MEDICINE PARK - It's time for students Kindergarten-12 to bring forth their creativity as the Medicine Park Aquarium & Natural Sciences Center launches their newest 'Art Gone Wild' contest. The contest, dedicated specifically to Southwest Oklahoma, is a fun way to encourage students to go outdoors and explore their surroundings, said aquarium Director of Education, Nicole Hill. "We truly believe science and art go hand-in-hand here," Nicole said. "This is a creative way to get kids outside in their own backyard and see the beauty of Southwest Oklahoma." In previous years the Medicine Park Aquarium & Natural Sciences Center held its annual 'Lurking in Lawtonka' art contest. This year, things will be structured a little differently, said Nicole. While all students enrolled in grades kindergarten-12 are eligible to participate, submitted artwork must be focused on a species of animal native to Southwest Oklahoma, native plants or a natural landmark in the area. According to 'Art Gone Wild' rules, pencils, paints, watercolors, chalk, crayons and pens are all considered acceptable mediums to use. Whichever medium a student chooses, the artwork needs to be submitted on 22” x 28” poster board and must include the Medicine Park Aquarium & Natural Sciences Center name somewhere in the design. Art pieces are required to be one dimensional, "original and authentic" and hand-drawn. Contest rules state that computer-generated, three-dimensional and copied or traced submissions will not be accepted. Participating classrooms will need to select a top winner in the class and the winning artwork must be delivered to the aquarium by a school representative by Feb. 14. Those without a school representative may still enter under the "open category." Class winners will then move on to the second level of the contest, competing against each other. Judging categories will include Kindergarten-second grades, third-fifth grades, sixth-eighth grades and ninth-12 grades. By Thursday, Feb. 27, a panel of volunteers and aquarium staff will select the overall 'Art Gone Wild' contest winners. Winners will be announced Friday, Feb. 28. Winning artwork will be displayed at the aquarium from Feb. 14 - March 14. A link for detailed contest rules, prize descriptions and inspirational photos can be found on the Medicine Park Aquarium & Natural Sciences Center Facebook page. For more information, contact Nicole Hill at nhill@ mpmns.org, call (580) 284- 0679, or visit the Medicine Park Aquarium & Natural Sciences Center at 1 Aquarium Drive, Medicine Park.
'Lurking in Lawtonka' first place art contest winner was Rebecca Borghini