Teen's redfish drawing wins CoastFest Art Contest

"Red" by Shelby Williams
Brunswick, Ga.

The Virtual CoastFest 2020 Art Contest committee today named artwork by an 11th grader at Glynn Academy the grand-prize winner. 

Shelby Williams, 16, of Brunswick, used colored pencil on watercolor paper to draw a Red Drum fish, and entitled the piece of art "Red."

Williams' artwork will be printed on the CoastFest 2021 T-shirt, and she and her class will receive a pizza party for her outstanding work. The Coastal Resources Division (CRD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, which organizes CoastFest, will also recognize Williams in-person on the day of CoastFest 2021 and present her with the framed original.

When notified Friday at school, Williams said she was "excited," and surprised to learn she won.

Her art instructor, Robert Smith, said he was proud of his student. 

"We've been participating in the art contest for about four years," he said. "We've never been chosen before, so this is really exciting."

Williams' artwork was chosen for its attention to detail, use of color and relevancy to the contest's theme this year, "Our Marvelous Marshes." Red Drum can be found as juveniles and young adults in the estuarine environments of coastal marshes. The Red Drum is also the state saltwater gamefish of Georgia. The largest-ever Red Drum caught in Georgia's waters was landed in 1986 and weighed 47 pounds, 7 ounces. The species is managed by CRD to prevent overfishing.

This year's Virtual CoastFest 2020 T-shirt featured a mosaic-style sea turtle by Maleah Lavarias, now a 7th grader at Needwood Middle School in Brunswick.

CoastFest was held virtually this year due to the pandemic, but CRD plans to hold in-person CoastFest again at Mary Ross Waterfront Park in Brunswick on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.Virtual CoastFest 2020 recorded videos and other materials remain available as resources to teachers, students and the public at https://www.CoastalGaDNR.org/CoastFest.