West Marine seeks entries for youth art contest

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West Marine said its annual World Oceans Day Art Contest is officially open and will continue through April 29.

During the four-week submission period, young artists ages 5 to 12 and 13 to 18 are invited to send original artwork inspired by the 2017 World Oceans Day theme, “Our Oceans, Our Future.”

A young artist or a parent or guardian can download the submission form at www.westmarine.com/worldoceansday and mail it to West Marine with the artwork.

Submissions will be accepted until 5 p.m. Pacific time on April 29. A team of West Marine judges will choose one winner in each age category. Entries will be judged on originality, interpretation of the theme and technical skill based on age. The winners will be announced in May.

The two winning pieces of artwork and their artists’ signatures will appear on fun, innovative “pieceless” puzzles that will be available at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Conn., and in select West Marine stores across North America this June. Each winner also will receive a $250 West Marine gift card as a special thank you.

The contest raises funds for West Marine’s nonprofit BlueFuture Fund. All proceeds from puzzle purchases in West Marine stores and at Mystic Aquarium between June 5 and 11 will be donated to BlueFuture.

“The money we raise through puzzle purchases will directly fund our fall BlueFuture grants, which we’ll award to 25 nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to providing children with access to the water,” West Marine communications director Lindsey Johnson said in a statement. “Signature fundraisers like World Oceans Day are critical to our grant program. To continue awarding 50 grants annually we must build an engaged community around BlueFuture that’s as passionate as we are.”

“We are honored to be part of West Marine’s World Oceans Day Art Contest in support of BlueFuture,” Mystic Aquarium mission programs senior vice president Katie Cubina said. “It is critically important to connect children to the water as a way to help build stewards for our ocean environment today and in the future. We are proud to help champion this campaign that inspires creativity and engagement.”

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