To celebrate the launch of the Snow Leopard Conservancy’s new website in July 2019, we held an Art & Poetry Contest, Capture the Spirit of the Snow Leopard. Entries from the four age-group categories were chosen for Honorable Mention and now appear in the Media Gallery of the Conservancy’s website. At this time, we would like to announce the winners and congratulate them on their creativity and ability to capture the beauty, mystery, and strength that is the spirit of the snow leopard.

Grand Prize – Artwork

On A Mission

Artist – Fiona Anderson

Medium: Pastel on suede board

Grand Prize – Poetry

“The Snow Leopard”

Most holy and powerful being,
Gliding, trackless, across your rocky realm,
How many times have we looked right at you
And still not seen?

Sky leopard, ghost cat, phantom in the snow,
Wandering the wilderness
And scaling astounding vertical crags
In search of food and companions.

We strain for signs of hope
That you are still among us:
Your image on a camera, a broad paw print,
A long, curving tail draped across the roof of the world.

Poet – Becky Norman

First Place – Traditional Art

Age Group 26 & Over

Two Ages

Artist – Ekaterina Drozhdina

Medium: Pencil

First Place – Poetry

Age Group 26 & over

The night sky’s image
blazoned in reverse—
black stars against golden-white,
dark Milky Way flowing down the center,
terrestrial yang to celestial yin—
walking the Earth
mostly unseen
but present.
Present as a heartbeat in the stillness.
Present as a warm touch in the cold.
Present as a body enclosing the limitless.
Present as complement and completeness.

At the interface of earth and heaven
snow leopard treads,
and the world continues to be.

Poet – Carol Parks

Tie for Second Place – Traditional Art

Age Group 26 & over

Between Paws

Artist – Fiona Anderson

Medium: Pastel on artist’s valour

Artist – Karina Pliego

Medium: Black pen on opaline paper

Tie for Second Place – Poetry

Age Group 26 & over

“Spirit of the Snow Leopard”

Snow falls all around
This majestic land
Of never ending peaks
Wind swept terrain
And rarefied sunshine.

Silent as the snowfall
Enters the ghost of the Himalayas
Blending into the surroundings so well
Moving gracefully with their
Lush long tail
Fur padded paws
Unique rosettes
And mesmerizing creamy jade colored eyes.

Elusive movements to the eyes
So well blended as they are in their environment
Giving off an other worldly aura
Of ethereal regalness as they pass by.

Protective mothers with their cubs
On a partially hidden rocky ledge play
Allowing them to roam about in their new world
Just so far.

Male counterparts
Roam the area far and wide
In pursuit of the next meal, caught with lightening speed and agility
Or perhaps they look
for a new mate to court
at the top of the world.


This reverenced cycle of life observed
In so vast a land as this
With such a beautiful creature
The Spirit of the Snow Leopard.

Poet – Debra Crowe-Vitale

“Snow Leopard”

Under winter sun

Waking to rearrange
its tail, a curve of fur,

Warm breath, its
Own fire


Of one who knows
How to disappear

In Zen Buddhism, an Ensō is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create.  

Poet – Susan Leibik

First Place – Traditional Art

Age Group 18-25

Artist – Brenna Eikenbary

Medium: Pencil

First Place – Digital Art

Age Group 11-17

Artist – Parag Chettri

Medium: Digital drawing

Second Place – Digital Art

Age Group 11-17

Artist – Parag Chettri

Medium: Digital drawing

First Place – Digital Art

Age Group 10 & under

A Leopard in Disguise

Artist – Ava Langley

Medium: Digital drawing