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Feathered Friends Art Contest Soars at local area schools

By Frances Oster, Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer

Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, Friends of Trinity River Refuge, Lower Trinity Valley Bird Club, and Liberty County Art League partnered for the second year to help students harness their creative abilities and see birds in a new way. 


Refuge volunteers visited art classes at Liberty Middle School and Liberty High School with bird magazines and distributed a small book entitled Fifty Birds of Town and City.  The kids opened their books and were asked, “How many of these birds have you seen?”  They replied, “I have seen the red bird!  I have seen the blue bird!  I have seen the black bird!  I have seen the brown bird!”  They were referring to the Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, Great-tailed Grackle, and the House Sparrow.  Frances Oster, Refuge volunteer went on to say, “There are 50 birds in this book and all but two can be found in your town.  You probably have not seen them, but they are all around you. Today, we are here to help you see birds in a way that you have never seen them before.”    


As the students perused their books, they talked about the colors of the birds and the shapes of their bodies.  Next, Ceal Stirling, and avid birder and former art teacher, distributed magazines and started talking about color within the feathers of the bird.  She pointed out, “This bird looks white, but this bird is not white.  Look at the hints of blue reflecting off of this bird.  Look at the cream, yellow, and orange colors reflecting off of this bird.”  She informed them of this because the students’ next class assignment was to compose a work of art featuring a bird from North America.  The best of the artwork was to be entered into the Feathered Friends Art Contest.


Indeed, the art students did see birds in a new way.  The students used watercolor paint, colored pencils, crayons, and varying techniques to highlight qualities of the birds which usually go unnoticed.  Forty-two works of art were entered into the art contest, 18 from Liberty Middle School and 24 from Liberty High School and Dayton High School. 


The entries within the High School Division were stunning.  Avian won 1st place with his Western Tanager.   























Emily placed second with her Blue Bunting.





















Olivia's Eastern Blue Bird was awarded third place. 





















Dayton High School's, 9th grade student, Sarah, won an Honorable Mention with her depiction of a Blackburnium Warbler. Liberty High School students awarded Honorable Mention ribbons were: Perla (Blue Jay), Rosa (Burrowing Owl), Giselle (Costa's Hummingbird), and Morgan (Wood Duck duckling).


The entries within the Middle School Division, all from Liberty Middle School, were exquisite. 


Reese won 1st place with his Northern Cardinal. 





















Perla  was awarded second place with her Lazuli Bunting. 





















Manual's Baltimore Oriole won third place.























Liberty Middle School Art Students who won Honorable Mention ribbons were: Sadie (Northern Cardinal), Julia (Canada Goose), Julie (Broad-Billed Hummingbird), Sam (Snowy Owl), and Ximena (American Goldfinch).


The entries featuring North American migratory birds were exhibited at Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters and Liberty Jubilee.  Reproductions of placing entries will be on exhibit in the display case at Liberty City Hall from April 15-May 14, 2017.


If you have any questions regarding the Feathered Friends Art Contest, please call Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters at (936) 336-9786 or visit the office at 601 FM 1011, just north of Liberty, TX, across from the Sam Houston Regional Library.

western tanager
Lazuli Bunting
Blue Bunting
Baltimore Oriole
Eastern Bluebird

Click on picture!

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