youth art program

Each year, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge coordinates time with area schools on art and natural resource education in association with the Migratory Bird Festival. This Youth Art Program combines science and art to expand student's understanding of bird species while building creative skills and artistic masterpieces. 


Connecting Youth with Nature through Science and Art
The Art-in Resident (AIR) Program is a dynamic arts and science curriculum

designed to teach youth about migratory birds and their habitat needs, and to

learn a new creative art technique. The AIR Program encourages students in

kindergarten through high school to observe, understand, and ultimately share

what they have learned about migratory bird conservation through art.


Students are given a variety of bird photographs that are representative of migratory bird species seen in Harney County. Carey Goss from Malheur National Wildlife Refuge will teach students about migratory birds and their habitat needs and wildlife conservation. An artist will present creative art techniques to work with local youth to build a lifelong appreciation for art. The artist will walk students through a variety of art techniques so youth can capture and create individual art pieces of migratory birds.  

Your Support of the Program
In 2008, the first AIR Program was developed by Malheur National Wildlife Refuge with

the goal to teach greater awareness of, and increase appreciation for, natural resources

by pairing of science and visual arts. Since that year, with each festival, more than 600

students are reached and new wildlife art are exhibited at local businesses during the

festival. The AIR Program is supported by the Friends of Malheur National Wildlife
(FOMR) through fundraising. Your support of the Program can be demonstrated
by contacting FOMR for more information in supporting young artists and conservationists. 

Meet our 2020 Artist!

From the artist, Marsallai Quick: I am super happy about being chosen as the artist

for the Art In Resident program this year. Iam excited to be involved with teaching

kids all over the county about birds using a variety of art mediums, including drawing,

tissue paper, and possibly clay.

My entire adult life has been heavily involved in education, kids and art. Between

raising three children and my husband being an educator, I have enjoyed finding

ways of encouraging the love of creating art to children and adults. I have always

loved to draw, and even doodled all over my bedroom walls as a teenager.

Wanting to learn more ways to create, I attended college for graphic design. Since

moving to Hines, I have had the opportunity to teach a variety of art classes at the

Frontier Art Center, including journal making, paper mache bird making, along with

monthly painting and drawing classes for adults and kids. My love of doodling and

drawing all over walls has extended to painting murals in other towns along with a

few at the Hines Middle School and at the Central Hotel in Burns.

The Art in Resident program will be another great venue for learning and extending

my love of teaching and helping children to enjoy creating, especially around birds.

Youth Wildlife Art Contest

The Youth Wildlife Art Contest encourages students in kindergarten through high school to observe, understand, and ultimately share what they have learned about migratory birds. By creating a unique art entry for the festival, the student's are

provided an opportunity to artistically express their knowledge of the diversity, interdependence, and beauty of wildlife. The contest suggests educators, parents and/or adults and students to use curriculum guides to direct their exploration and

investigation of migratory birds and their habitat needs, and the principles of visual art design.


At this level, students are judged in four groups according to grade level: K-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. First, second and third place entries are selected from each age group.  YOU are the contest judge! Contest art will be displayed in the Fesitval Art Show for your voting! Top finishers will be selected at the close of the event. Prizes will be awarded to the top three winners in each group, including a $100 gift certificate for first-place winners. Winners will also be invited to have a photo taken with their artwork for the newspaper, and the festival’s website and other promotional purposes.

Artwork must be a portrayal of a native North American bird species likely to be seen in Harney County. 


Submission deadline: March 27, 2020

For more information, specific rules, and criteria for the contest, please contact Carey Goss at or the Harney County Chamber of Commerce.

Together, the AIR Program and Youth Wildlife Art Contest:


  • Foster awareness of wildlife habitat and its importance for bird migrations.

  • Learn about wildlife and bird species characteristics to spark curiosity about the natural world and encourage participation in the Harney County Migratory Bird Festival

  • Develop the skill of close observation for scientific and artistic purposes

  • Encourage creative experimentation

  • Learn a variety of creative techniques using watercolor and mixed media

  • Provide a rich artistic and educational experience for rural students

  • Generate artwork for the festival's student art exhibit in a way that is inclusive


Harney County Chamber of Commerce

484 N Broadway

Burns, OR 97720


Tel: 541.573.2636

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