Youth painting a fish as inspiration for Celebrate Wildlife contest.

Celebrate Wildlife: A call for art recognizing Utah’s creatures

If you live in Utah, chances are you’ve had at least one wildlife encounter. From the bighorn sheep of Zion National Park to the chickadee in your backyard, no matter how you encounter wildlife in our state, we want to hear about it. And how you share your experience can be as varied as our state’s wildlife species.

A young girl is painting a wooden fish.

The Utah Wildlife Federation, in concert with mural artist Chris Peterson, announces the first Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest. Awards will include 63 cash prizes for people ranging from 4 to, well, 104. Enter the contest by writing a story, making a picture, or crafting a video and then submit it here: Deadline: May 10, 2023.

“There are a lot of ways to celebrate our experiences with wildlife,” said Chris Peterson, an artist who is working to create wildlife murals in Utah’s 29 counties. “We want people from across the state to show us how the wild inhabitants of our state inspire you or your family. Entries from this contest will become part of an exhibit that will go on tour across the state. It’s all meant to show how we connect with wildlife in Utah.”

More than $10,000 in cash prizes will be awarded in the form of $250 prizes for first-place entries, with dozens more for the best submissions across three age groups: children, teens and adults. Categories include wildlife-related art, writing, photography, video, digital art, digital storytelling, and music. 

The Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest is made possible, in part, with funding from the Hansen Sisters Foundation, and the Utah STEM Action Center, which is sponsoring the digital art and digital storytelling categories through a community impact grant. Winning entries will be curated into a traveling exhibition sponsored by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums. Judges include Shelby Averett, of the STEM Action Center, and Hannah Barrett, public arts manager for Arts & Museums.

Visit for information on the contest and the Utah Wildlife Walls project. 

“We hope by seeing how others celebrate our wildlife that more people will be inspired to get out and create their own experiences,” said Brett Prettyman, chair of the Utah Wildlife Federation board.