Thank you for making the 2023 Art Contest a huge success! We are thrilled to have received an incredible array of artwork from so many talented artists. Thank you to everyone that participated in the voting as well, as we couldn’t have narrowed down such a tough competition on our own!
After much anticipation, the votes have been tallied, and we are delighted to announce our winners! Check out the categories below to view our winners and all the honorable mentions.
Please send an email to
. firstname.lastname@example.org 10 and Under Category
The Top Three
First Place June G. – “The Gentle Giant” This is Moo-Shoo the manatee swimming in Blue Springs State Park. I love manatees so much
Second Place Summer W. – “Sunny the Manatee” This is an original piece of art submitted by my daughter, Summer Whetstone, age 7. This is her version of how a manatee looks in their natural habitat. She named her Sunny the manatee because she says “manatees love sunshine and it is a name that kinda sounds like her name.” She loves manatees because I (her mother) also have a love of manatees. She wanted to enter the contest to show her artistic side and also her love of manatees.
Third Place Wren S. – “Bob the Manatee” Bob the Manatee is having fun out in the ocean with his friends. Honorable Mentions
Amelia O. – “Save Manatees” Manatee having lunch and lemonade.
Ana Rose J. – “A Swimming Lesson” Mommy manatee is giving baby manatee her first swimming lesson. Daddy manatee and other river friends are watching. Happy swimming, baby manatee!
Aubrey S. – “Home Sweet Home” Help save the manatees so they can live peacefully in their home sweet home. The manatees deserve to be saved and treated right.
Aubrey W. – “Box-A-Tee” Our recycled manatee friend was made from a cardboard box.
Aubrey W. – “Eat-Sleep-Repeat” Drawing of a manatee having a yummy snack.
Aubrey W. – “Manatee Hugs” Made with love out of a recycled candle jar
Aubrey W. – “Manatee Vibes” Playdoh sculpture of a manatee enjoying a swim.
Brody N. – “Manatee of the Ocean” This marker drawing shows a manatee with his friends the starfish, seagrass, and the crab. The manatee is happy because he has a lot to eat.
Caleb O. – “Baby Manatee” Baby Manatee swimming in the water By Caleb, Age 4
Cambria P. – “Colorful Cutie” I used watercolors to do a tie-dye effect and then added some splatter. I like all of the bright colors.
Cameron N. – “Manatee Monday at Catos Bridge” This art work was created using colored pencils. It shows three manatees- 2 adults and 1 baby swimming peacefully towards Catos Bridge in intracoastal of Jupiter, Florida. This shows hope of more manatees living in our world.
Celeste M. – “KALEATEE” MY ART IS ABOUT A MANATEE THAT ESCAPED SHARKS AND WANTS TO EAT KALE.
Claire W. – “The Amazing Manatee” The Amazing Manatee strikes again as she floats through the spring waters eating sea grass and looking to save some minnows from a big bad shark.
Claudia H. – “Manatees, Unite!” Two manatee friends playing together in a sunny ocean.
Coral O. – “Sea cow party” Sea cow party under the waves Having a party under the sea to celebrate everyone who is trying to help save them.
Corbin H. – “ManaTEE-RIFIC” A manatee at Blue Spring (which we visited last year)
Delaney F. – “Enjoying a cool treat.” Manatee relaxing on the beach with an ice cream cone and sun umbrella.
Delano O. – “Manatee with Seagrass” Pencil and crayon drawing of a manatee with sea grasses.
Devynne M. – “Anchor the Manatee” Anchor is a very sweet manatee. He is kind but he wishes for people to stop littering in the ocean and beaches.
Devynne M. – “Stitch” I made this manatee with different color threads
Dianna D. – “Playful manatees” Ive always had this huge heart for manatees and art. All of my friends say that I draw very good for a eight year old. Ive always wanted to enter an art contest, and win a prize. It will be like a dream if I could win, and I really hope that I could. Art is like a angel in my heart, it always comes to me when I need it to. It always calms my nerves and gives me peace. I wish I can share this feeling to every one who also loves art. I wish everyone can be happy, patient and loving with art. Manatees are very important to our planet. they help take care of our seas and land, so please take care of them to repay them. We can repay them by food, art and recycling. We can help them conquer extinction and help them live. We can save every animal that is going to be extinct, we can do anything as long as we believe, dream and conquer. So in this drawing I drew a mother manatee playing with a baby manatee. Showing how us humans can connect with manatees. In the picture you can see that the seas blue, and the seaweed is a sea green. It shows that if we help the manatees the ocean can become cleaner and way more beautiful. So even manatees can affect our life anything can.
Dory A. – “The Manatee and the Sea Grass” I hope people save manatees, so they dont go on the endangered list. I love them very much. I want to swim with them one day.
Eleanore M. – “BUBBLETEE” A CUTE MANATEE FACING YOU WITH A BUNCH OF BUBBLES AND SEAWEED AROUND THE PHRASE save the manatees AND THATS IT
Elinor V. – “Marvelous Manatees” Manatees float by over layered colors of blue and green circles.
Ella T. – “Chubby Chibis” Manatees swimming peacefully surrounded by love! Medium: Acrylic Paint
Elodie S. – “In my mana-Tay Era” A drawing of all of Taylor Swift’s albums if they were manatees
Emmett D. – “A Hungry Manatee” A manatee with a sun shining down. There’s sea grass and the manatee is hungry but he’s enjoying the sunshine at the surface.
Eoin O. – “Manatee and Seagrass” I drew a manatee amongst seagrass with pencil. And I drew over the pencil with Sharpie. I used watercolors to paint in the manatee, seagrass, water and sand. I put shells around it to create a frame. The shells came from Florida beaches.
Hadleigh H. – “Rainbow Sunset Manatee” My picture is of a manatee swimming at sunset. As it is swimming it spotted a rainbow in the sky.
Hannah H. – “Sunrise Manatee” My picture is of a Manatee early in the morning. The sun is rising in the sky as the manatee swims.
Henry A. – “The Manariffic” Manatees are my favorite animals. I wish I could swim with them, and I could touch them.
Henry O. – “Mana the Manatee” Pencil sketch and shading of a Manatee by Henry age 6
Isabella P. – “Manatee Love” Watercolor markers and colored pencils on 11×17 sketch paper.
Isabella R. – “The Beautiful Queen Manatee” The queen of her space, Queen Manatee floats peacefully among her kingdom. She enjoys the water and friendly exchanges with the fish and guests of the neighborhood. Crowned in grace and kindness, she is loved by all.
Josephine R. – “Big Tee And Little Tee” A drawing of a mother manatee and a baby manatee colored with watercolor pens and crayons.
Jude R. – “Turtle Hugging a Manatee” Acrylic on canvas. Abstract view of a turtle and a manatee.
Juliet F. – “Save the Manatee Pop-up Card” This pop-up card with sea creatures spelling “Save the Manatee” and a surfing manatee riding in front of fluffy clouds and an angel manatee.
Kalani K. – “Manatee” Kalani drew a manatee in the ocean creating the water in moonlight
Lorelei S. – “Protect” For this artwork, I painted on a canvas and added flowers for a mixed media manatee piece.
Marietta H. – “Under the Sea” I drew a picture of manatees together exploring Florida. The manatees with the algae have fish around them eating the algae. The manatees that have babies don’t get much algae on them because they don’t play in the sea grass much because they are watching their babies. The manatees stay in Florida because the water is warmer and they can’t be in the north because that’s where the water is colder.
Mayleigh W. – “A Manatee’s Day” A digital art drawing of a mother manatee and her calf as they swim through blue water past green and yellow sea grass.
MJ C. – “Manatee Hearts” Mommy and baby manatee with hearts, diamonds and colorful seaweed under the beautiful sky and ocean.
Olivia O. – “Manatee and friends” Manatee with fish friends and an anchor.
Olivia O. – “Save the Chubby Mermaids” Chubby mermaids fist bump
Paul I. – “Gators Watercolor Adoption Certificate” My version of my Certificate of Adoption for Gator! I used watercolor, pencil, and sharpie.
Quinn F. – “Color explosion.” Manatee couldnt decide what to wear so it wore everything.
Rebecca G. – “Manatee in coral and seaweed” A manatee is in seaweed in a coral bowl (ceramic)
Rosemary C. – “The Manatee and Fish Drawing” A picture of a manatee and three fish swimming over seaweed. Drawn by Rosemary age 4.
Sammy P. – “To Love a Manatee is to love their World” A four-year-olds interpretation of two manatees swimming together with hearts drawn to represent his love for them.
Shannon M. – “Manatee for my Mommy” I drew and colored my picture using crayons & sharpie. My mom LOVES manatees so I made it for her to take to work & hang at her desk. She loved it so much she thought I should send it in for the contest so I did. I did a report at school about manatees. We live in Iowa so it is not an animal kids know about it was neat to share it.
Stella C. – “Flying Manatees” This is a picture of Stella and her mommy riding a flying manatee.
Tyler O. – “Manatee Cove” I am swimming with the manatees while there are blue herons on the cove.
Violet R. – “Twins!” Acrylic on canvas. The artist is a twin and was inspired by Twin Mama Adoptee Phyllis.
Vivian B. – “Save the Manatees” This is a pencil drawing.
Vyone R. – “Swimming manatee” Gray manatee swimming with the fish. And swimming over seaweed.
Zara O. – “Manatee Ocean” My drawing represents a handful of different manatee personalities. Like for example, manatees are very friendly, smart, and also very sleepy I really hope you like my drawing 10 to 17 Category
The Top Three
First Place Makena M. – “The Gentle Manatee” An acrylic painting on a canvas of a manatee swimming underwater through vegetation. Painted by 12 year old Makena Myatt.
Second Place Rayna B. – “Happy Manatee” Abstract beach scene with Manatee swimming happily underwater!
Third Place Sohini P. – “The moment of perfect snap !” Here in the artwork I wanted to show the precious fun time of the Manatee and someone carefully trying to take a pic of this precious moment without disturbing them. Honorable Mentions
Abigail C. – “Lounging Manatee” Digital drawing of a cute manatee lounging on a rock
Alexis C. – “Manatees Need Help!” Manatees Need Help! Art description. I was inspired to make this art because I have learned that humans are the cause of the terrible, disgusting algal blooms that are harming manatees! When we put fertilizers down where the rain can wash them into a drain (such as on our lawns), that water will make its way to the ocean. Then the ocean has excess nutrients and the algae increases, covering the surface and preventing the growth of plants manatees eat. Certain algal blooms even cause seizures which lead to drowning. I created this art by constructing a manatee out of foam and sturdy paper on top of poster board. Then I painted the manatee and background with tempera paint. Puffy paint is what I used to fill in the eye holes I cut. The words were done with marker and then I added the sparkles. Through my art, I hope to convey the wonder of manatees and how we’re hurting them
Ana Paulina F. – “Manatees in the Seagrass Meadow” A mother and baby manatee swim slowly through the Seagrass meadow. They keep it healthy by eating the seagrass. Please protect the manatees!!!
Andrea L. – “Potato” This is a friendly sea potato named Melvin 🙂
Andrea L. – “Sirenia” Mermaid mythology has been around for generations, characters in story’s that have been portrayed as beautiful half female half fish with long luscious hair. In 1492 when Christoper Columbus set out for new land he told the tail of spotting a mermaid , little did he know that his “mermaid” was actually the first recorded spotting of a North American manatee. Inspired by Disney’s “The Little Mermaid “, “Sirenia” is a majestic satirical interpretation of Columbus‘s sea maiden.
Anna R. – “Mommy Manatee and Her Baby” Mommy manatee snacking on sea grass, baby manatee tagging along.
Avalina S. – “Love is love” This piece of art symbolizes that it’s okay to be different and that love is love.
Brynne A. – “Manatee Hat Party” There are 3 manatees. The manatee in the middle is wearing a tyedye shirt that says “Oh man! Oh man, oh man, I’m a manatee!” The second manatee, near the bottom left, has seaweed on his back. The last manatee, to the bottom right, is just popping in to say “Hi” All of the manatees are wearing a special green hat that says “Manatee”
Clara C. – “Manatee Love” Painted this for my momma so I captured the love between momma and her calf.
Colette K. – “Painter Manatee” Splatter painted manatee with paint brush
Devorah M. – “Manatee Swimming” My Manatee is swimming.
Eleanor F. – “Save the Manatee Font Poster” Cartoon manatees spell out the words “Save the Manatee” using a custom manatee-based font.
Emma G. – “Abode to the Manatee” The manatee is graphite pencil, as for the algae on its back is watercolor pencil with paint pen.
Esme S. – “Blub Blub” I love crocheting and painting, so I decided to combine the two things I love most into an adorable manatee piece. This manatee, Bub, is painting a picture to spread awareness of the manatees’ struggles to the land animals for help.
Evee A. – “In Every Color” i created this out of marker and pen, I thought it was a cool concept for showing that something is beautiful in every color.
Hannah J. – “Gazing” Teenage girl and manatee are gazing at each other. Both are swimming in a river with seagrass at the bottom edges of the picture. A red frame with green borders surrounds the main picture. Made with colored pencil, marker, pencil, and chalk.
Ida V. – “live life like a manatee” this piece of artwork makes me smile when I’m down. I drew this when I was in Florida after I visited a manatee rescue and when I saw all the injured manatees I realized we need to change to make it right. So I want to now dedicate my life to these marvelous creatures and make a difference! So even if I don’t win let’s just make a change to this world!
Isabella P. – “Taking a breath” Mom and baby just enjoying the calm and cool waters of their Florida home.
Kate M. – “Capturing The Love” Drawing of a manatee being captured on camera by a diver. It is colored in with colored pencil.
Kaylee P. – “Gentle Giant” Painting of manatee about to eat a tasty meal of seagrass.
Lexie L. – “A Kelping Hand” This artwork is of a big manatee swimming around in a kelp forest. Down in the deep blue sea, this manatee is certainly about to enjoy a good lunch!
Lillian S. – “Mother and Calf” Water color mother and calf swimming together. Watercolor painting on mixed media paper.
Lillian S. – “Sea Cow” Acrylic painting on canvas of a manatee under the water.
Lillian S. – “View from Blue Spring” Sketched from the viewing dock of Blue Springs with water color added.
Madeline M. – “Mother Manatee” Fine line on drawing paper art piece. Displays a mother manatee with her baby, surround by southern Florida native fish.
Madison L. – “A Summer Treat” My drawing shows a manatee taking a break from eating sea grass to enjoy a summertime treat, a popsicle.
Marissa A. – “Manatee Cafe” Manatees at a cafe with an alligator, lizard, and a pigeon. Made digitally with procreate on an iPad.
Matthew C. – “A deadly season is blooming” The artwork illustrates someone reaching out to a manatee who is struggling in an algae bloom. It is our responsibility as people to take action to help threatened species thrive and work towards a better Earth.
Merryn B. – “Save the Manatee Poster” Manatee Illustration, Medium is colored pencils
Merryn B. – “Swimming in the Springs” A diorama of Blue Spring State Park where my adopted manatee, Margarito, likes to visit in the winter.
Minuki W. – “Manatee and a baby Manatee” I Drew this Art piece because i love Manatees i think they are Amazing Creatures Most people don’t know much about them….but i have herd that Manatees were the reason that we thought of something as mermaids because their hands and especially Feet looks so much like mermaids…
Noah L. – “Birthday Love” Momma manatee and baby celebrate baby’s first birthday.
Nola M. – “Neurographic Manatee” This is a neurographic art piece of a manatee that I created using markers.
Olivia S. – “Manatee Swimming” Manatee drawn using Sketch-Book app
Penelope L. – “Blue Springs State Park” A landscape containing manatees in Blue Springs, including SMC adoptee Moo-Shoo, a rare pair of manatee twins, and a manatee with a satellite tracking device on it. Cellophane was used to create a shiny water effect.
Penelope L. – “Hugh Manatee” This is a watercolor portrait of a manatee swimming in pristine waters.
Rayleigh L. – “Manatee in the sunset” Created by a young girl with a love of art and sea life. “It has been another beautiful day!”
Rayleigh L. – “Manatees Best Friend” The manatee and his best friend, the otter!
Rebekah B. – “Maxwell the Manatee” I drew a manatee and cut it out and glued it to the other paper with the water and sea grass.
Skanda R. – “Colour of the eye and the ocean” Manatees have a great association with kindness, friendliness yet they know when to be tough. So I have drawn them in a playful manner as they tend to be embodying the manatee’s general personality.
Stella B. – “Margret the Manatee” This is a colored penicil drawing.
Teagan D. – “Colorful Manatee” It is a Manatee with a colorful background I created.
Tomas O. – “Peaceful Giant” Peaceful Giant with a big heart
Zoey Y. – “Motherly Love” Portrait of mother and baby manatee painted with acrylics on a scrap piece of plywood. 18 and Up Category
The Top Three
First Place Alaina G. – “Summer Manatee” Since moving to Florida, manatees have become one of my favorite animals to watch for. I often find myself worrying about them in the shallows where they hang out, wondering if they worry about the boats around. In this artwork, I imagined a manatee free of worry, free to relax and catch some rays without being worried about food or drink. In a world where we don’t have to worry about saving them because more people take caution when driving boats and polluting the waters. This fun and whimsical manatee is the design I created for the contest. It depicts a carefree manatee relaxing in the summertime.
Second Place Taylor P. – “Sea Cow” This piece is very special to me. It is made using recycled magazine pieces ripped up and then glued together into a collage/mosaic-type artwork. Manatees have always been fascinating to me. I was lucky to swim and spend time with them in grade school. They are important to the environment and I cannot imagine a world without them in it.
Third Place Auraya C. – “Happy Manatees and Their Companions” Fragile one of a kind pieces that were hand-sculpted from porcelain clay and then kiln fired in my home studio. I aim to capture likeness, not make exact replicas, so my imagination takes over what nature inspires… the result is cute and happy art. Honorable Mentions
Alessandra G. – “The Perfect Manateam” This is a needlepoint pillow. The canvas is designed based off of a Girl Scout nut tin from the early 2000s. It’s showing a mother and baby manatee swimming among the seagrass together.
Alyssa B. – “Oh, the Hugh Manatee!” An adorable giant space manatee nibbles on the Earth during its travels through space! Don’t worry, everything will be just fine! (I was inspired by a manatee tattoo design, and put my personal twist on it! Hand-drawn and colored with colored pencils!) I simply adore manatees, have been since I was little, and I try to enter the art contests every time there is one. I hope you all enjoy my submission!
Andrea M. – “Princess Manatee” Made with watercolor
Audrey T. – “Lone manatee” This is a drawing done in marker on the leaf of a seagrape tree. It shows a lone manatee swimming along infront of mangroves. After learning that you could actually send the leaves of seagrape trees in the mail as post cards, I have been having so much fun using these durable, smooth leaves as paper and canvas. Using a natural material has inspired me to draw the wildlife that shares the same spaces as these trees, including the animal we all know and love, manatees!
Audrey T. – “Mother and daughter in the mangroves” This piece is sharpie on a seagrape leaf. It shows a mother and daughter manatee swimming near mangroves. Having moved to Florida this spring, I learned that seagrape trees are nicknamed the post card tree. I have since been having a lot of fun using these leaves as canvases. Inspired by the local medium, I have been drawing the local animals, including one of my all time favorite animals, manatees of course!!
Barbara C. – “A river of curiosity and love love” A river of love represents the caring and peaceful traits of these gentle and curious creatures. The mothers are exceptionally caring and nurturing towards their baby manatees. Used materials: watercolors, 140lb watercolor paper, acrylic markers and collage paper.
Barbara C. – “Protect me! Thank you!” Mixed Media Art Used Material: Collage paper, cardstock, markers and acrylic paint. This Mixed Media Art/collage intends to represent how playful, adaptive and peaceful manatees are. The signs try to vocalize what it needs to be done to protect this harmless and curious creatures.
Briana N. – “Manatees” 4x6inch acrylic painting on canvas panel depicting two manatees just under the water’s surface.
Carly L. – “Manatee Morning” I recently saw my first manatees while paddle boarding, and that and the other sea life I saw inspired this piece! The coexistence of all different kinds of marine creatures and people is something I find very cool!
Cathy C. – “(Someone) Who’ll Watch Over Me” Manatee and calf. 16×20 Acrylic on Canvas. 2023.
Cathy C. – ““Tee” Party.” Adult FL manatee with fish friends. Reference photo by David Schrichte. 2023. 9×12 Acrylic on multi media paper.
Cecilia D. – “Mother and Calf” This is a depiction of a mother manatee and her little calf. I wanted to create a serene moment for these beautiful creatures. Manatees are so gentle and majestic, but also fragile due to the effects of climate change on their environment. I hope this artwork evokes a sense of connection and family that we share with them.
Chelsea P. – “Manatee Folded Book Art” My manatee is folded onto the pages of an old hardcover book!
Dalia L. – “Life of a manatee” Just a few cute manatees inspired by google but with my own flair in hopes to enter this contest💙
Daniela L. – “The Merchant” “Would you be interested in some sea grass?” YES / NO
Danielle I. – “Everyone’s Favorite Floaty Potato” I use pointillism because I think it is a great metaphor for how ecology works. All the dots make up the picture, take some away and it will still work, take too much away and the illustration would be unrecognizable. This is #5 in my series of endangered or threatened species called the Vanishing. 10×12 ink and marker
Darlene L. – “Serenity” Manatee mom and baby painted June 2022 by Darlene Lambert
Dharma T. – “My Manatee” My Manatee” was inspired by the manatees I’ve seen in person, random manatee pictures on the internet, and my favorite manatee plush, Manny. This is a drawing I did on basic sketchbook paper and colored in with colored pencils. This is the first time in awhile that I’ve gotten to really be creative and have felt good about my work afterward so I’m grateful for this opportunity. Enjoy!
Diana D. – “Calf and Cow” Calf and Cow is watercolor, ink, colored pencil, and acrylic. The piece depicts a mother and baby manatee with a very small patch of sea grass, highlighted by streams of sunlight, to bring attention to their lack of food.
Diane B. – “Breathe Easy, Manatees!” Manatee coming up for air. Pastel on canvas. Reference was my knowledge of manatees. Diane Bolter 2023
Eden A. – “Sea Of Love” Digital painting of a mother manatee and calf in a spring river with sea grass. Created on Procreate software after 22 hours and 20,000 brush strokes.
Elizabeth J. – “Happy Baby Manatee and Mother” Happy Baby Manatee and Mother Elizabeth Julius June 2023 Windsor Newton Acrylic 11X14 Canvas Image credit: Painted from image taken form article found in Pinterest: Countering tantrums with sacred attention COURTNEY MARTIN January 13, u2021 https://courtney.substack.com/p/countering-tantrums-with-sacred-attention
Erin S. – “Playtime” Acrylic and mixed media on canvas While swimming with manatees in King’s Bay, Florida years ago, I saw one playing with a rope that was attached to the ladder of one of the tour boats. I watched it play with the rope and almost a peek-a-boo-type game where it kept swimming back and forth to each side of the boat for several minutes. Manatees are amazing, playful, smart, and beautiful creatures that should be protected at all costs.
Francesca L. – “Sunshine Manatees” Digital artwork of a manatee gliding over the seagrass of Biscayne Bay as the sunshine glimmers on the sea floor.
Frida Sheccid R. – “Ponchito the manatee” Este trabajo fue realizado con pinturas acrílicas. El cuadro es una composición de distintas referencias que tomé de múltiples sitios, especialmente el manatí lo encontré en un video de instagram y me pareció demasiado lindo, las ramas, los peces y las algas representan algunos de los componentes que podemos encontrar en los escosistemas en los que los manatíes habitan. This work was made with acrylic paints. The painting is a composition of different references that I took from multiple sites, especially the manatee I found it in an instagram video and I found it too cute, the branches, fish and algae represent some of the components that we can find in the ecosystems in which manatees inhabit.
Gina C. – “Mom manatee and calf” This is an illustration of a calf with its mom. Both of them are covered in algae which is pretty typical to see. The calf is portrayed nursing to showcase they are mammals. The backdrop is the ocean, few people know that manatees can be seen in freshwater and saltwater.
Gina C. – “What does a manatee eat?” This illustration highlights everything that manatees can eat from sea grasses, algae, sponges, mangrove leaves, to purple hyacinths.
Grace K. – “Manatee in Seagrass” A manatee that is laying amongst seagrass and the waves of the ocean. The art mediums I used are clay and paint.
Haven P. – “Mama and Baby Manatee” An acrylic painting of a baby and mother manatee swimming together, with a background made of various blues, the manatees mostly surrounded with black and blue coral, as if framing the scene. The manatees are gray, both swimming the same general direction but also seeming to look at each other lovingly.
Haven P. – “Manatee with Flipper over Face” A watercolor painting of a manatee facing us with a flipper over its mouth. The manatee is gray, and the background is blue.
Heather O. – “Curiouser & Curiouser” Mixed media painting of manatees. Based off underwater photography by the submitting artist.
Heather O. – “He Sells Seashells” Pop art inspired mixed media painting.
Isabella M. – “Many Manatees” An art class assignment to imitate twelve different eras of art history with a focus on one subject. My subject? Manatees.
Jainey P. & Jamie E. – “A Guide to Spotting Manatees” A self-initiated collaboration by Jamie England and Jainey Pickerel. They aimed to bring awareness to the trouble manatees face by creating personalized characters from the manatees featured on savethemanatee.org!
James M. – “Manatee Family” Manatee family wood carving. Handmade for my daughter as they are her favorite animal.
Jamie E. – “Chessie’s Day Out” As part of my university course in the UK, I researched into manatees and the effects climate change is having on their survival. I wanted to increase the UKs awareness of manatees and felt it was best to highlight their loveable characteristics to do this. As part of this research, I came across Save the Manatee Club, their list of Adoptees and the important work being done to help them. My illustration in inspired by Chessie, the travelling manatee, and the adventures he went on. I read about his journeys and wanted to capture his adventurous nature in my work. I imagined that if he had access to a set of wheels, a driving licence, and a working pair of feet, he would be speeding his way across the USA in a classic Cadillac with the wind in his hair, before anyone could stop him. I think that a lot of Americans with that same sense of adventure would relate to my illustration of Chessie and his desire for exploration
Janina W. – “Mama and Baby at Peace” This is a mixed media recycled painting made on an 11 X14 canvas board. The background is acrylic paint. The seaweed is made from scraps of material. The manatees are made from cardboard covered in newspaper and painted over with acrylic paint then detailed with permanent marker. Mod podge was put on to seal it all together. What a sight to see such gentle manatees swimming together in peace not having to scavenger for the food that is available.
Janina W. – “Manatee’s Star” Made with polymer clay. The charm is of a manatee holding a yellow star.
Jason L. – “Manatees in love.” Two manatees expressing there life long love for each other.
Jenna M. – “Breathing Bubbles of Love” A sketch of a rotund manatee with a heart bubble coming out of its mouth
Jennetta H. – “Floaty Potato #1” Locally harvested shells on a light wood background.
Jennetta H. – “Floaty Potato #2” Locally harvested shells on a black wood background.
Jennifer G. – “Potato” Acrylic on Canvas
Jessica P. – “Manatee Time” Three manatees with simplistic block coloring background
Jordan M. – “Shallow water buoy – Manatee strike warning” With manatee conservation, one thing people overlook is the reporting aspect. At the same time, many people in the manatee conservation group are working to help people understand the rules and respect them within the waterways. With this Sculpture, my objective is to help people understand why reporting manatee boat strikes are so critical not only to keep them out of law enforcement but also to the health and safety of the manatee population. With this, I plan on helping spread the word about the cruciality of reporting to an authorized organization, and how you must own up to the accident. “Most boaters certainly don’t intentionally want to harm manatees, yet the vast majority of all manatees have been hit by boats, and many have been struck numerous times.”(Manatees, n.d.) The quote is sourced from savethemanatees.org explaining boat strikes that happen to manatees within the waters that they inhabit. “During the 2016-2017 winter season at Blue Spring State Park, SMC Manatee Specialist Wayne Hartley observed 59 individual manatees with 66 new boat strike injuries.” (In Danger On The Water, n.d.) This was reported within a restricted space where manatees are supposed to be safe. I hope to bring awareness to this problem and help support the creators of the organizations that support the amazing creatures.
Joy L. – “Beam of Tranquility” It was a cold sunny day when I was able to capture this manatee swimming at the Chassahowitzka River from my SUP.
Justin M. – “Manatees like Kpop too” My wife’s favorite animal is the manatee. She’s adopted Howie since she was a teenager. In the past few years, she’s also fallen in love with Kpop. She’s always liked Asian culture and traditions but is in love with Kpop. I decided to sit down and draw something that combined two of her favorite things and she fell in love with it. She immediately framed it and displayed it in our bathroom for everyone to enjoy.
Karissa U. – “Barbara” 24″ x 24″ Acrylic on Canvas. Named for my favorite manatee from my childhood, I chose to paint this with loose expressionistic brush strokes. It is my visual representation of nostalgia and happiness.
Karissa U. – “Ode to the Sunshine State” 18″ x 24″ Acrylic on Canvas. A surrealistic painting I did after being inspired by a visit to St. Petersburg, FL in 2021.
Katie T. – “Love and Resiliency” The piece uses mixed media and a combination of artistic presentation to achieve an abstract design of a manatee in its natural setting. Pastels on brick create an urban look representing those around the country who love Florida and it’s wildlife despite the circumstantial lack opportunity to live nearby. It symbolizes efforts of those outside of costal communities to support organizations who have mutual love for the ocean and the creatures who reside within. ‘Shelly’, the manatee, is created using a mosaic presentation with shells that were individually and lovingly collected by the artist and her family during visits to Southwest Florida. Uninhabited shells were collected from the beaches and waters of: Sanibel, Fort Myers Beach, Lover’s Key State Park, Marco Island, Keewaydin Island, Kice Island and other locations in the 10K. Key shells used in the piece include: Lightning Whelks, Crown Conchs, Jingle Shells, Banded Tulips, Lettered Olives, Paper Fig, Pear Whelk, Shark Eyes, Sun-Ray Venus Clams, the Florida State Shell (Horse Conch) and many others. Inspiration for this piece comes from the artist’s favorite memories of stays on San Carlos Bay in Sanibel. Sightings of manatee pods, including adults and juveniles, were a daily treat. The seagrass beds, calm waters and lesser visitation of this location provided a safe haven to the manatees who inhabited here. The artist wistfully represents early mornings spent in quiet reflection of the beauty of these creatures. Mornings spent listening to their breaths as they surfaced amongst soft waves and splashes of their movements just yards offshore. Human impact and Hurricane Ian has greatly altered this area and other manatee environments. However, the piece illustrates hope for a return to the natural state of natural environment and increases in manatee populations with the support of SMC.
Katy G. – “Manatee Mama” Stained glass depiction of mother manatee with a baby manatee.
Kelly S. – “Life is beautiful” 10” round canvas with tree ring acrylic pour and vinyl manatee embellishments with hand painted details and glitter paint.
Kelly S. – “Rainbow River” 3×5 particle board. Acrylic painting with vinyl and glitter embellishments and acrylic paint pen work.
Kelly S. – “Sea creature of beauty” 18×24 stretch canvas. Completely hand painted with acrylics and embellished with crushed glass and glitter.
Kevin M. – “Welcome home.” I made this wooden manatee family sign for our house for my wife. She adores manatees.
Kimberly A. – “Spirit of the Healing Waters” Kimberly Ashby, PhD June, 2023 Watercolor pencil on paper I grew up as a shy and awkward Black girl who often felt like I didn’t belong. In the third grade, I did a research project on manatees and the more I learned about their gentle nature, the more I identified with these marine mammals. Now, as an adult, after spending decades of “swimming upstream” through the currents of elite institutions, amassing the personal, academic, and professional accomplishments that failed to bring me the happiness I sought, I have returned to the wisdom messages of manatees. Black feminist, Alexis Pauline Gumbs’ “Undrowned: Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals,” once again has urged me to listen to the teachings manatees have for my spirit and for all of us: “Slow down. Be vulnerable. Be gentle with yourself and others.” Sometimes, being soft is the way to be brave. Last month, I created this watercolor pencil drawing as a means of honoring the parts of my soul that resonate with manatees and all of the precious and endangered wisdom they possess. Thank you, manatee cousins, for being who you are and for teaching me that being my authentic self and moving at my own pace is the yellow brick road that leads me to the home within myself.
Kira B. – “Meet Maurice” Maurice came from my imagination several decades ago. He is the main character in a preschool aged book that I authored about self-acceptance. As time goes on, Maurice will be engaging in many more adventures aimed at teaching young children important values including the environment, kindness, inclusion, and believing in yourself. This picture of Maurice, created entirely from art tools in Abode Photoshop, is the culmination of the character that I created long ago. I became passionate about manatees at a very early age, and I hope that with Maurice, I can help to bring this passion to a new generation of future manatee advocates!
Kristin S. – “Manatees for Humanity” 36x48in oil on canvas This painting represents a glimpse of Alby, Manhattan, and SwimShady during their rehabilitation period at the Cincinnati Zoo. I was granted permission to paint this photo by zoo volunteer photographer Terry Ann Lahmann Haussler. The photo was used for inspiration, embellished and enhanced by me, the artist, Kristin Stearley.
Kyle C. – “Save the Lagoon” This is a digital image of a manatee in the lagoon. Image created using a program called Corel Painter, which allowed me to utilize multiple styles of art.
Laken H. – “Manatees in space” This piece depicts the question, what if manatees were this other worldly creature’s, that could travel anywhere and were gods compared to humans? For me I see manatees as mythical creatures that are beautiful and fascinating, and I hope you think so too.
Lana A. – “Manatees in Lily Pads” A digital drawing of a mom manatees and two calves swimming through lilly pads from a top down angle in a rectangular frame. There are some flowers blooming and the water is sparkling. All is well in the manatee kingdom.
Laura R. – “Manatee Blooms” Painted on black paper with gouache paints
Lexi S. – “Sea Cow” I used a wood burning tool and watercolor paint to create this manatee, aka sea cow!
Lexi S. – “Tie Dye” I used tie dye and fabric paint to create this manatee shirt!
Lindsay G. – “happy lil manatee” Digital artwork created using procreate!
Lisa A. – “Embracing Inner Mermaid” Mel the manatee embracing her inner mermaid. Water color, acrylic, and pencil on canvas.
Manny Manatee – “Yummy Kelp” A manatee snacks on some delicious kelp.
Mariah S. – “Manatee Heart Vases” These manatee heart shaped vases are inspired by my love of manatees! They are made by hand out of clay. I use different glazes and textures to make each one unique and special. I run a small art business, Sunshine State Vibes, on the Space Coast of Florida and am inspired by local sightings of manatees.
Matt S. – “Manatee Mom with baby calf” I was inspired to do this watercolor and ink painting on paper after seeing some manatees on a trip to Florida. The manatee mom is protecting the baby calf. They swim slowly in the water with their paddle-like tails.
Megan E. – “Chubby Mermaid Manatee” Digitally hand drawn original art featuring tie dye lettering and a manatee of course!
Megan E. – “Respect the Locals” Digitally hand drawn original art, printed as a sticker photographed with a spring water background.
Megan P. – “Fancy Manatee Merlin” Merlin partakes in long strolls through luxury oceans. He enjoys an afternoon tea with his sea grass every day. He is polite, courteous, and always holds open doors for everyone. On a Thursday evening, he puts a Frank Manatra record on his record player and wiggles the night away. I have been drawing this character ever since I was in junior high, and now that I am 25, I have brought my childhood creation to life.
Michelle A. – “Manatee Festival” My mother collected this rock from the Manatee Festival at Blue Springs State Park in Florida. I painted it to match the occasion!
Michelle C. – “Reincarnated Manatee” This is a manatee made up of trash and plastic that I have found while doing my clean ups. Part of this is to raise awareness about the fact that we use too much plastic. The other part is to raise awareness about the dangers of plastic bottles to the manatees habitats, the ocean and springs.
Michelle J. – “The Last Cheese” A manatee duo and their cheesy pose for the camera. Captured in time as their time is being threatened. Here’s hoping we can save the manatees and their cheese poses for generations to come! May they always be present for more cheese.
Miranda O. – “Isla” Manatee swimming- painted with acrylic paints on canvas.
Nathalie H. – “The peaceful manatee” Manatees are very peaceful and beautiful creatures that need to be protected. To draw, try different techniques and learn more about these wonderful creatures was a great experience and led to this watercolour painting on paper. Manatees inspire me by their calm nature and i try to stay calm and enjoy the world around me. They always seem so peaceful and calm compared to the world around them. This is my first entry to an art contest ever and my first watercolour painting. I had a lot of fun and always enjoy reading about the rescued manatees. Please keep up the great work.
Paige C. – “Spring time adventures” The artwork is a digital drawing of a manatee of her calf exploring the springs. Due to recent troubles with fertilizers and eutrophication I thought it was important to make the spring dense with vegetation- the world that could be if we keep working towards spring maintenance. The saturated light showing the clear water often seen in the springs during springtime.
Pam F. – “Manatee Pine Needle Basket” My love of the peace inspiring Manatee inspired me to create this piece of art. The basket is woven with Florida Long-Leaf Pine needles. The center is a 3-D painting of Manatees on a pine board. Thank you for looking!
Parker S. – “mr” Manatee (painted oven-bake clay) with glass beads hanging from its belly.
Philip C. – “Manatee Appreciation Day at the Salad Bar” It’s Manatee Appreciation Day! To celebrate, a local restaurant has decided to run a sale on their salad bar meals. A local family decides to take up the offer and save some cash only to realize that busloads of manatees had come as well. Given how much manatees enjoy lettuce, they went a little crazy and are eating as much as they can. As such, the manatees have thrown caution to the wind and chaos ensues – chairs flip, drinks spill, manatee calves climbing into the salad bar itself – all while the family regrets their dinner choice. This leads to the cartoon-style scene presented in my artwork.
Phoenix V. – “The old (man)atee and the Sea” Watercolor and ink. Inspiration drawn from American traditional sailor tattoos.
Rachel J. – “Sirenian Stained Glass” Combining a love of manatees and fiber arts, I embroidered this stained-glass style artwork to honor these gentle creatures. I wanted to portray the habitat and behavior of manatees through embroidery art, representing the sea grasses they eat and the slow, gentle, floating lifestyles manatees have. I combined the natural colors of the grass, manatees themselves and the water around them into a fractured stained-glass appearance through thread art, creating a textured portrayal of a manatee. It is one of my favorite embroidery pieces I have ever created.
Rie S. – “Daily life with buddy” The peaceful and calm daily life of manatees, happy swimming with their buddies. With the wish that manatees will continue to live peacefully from now on too 🙂
Roberta K. – “Paddy Doyle” This graphite-on-paper drawing was inspired by our adoption certificate photo of manatee Paddy Doyle and observing manatees at Blue Spring State Park in February 2023. Manatees are perfect for detailed pencil drawings, great gray tones, lots of wrinkles, prop scars, whiskers and algae. Drawing size 13.5 x 17.
Roxy V. – “take it easy manatee” Art deco inspired piece with a stylized manatee, with a frog on its head and framed in by graphic Mucha-esque elements.
Sara D. – “Manatees Illuminated” Medium: Colored pencil on cardstock. This scene is based off of snapshots I took from the Homosassa and Blue Spring manatee webcams.
Sherry Conrad F. – “Manatee Family In The Sea” A watercolor pencil drawing of 7 manatees in the sea or a manatee family in the sea. You can tell each manatee has his or her own personality and his or her own characteristics. Part of a family but individuals as well.
Siobhan A. – “Manatee collage” I painted a few pages with different colors and made a collage to show water, manatee grass, and a manatee. A fun project for one of my favorite animals!
Stephani E. – “The Gem of Crystal River” This is an 11×14 canvas, encrusted with rhinestones (including the sides of the canvas). It is a whimsical depiction of the “”gem”” of Crystal River, surrounded by jeweled vegetation. Thank you!
Stephanie D. – “Wesley’s Manatee” 4″x6″, watercolor, colored pencil, and ink on paper
Stephanie K. – “Gentle Giant” This is my graphite pencil drawing of the Florida manatee. It’s on a 9×12 Strathmore drawing pad.
Summer R. – “Shining Star” Stained glass piece designed after I adopted Star (West Indian Manatee) years ago. When we heard the news that she passed in 2000, I wanted to create something to keep her memory in tact in my home. It’s a stained glass panel, 10″x10″ in size.
Susan G. – “Manatee Love” Acrylic On Canvas of Manatees in the Florida Keys.
Tammy C. – “Manatee & babies Cake” Sculpted cake of a manatee with fondant babies and a fondant flower crown.
Tammy C. – “Manatee mailbox” OOAK Dollhouse 1:12 scale manatee mailbox. Hand sculpted by me in polymer clay, painted with acrylics. I made the tail flipper to resemble my adopted manatee, Lucille’s, tail for. She lost part of a flipper to monofilament.
Tammy C. – “OOAK Manatee Table” OOAK Hand sculpted polymer clay manatee mom and baby table in 12th scale dollhouse size. Manatee mom snoot is made to look like she’s sticking it out of the water.
Teagan C. – “Floating” Oil pastels. Manatee floating along, admiring her reflection.
Terra H. – “Seaglass Sea Cow” I made this sea cow out of seaglass that I found from a secret beach that I go to outside of Boston, Massachusetts. I’m really proud of this piece and I absolutely love manatees!
Tesa M. – “Murphy the Manatee” Murphy the Manatee is an original pattern design by myself, Tesa, of Tesa’s Crochet Critters. He’s the first critter in the Friends of Florida Collection. I believed a manatee would be the best place to start to represent Florida. The pattern is currently in the testing stages. Once it’s determined to be accurate, I plan to sell the pattern on Etsy and a percentage of each pattern sold will be donated to a Florida Wildlife charity.
Troy C. – “Lesley’s Memory” Portrait for now passed on Lesley manatee my wife adopted. 9″ by 12″ graphite and white ink on gray toned paper.