Two University of Georgia students and one Locust Grove High School student were chosen as the top three winners in the annual student art contest held by the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, a unit of UGA Public Service and Outreach.

The winners of the 2016 art contest are:

  • First place: Mikaila Guerra of Kathleen, Ga., a third-year UGA student, majoring in fine arts. Her piece made with permanent markers is titled “At the Botans.”


  • Second place: Benjamin Thrash of Athens, Ga., a third-year UGA student, majoring in fine arts and art education. His watercolor and gouache piece is titled “Costa Rica Plant.”



  • Third place: Tania Sturm of McDonough, Ga., a student at Locust Grove High School, whose artwork made with watercolor and colored pencils is titled “Blue Elegance.”


Nine works of art, ranging in media from digital illustration to photography, received certificates of merit.

In December, a panel of judges selected the winners and certificate of merit recipients from about 90 entries. Students from grade nine through college are eligible to enter the contest and may use any media of their choice to represent the garden.

The art contest, funded by the J.A. and H.G. Woodruff, Jr. Charitable Trust, was established in 2005 by donor Tom Woodruff in honor of his parents. Winning artwork will be used to create signature items in the garden’s gift shop, and first, second and third place winners will receive $1,000, $500 and $250 respectively.

The winning entries from the past 10 years will be on display at the State Botanical Garden’s Visitor Center until Feb. 12. The garden is located at 2450 S. Milledge Ave., Athens, Ga.

To see the winning entries and a list of those entries receiving Certificates of Merit, go to