Art Contest 2019

illustration, National Fossil Day stamp with postmark

About the Contest

The National Park Service and National Fossil Day partners are sponsoring an art contest to celebrate the 10th annual National Fossil Day. National Fossil Day is scheduled for Wednesday, October 16, 2019, during Earth Science Week. The theme for this year's art contest is: “Extinct Giants and Survivors of the Last Ice Age." For this theme we would like to see at least one representative of the extinct Late Pleistocene megafauna and one creature that lived along with these Ice Age giants but also survived into modern times! A megafauna refers to any group of large terrestrial animals in an ecosystem. The 2019 National Fossil Day logo features both an extinct Late Pleistocene giant ground sloth and a vampire bat, which is a creature still alive today.

Please see below for contest guidelines.

Click here to download the art contest entry form.

Contest Guidelines

Who can enter?
The contest is open to any interested person, of all ages. Entries will be judged based on originality, creativity, and how well the submission addresses this year’s contest theme. You must be a resident of the United States to enter.

What should my artwork include?
Your artwork should focus on the art contest theme “Extinct Giants and Survivors of the Last Ice Age,” which must include animals of the extinct megafauna and Pleistocene survivors together in one artistic piece.

Who was a member of the Late Pleistocene Megafauna? The last Ice Age occurred during the Pleistocene Epoch, which started approximately 2.5 million years ago and ended roughly 12,000 years ago. During this time many amazing animals evolved, including giant ground sloths, glyptodonts, mammoths, mastodons, saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, short-face bears, giant beavers, giant capybaras, giant turtles, and large teratorn birds. These were large creatures that evolved in much colder climates due to continental glacial formations that affected many environments worldwide.

At the same time as these Ice Age giants were roaming the world, many creatures we are familiar with today lived side by side them. Animals such as deer, pronghorns, bison, mountain lions, coyotes, foxes, chipmunks, field mice, bats, desert tortoises, rattlesnakes, California condors, ravens, hawks and many kinds of insects in North America lived alongside mammoths and giant ground sloths.

There are many Pleistocene megafauna creatures that lived worldwide. However, we encourage artists to find what they consider the most extreme, weirdest, or coolest, or just their favorite Pleistocene creature and include the plants and animals that lived with it that survived the last Ice Age from the United States. Artist are encouraged to include many creatures into their final piece. Special consideration will be made if the art piece shows the correct Ice Age creatures together. The artwork can be in the form of a photograph (black & white or color), a painting, a drawing, or a sketch. All artwork must be 2D and flat.

Questions to help you get started...
What are your favorite creatures of the Pleistocene? Where does your favorite Pleistocene creatures live? What environments did they live in? What is your favorite fossil sites and do they include Pleistocene fossils? How are fossils preserved? What do Pleistocene fossils look like?

How large should the artwork be?
All artwork should be able to fit inside a 13"x 17" envelope or smaller.

What do I need to submit?
A valid submission will contain the following information:

1. An original copy of the artwork. Each piece must be original, authentic, unpublished, the sole property of the entrant, and not previously submitted in any other contest. Make sure to include a sentence or two on your submission form describing your artwork.

2. Your personal information, printed on either the back of your artwork or on a separate sheet attached to your artwork:

First and last name:

Mailing address:

Phone number:

E-mail address:

3. A completed and signed entry form. Print out the entry form here and send it to us when you send your artwork. Entries cannot be accepted without a signed entry form.

How should I submit my artwork and entry form?
Artwork must be sent by mail, along with your contact information.

Important: You must have a signed and completed entry form (if under 18, a parent or guardian must sign) to enter.

Entry forms may be submitted by mail along with your artwork. All mailed entry forms must be sent to:

National Fossil Day 2019 Art Contest
Vincent L. Santucci
Paleontology Program Coordinator
National Park Service
Geologic Resources Division
1849 C Street, NW (Room 2644)
Mail Stop - 2647
Washington, DC 20240

If you have any problems or questions regarding the art contest, please contact the National Fossil Day staff.

When is the deadline?
All submissions must be received by mail by 5 p.m. EST, Friday, October 4th, 2019.

How will the artwork be judged?
The artwork will be judged by a panel on originality, creativity, quality and, most importantly, relevance to the topic. Four top entries in each age group will be selected including 1st Place, 2nd Place, 3rd Place and Honorable Mention. The age groups are:

8 years old and under

9 to 13 years of age

14 to 18 years of age

18 and older

The winner's artwork will appear on the National Fossil Day Art Contest Winners Gallery starting on October 16th, 2019. Check the National Fossil Day website to see if your artwork has been selected!

Disclaimer: By submitting an entry, an entrant agrees to allow the National Park Service to use his or her name to post on the NPS's National Fossil Day Web site, without compensation unless prohibited. All entries and all rights of ownership in and to the entries, including all rights to use, reproduce, publish, modify, edit, and distribute the same will become the exclusive property of NPS and will not be returned. NPS reserves the right to edit, modify, copyright, publish, use, and reproduce any and all entries without further compensation. The National Park Service, its agents and contractor, are not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, incomplete, or postage-due entries. Contest void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Last updated: January 30, 2019