Wild At Art is Australia's biggest wildlife art competition for kids.
Let children unleash their artistic creativity while learning about Australia's threatened animals and plants – and the threats facing them.
Wild At Art is back in 2022!
Throughout September and October, children aged 5-12 are invited to create an original artwork of one of Australia's many threatened native animals or plants, along with a short written component on their chosen threatened species.
Online submissions are open from Wednesday 7 September (Threatened Species Day) to Monday 31 October.
Header artwork: Leadbeater's possum by Minji, age 8.
We believe kids should be heard on issues that affect them – and the extinction crisis is no exception.
Wild At Art is an opportunity for primary school children to learn about Australia's threatened wildlife and speak out for a future where plants, animals and people thrive.
The beautiful artworks and moving written explanations demonstrate the depth of concern and love that children have for our vanishing wildlife. Through the competition, many children feel empowered knowing that by raising awareness, they can make a difference.
Photo: Scarlett, age 10, shows her entry to the 2021 Wild At Art competition
Australia is spoilt when it comes to wildlife. Our extraordinary and celebrated species, from the koala through to the wollemi pine, have evolved isolated from the rest of the world over tens of millions of years.
But sadly in modern Australia, our governments are failing to protect the plants and animals that make our nation so unique.
We have caused the extinction of more mammals than any other nation, and today nearly 2,000 plants, animals and ecosystems remain under threat of extinction.
Once a species is lost it can have ongoing ramifications for people and nature. Extinction is a confronting but important concept. There are cultural, scientific, ecological and moral impacts from the extinction of species.
Photo: Logging near Toolangi, Victoria. Photographer: Dale Cochrane
Research some of the threatened animals and plants in Australia, then choose one to represent in your artwork!
You may decide to look for a species that’s threatened in your area, or one that used to live in your area but is now extinct there. Or you may decide to choose one that lives further away, but is very interesting to you. The only rule is that your chosen species must be native to Australia (i.e. it occurs here naturally and has not been introduced).
You may also like to find out the reasons that animal or plant is threatened. Perhaps it has suffered habitat loss from logging, land-clearing or bushfires, or perhaps it is threatened by introduced animals like foxes and cats.
Artwork: Green sea turtle by Mina, age 9.
Create your own work of art that interprets your chosen animal or plant. Make sure it falls within the categories of drawing, painting or mixed media (such as collage). Three dimensional, photography and video works can’t be accepted.
Please make sure it is your own work. Copying the shape and form of a species is fine as long as you make it your own creation. Tracing, or having a parent or anyone else work on any part of your entry is not allowed.
Artwork: Wollemi pine by Eleanor, age 5.
The reflection is a short piece of writing that describes anything you care to mention about the artwork, like what inspired you to depict that species.
Your reflection should be 50-150 words long and can be included in the submission form. This will help the judges understand more about you and your work.
Parents or teachers may help younger children fill in this section.
Artwork: Gang-gang cockatoo by Grace, age 12.
Please ask for an adult's assistance to create a clear digital copy of your artwork. The file should be uploaded via the online submission form by a parent, teacher or legal guardian.
The online submission form will be open from 9am on Wednesday 7 September 2022.
All submissions must be received by 5pm Monday 31 October 2022. Entries received after that date will not be accepted.
Artwork: Koalas by Arisha, age 10.
The judges are not simply looking for works that display outstanding technical skills. They will be looking for surprising or interesting interpretations and compositions, and work that demonstrates an emotional connection with the species.
The following judging criteria apply:
• Concept: How well the work relates to the threatened species theme
• Composition and colour: How well the elements work together to convey the theme
• Expression: How imaginatively the work conveys an idea or emotion, or incorporates a specific story.
Artwork: Giant dragonfly by Daniel, age 5.
To ensure a level playing field and a variety of entries, winners will be selected from the following categories:
• Best artwork, ages 5-7 (1st and 2nd place)
• Best artwork, ages 8-10 (1st and 2nd place)
• Best artwork, ages 11-12 (1st and 2nd place)
• Most unusual entry (1st and 2nd place)
• Best plant entry (1st and 2nd place)
• Best regional entry (1st and 2nd place)
• Best artwork from a child with disability (1st and 2nd place)
• Best written entry (1st place across three age categories)
• Best groupwork entry (first and second place – available to groups of children at schools/education programs only)
Artwork: Tasmanian devils by Bonnie, age 11.
As recognition of their outstanding work, Wild At Art competition winners receive fun and exciting prizes such as:
• Wildlife and zoo experiences
• Nature activity sets
• Arts and crafts gift cards
• Australian animal soft toys
• Educational board games and books
Image: Spill Photography / Shutterstock