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March 7, 2005

K-12 Marine Masterpieces exhibit opens March 12 at Seymour Center

By Jennifer McNulty

From a toothy shark to a preening pelican, the artistic talent of dozens of students in grades K-12 will be on display at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center from March 12 through the spring.

Artwork: Shark

Keegan Skinner, a fourth grader at Twin Lakes Christian School in Aptos, received an honorable mention in the fourth- through sixth-grade category for his painting entitled, "The Fierce Shark."

Artwork: Seal

Janna Bowman, 10th grade, received an honorable mention in the 7th- through 12th-grade category for "Harp Seal: Phoca groenlandica." She submitted her work through Sandhills Studio/Sierra Nature Prints of Scotts Valley.

The public is invited to attend an awards ceremony and reception for the artists that will be held Saturday, March 12, at 2 p.m. at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, 100 Shaffer Road, in Santa Cruz.

Nearly 300 students entered the Marine Masterpieces Student Art Contest & Exhibition, which attracted entries from as far away as Wisconsin. The names of winning artists are posted on the Seymour Center web site.

The contest was open to individuals and groups that produced works that “communicate something about marine life/science, ocean conservation, or marine scientists.” Individual winners were selected in each of four categories: K-1st grade, 2-3rd grade, 4-6th grade, and 7-12th grade.

Winners were also selected from a separate category for group artwork.

“We had a really good response,” said contest coordinator Kevin Keedy, who manages youth programs at the Seymour Center. “The artwork is fantastic.”

The contest provides an opportunity for marine enthusiasts to express themselves artistically, and it encourages others to study the oceans in order to produce a work of art, said Keedy. “It’s a neat way to get kids involved, and the exhibit gives the public an opportunity to see and enjoy the art,” he said.

A total of 288 artists produced 236 pieces that were judged by a panel of six judges. First-place winners will receive one-year student memberships to the Seymour Center, while their teachers will receive a voucher for $100 toward a class field trip to the center; other prizes include T-shirts and books. The contest was sponsored by Don and Peggy Schmitz.

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is dedicated to educating people about the role scientific research plays in the understanding and conservation of the world’s oceans. Part of the Joseph M. Long Marine Laboratory at UCSC, the center offers exhibit halls, aquaria, touch tanks, and public tours overlooking the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.



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