Wyoming Arts Council

The Bears are here

An exhibit of fiberglass bear sculptures designed by Wyoming high school students and celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the National Museum of Wildlife Art is on display at the Wyoming State Museum from May 1 through June 14. Titled “Wild About Bears,” the exhibit features eight award-winning designs by high school students from throughout the state.

In 2007, the National Museum of Wildlife Art distributed 35 fiberglass bear forms to Wyoming high schools. The goal was to challenge students to collaborate on designing the bears and also to support the next generation of wildlife artists by encouraging the wildlife art theme. The project also gave students an opportunity to exhibit their work professionally and ultimately fulfill an artistic vision that could benefit their respective high schools.

This competition strengthened NMWA’s connections with high school art students and teachers around the state while building awareness of the museum’s numerous programs.

“Our state has many treasures and one of them is the National Museum of Wildlife Art,” Lynn Friess of the Friess Family Foundation said. “My husband and I thought a statewide art competition would benefit high school art programs, as well as be a part of the museum’s 20th anniversary celebration.”

The bears were judged at the Wyoming High School Art Symposium in Casper on April 18 and the eight winning schools were awarded cash prizes for their art programs. A first prize of $7,000 was awarded to Pinedale High School; second, $5,000, to Mountain View High School; and third, $2,000, to Encampment High School. Honorable mentions and $500 was awarded to Niobrara, Douglas, Cody, Powell and Star Valley high schools.

The “Wild About Bears” contest and exhibition is supported by a grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, a program of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. It is also supported by the Friess Family Foundation and the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

The Wyoming State Museum is located in the Barrett Building, 2301 Central Avenue in Cheyenne.

For more information about this and other Wyoming State Museum exhibits and programs, please call 777-7022.

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