West Marine names winners of youth art contest

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West Marine announced the winners of its second annual World Oceans Day Art Contest.

They are Alexandra R., a 12-year-old seventh-grader from South Windsor, Conn., and Owen G., 10, a fourth-grader from Cream Ridge, N.J.

The company invited young people to submit original artwork inspired by the 2017 World Oceans Day theme — Our Oceans, Our Future.

Alexandra’s artwork, titled “The Peaceful Ocean,” depicts an apex predator who plays a critical role in maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems.

“I decided to draw a shark because, ever since I was 4, I have been obsessed with them,” she said. “Sharks are getting killed every day due to shark finning, which is heartbreaking. Many people don’t care because they’re frightened of sharks or don’t know about the issue. This drawing was made to show the true beauty of sharks and the ocean.”

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Owen’s colorful piece, titled “We Love Our Oceans,” revealed a healthy, vibrant world below the waves. “Our oceans are important because they give us life and also entertain us,” he said.

A panel of West Marine judges selected the winning artwork, based on originality, interpretation of the theme and age-appropriate technical skills. Both pieces of winning artwork will appear on innovative “pieceless” puzzles, which will be available for $10 each in select West Marine stories and at Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Conn., starting June 5. Both winners are receiving a $250 West Marine gift card.

All proceeds from puzzle sales from June 5-11 will be donated to West Marine’s nonprofit BlueFuture Fund, which provides much-needed grants to community-based non-profit organizations across North America that are dedicated to providing young people with access to the water.

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