20th Anniversary Art Contest Winners

Meet the Judges:

Anita Henry: Board Member, Friends of the Wekiva River

Barbara Howell: Manager, Wekiva Middle St. Johns Aquatic Preserve

Deborah Shelley: Vice President, Aquatic Preserve Alliance of Central Florida


Under 10-year-old category

1st Place: Mackenzie Gonzalez –

Deborah Shelley “Great job! Love the colors with vibrant blues and greens. Nice composition with the large blue space, alligator at the bottom and greenery.”

Barbara Howell- “Adorable! It reminds me of floating down the river with my daughter and seeing all the wildlife.”

Anita Henry- “I liked seeing the people relaxing in the boat as it floats down the river…taking in the gator on the shoreline.”

2nd Place: Chloe Greenwalt –

Deborah Shelley- “Awesome night scene on the river. Love the young woman rowing and the little splash in front of the boat. Great composition with the space divided in an interesting pattern. Dynamic!”

Barbara Howell- “A paddle by the light of the moon and stars is the ultimate adventure! I’m glad you wore a life jacket for your brave rescue and enjoy future adventures on the river – day and night!”

Anita Henry- “The night scene!  I felt the fun of sliding down a waterfall and splashing into the river.”

3rd Place: Patrick Barriga–

Deborah Shelley- “Good movement in the picture. Love all the animals placed throughout. Great color and nice abstract quality.”

Barbara Howell- “There is so much in this drawing’s land, water and sky, I’d love to hear the stories that go along with it. What is the gator thinking?”

Anita Henry- “The artist was truly surrounded by nature. The tent in the background lets the viewer know that he will be there for a while.”

11-18 years old category:

1st Place: Annetta Xia –

Deborah Shelley- “Excellent color contrast between the yellow canoe and green forest. Good depth depicted in the forest. Wonderful composition with the canoe emerging from the bottom, circular basin, and tree line. Nice atmospheric perspective along the far distant trees. Keep up your artistic studies!”

Barbara Howell- “From the sunlit forest to the mysteries of the water, this work captures the spirit and wonder of experiencing wilderness alone.”

Anita Henry- “BEAUTIFUL!  I can feel the yellow kayak (a perfect contrast to the many shade of green) slipping through the water.”

2nd Place: Jazmine Cabaluna –

Deborah Shelley- “Nice graphic quality. Great color scheme. Excellent job integrating environmental elements into the design.”

Barbara Howell- “Wonderful design concept for Wild and Scenic River promotion. Creative and colorful!”

Anita Henry- “Very creative! A story is being told inside the bear!”

3rd Place: Caroline Rotenberger –

Deborah Shelley- “Lovely watercolor quality depicting a familiar and much-loved scene.”

Barbara Howell- “It’s amazing how this simplistic watercolor succinctly and unmistakably portrays the iconic structure of Wekiwa Springs State Park.”

Anita Henry- “I see myself on this bridge, looking towards Wekiwa Springs and then down the run.”

18 years old and up category:

1st Place: Lee Earle –

Deborah Shelley- “Great job capturing special visitors to the Wekiva River.  Nice composition and wonderful colorful reflections in the water.”

Barbara Howell- “Lovely and unusual photograph of Roseate Spoonbills with Ibis on the Wekiva!”

Anita Henry- “A moment in time was captured! Gorgeous picture of the roseate spoonbills and the ibis together, displaying their beautiful shades of red and pink.”

2nd Place: LuCindy Russell –

Deborah Shelley- “Good design and well executed craftmanship. Nice color scheme. Wonderful imaginative flowers, fern, and vines that could almost be real!”

Barbara Howell- “Very creative and whimsical!”

Anita Henry- “It takes a second look to see the subject. Very whimsical and creative!”

3rd Place: Chrystal Mcdowell –

Deborah Shelley- “Great image that characterizes everything we love about the Wekiva River – winding river, big blue sky, and beautiful subtle reflections in the water.”

Barbara Howell- “You’ve captured the quintessential pathway of the aquatic variety in our own back yard! Thank you and Congratulations!”

Anita Henry- “This photo captures the beauty, including the landscape and skyscrape, of the Wekiva River as it winds towards the St. Johns.”


Thank you to everyone for your submissions! We loved seeing what inspired you about the Wekiva River System!