Calling all artists: Poster contest needs entries

PNT staff

The Lesser Prairie Chicken Festival poster contest is back.

Artists from kindergarten through adulthood are invited to create an original two-dimensional design for the contest, according to a press release from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

Entry deadline is March 1.

The winner will receive $300, and the design is to be reproduced on the posters advertising the eighth-annual festival. The top artists in the three age categories — adult, grades seven through 12 and grades kindergarten through sixth — win $50.

“It’s just an opportunity for artists to participate and help the festival celebrate the success different partners have had in restoring prairie chicken habitat,” said department spokesman Dan Williams. “And we just like art.”

Artists may use any two-dimensional media, and their images should depict the lesser prairie chicken and its habitat, according to the release.

Williams hopes to see the winning design capturing the colorful display of the prairie chickens’ mating behavior.

The festival is scheduled for April 17-19 in Milnesand. Attendance is limited to the first 100 people who register and pay the entry fee of $90 per person, due to the sensitivity of the prairie chicken during breeding season, according to the release.

The price includes trips to watch the early-morning mating rituals of the birds, five meals, other field trips and entertainment, and a poster. Williams called the birds’ mating behavior spectacular.

“If you haven’t seen it before, you’ll never forget it,” he said.

Williams said the Nature Conservancy, Grasslans Charitable Foundation, Department of Game and Fish and community of Milnesand have worked together to help the prairie chicken. Those organizations sponsor the festival as well.