Release Date: 09/26/2006

Darren Sorrels of Metairie was recently honored at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota for his winning artwork of a white perch during the eighth annual Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Expo.  Sorrels, who just entered his junior year, won the Louisiana 10th to 12th grade category. 

During his trip to Minneapolis, Sorrels attended a Minnesota Twins game for free while his white perch artwork was displayed on the "big screen" for the sold out crowd to enjoy.  He also participated in other expo events including an Awards Ceremony in the Mall's Central Rotunda to recognize winners representing 28 states, the unveiling of the new Art of Conservation stamps and announcing the National "Best of Show" Winners.  Sorrels attended a field trip to The Art Institutes International Minnesota featuring a luncheon and a special art workshop with faculty from the college.

"The State-Fish Art Expo is a celebration of America's youth, art, conservation and our fishing heritage," said Douglas H. Grann, president and CEO of Wildlife Forever.  "People across Louisiana will be reminded of their state's wild natural abundance through the creative spirit and imagination of Darren Sorrels."

President of Rapala, Tom Mackin, personally congratulated Sorrels and presented prizes including a Rapala rod and reel, a gift certificate for art supplies from Cheap Joe's Art Stuff, a blue ribbon and other special items.

The Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest encourages young artists nationwide to create an illustration of their state-fish and a written composition on behavior, habitat and efforts of conservation for the fish.  Entries are categorized by grade level: 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12.  Up to three winners are selected from each state.

Wildlife Forever is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving America's wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat and management of fish and wildlife.  Working at the grassroots level, Wildlife Forever has funded conservation projects in all 50 states, committing millions of dollars to the on-the-ground efforts.

For more information on the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest visit

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or