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North Pole Third Grader a National Winner in the Coastal America Art Contest


Seward, AK – May 18, 2012 – Four Alaskan students will be recognized in Washington, D.C. and at the Alaska SeaLife Center for their winning entries in the national Coastal America Art Contest. Casey Lambries, a third grader at North Pole Elementary, won first place in the 3rd-5th grade category with a painting entitled “Whale Song”. On June 7th, Casey and the other 1st place winners will be honored with an awards ceremony at the National Geographic Society’s Grosvenor Auditorium and Reception Area in Washington, D.C. Casey will also be on hand to assist with creating four ocean murals with Cartoonist Jim Toomey (creator of “Sherman’s Lagoon.”) Each mural will depict a different ocean or coastal ecosystem. This event will take place at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History on June 8, 2012, World Oceans Day.

At the national level, Kodiak High School student Deborah Bitanga won 2nd place in the 9th-12th grade category with her painting “The Power to Save”. Isabel Brown, a second grader from Two Rivers School in Fairbanks, won 2nd place in the K-2nd grade category. And Storm Rohrer, a 4th grader at Hermon Hutchens Elementary in Valdez placed 3rd in the 3rd-5th grade category with the painting “Hiding Place”.

The original artwork of all four Alaskan students will be displayed, alongside the other 21 winning pieces from around North America, in an exhibition at the Department of Commerce and at other locations in Washington, D.C. for a six month period. Replicas of their artwork will also be on display at the Alaska SeaLife Center in an exhibit that will open on June 8th during World Oceans Day celebrations.

The Student Ocean Art Contest was sponsored by Coastal America and its network of 24 Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers (CELCs) throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. In December 2011, over 1,560 student entries were submitted at the regional level to participating CELCs, including the Alaska SeaLife Center. Submissions were judged on visual impact, the communication of at least one ocean literacy principle*, and artistic merit. The 165 winning regional entries were then submitted to the national level in March 2012.
Winners at the national level were selected by guest judges: world-renowned ocean explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry, cartoonist Jim Toomey, and marine life artist Wyland. The twenty-five winning entries, including the four from Alaskan

students, will be on traveling exhibit in public venues around Washington, D.C. through the remainder of 2012.
The Alaska SeaLife Center is a private non-profit research institution and visitor attraction which generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. For more information regarding the Alaska SeaLife Center, please reference the Alaska SeaLife Center website at www.alaskasealife.org.
* For information about the Ocean Literacy Principles, refer to http://oceanliteracy.wp2.coexploration.org/

Artist = Casey Lambries, North Pole Elementary
Title = Whale Song
1st place winner, Grades 3-5
Artist = Isabel Brown, Two Rivers School (Fairbanks)
2nd place winner, Grades K-2
Artist = Storm Rohrer, Hermon Hutchens Elementary (Valdez)
Title = Hiding Place
3rd place winner, Grades 3-5
Artist = Deborah Bitanga, Kodiak High School
Title = The Power to Save
2nd place winner, Grades 9-12

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