining years of eligibility.

Of course, while Justas's painting earned the plaudits of our judges, the Youth Wildlife Art Contest would be nothing without the participation of hundreds of aspiring artists. To everyone who submitted entries, thank you. Keep working on your art and continue honing your skills. Next week we'll begin showing off all of the Honorable Mentions. Keep checking back on NRAblog.


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