The Resilient Mountains
Snow Leopards & Mountain Communities

Artwork & Poetry Contest


Grand Prize Artwork

Snow Leopard on the Mountain

Artist – Feng Yang

Medium: Oils

First Place – Traditional Artwork
Adult – 18 & Over

Mountain Ghost

Artist – Debbie Morris

Medium: Pastels

Second Place – Traditional Artwork
Adult – 18 & Over

The Storm Approaches

Artist – Richard MacWee

Medium: Soft pastels

Third Place – Traditional Artwork
Adult – 18 & Over

Safe and Sound

Artist – Ekaterina Drozhdina

Medium: Soft pastels

Fourth Place – Traditional Artwork
Adult – 18 & Over

Family, Our Greatest Strength

Artist – Patricia Vega Garrido

Medium: Colored pencils

Fifth Place – Traditional Artwork
Adult – 18 & Over

Let It Snow

Artist – Kateryna Bielikova

Medium: Acrylic on masonite

Sixth Place – Traditional Artwork
Adult – 18 & Over


Artist – Susanne Fumelli

Medium: Pastels on velour

First Place – Poetry
Adult – 18 & Over

Where the Strongest People Live

by Anne Curtis

Plates collide
The earth quakes; glittering peaks jut up
Snow and blue, blue ice
Melting and freezing
Form canyons and deep valleys
Resilient people carve mantras on the canyon walls
And make the valleys home
Rivers carry rock and silt
Down to the plains below
The mountains rise higher
The rocks around them crumble
Mountains come and go.

A gray ghost is silent
Her coat spinning smoke rings
Woven on her tail
She gazes at the bharal
Long tail swishing silently
The bharal flees across a cliff face
Snow leopard follows, tail balancing
Across the steep cliff and down the talus slope
She slows, the bharal escapes
Eyes glinting in the light
She settles in a sunny spot
Not quite hungry.

A man watches his herd of yaks
Tear at clumpy grass
On a boulder strewn hillside
It’s summer and the air is chill
Skeptical at first, but quick to adapt
Respecting the cat, revering her yet
Communities adopting technology
Darkness falls and the ghost is there
She glides through the night toward the yaks
Scared by a Foxlight she moves on
Climbing effortlessly
Back toward the bharal.

And the plates collide
Glaciered mountains rise
Cracking ice sends boulders down
Glaciers gouge valleys from the mountains
Sparkling blue lakes
And valleys of flowers
Give way to the harshest of winters
Where the strongest people live
Guardians of the ecosystem
Where the snow leopard dwells
Her future secured
By the people of the mountains.

First Place – Traditional Artwork

Youth – Ages 12-17

Blue Eyes in the Morning Snow

Artist – Parag Chettri

Medium: Acrylics

Second Place – Traditional Artwork

Youth – Ages 12-17

Snow Leopards

Artist – Xenia Turkish

Medium: Gouache

Second Place – Poetry
Adult – 18 & Over

The Resilient Ones

by Becky Norman

Resiliency rises from the dust of despair,
Its empty, aching belly and deep cold bones
Demanding: Move forward. Don’t stop.
Heart, keep beating.

Survival teaches us these things.
First, food in your belly and air in your lungs.
Second, shelter from the storms and a thick coat to protect you.
The immediate comes first, the foundation in the hierarchy of needs.

Survival also teaches us these things.
Be willing to change, grow, adapt.
Work with your world – not against it.
Resistance will break you.

It won’t always be sunshine and meadows of wildflowers.
There is no illumination there.
Resiliency rises from the dust of despair,
And is watered with hope.

First Place – Digital Media – Adult 18 & Over

Child of the Mountains

Artist – Sophia Kasimova

Medium: Digital

Second Place – Digital Media – Adult 18 & Over

Blossoming Blizzard

Artist – Sara Campos

Medium: Digital

Third Place – Poetry
Adult – 18 & Over

The Snow Queen

by Martin Forey

Jewel of the Himalayas
What price a mottled ounce
Rosetted ash and ivory
Spring coiled tight to pounce

Mythical mountain monarch
From lofty balcony she waits
Regally surveying her court
Of blanket snow and cragged slate

Surefooted snow-shoed stalker
Silent solitary days she roams
Across her treacherous territory
Of wintery speckled monochrome

Ibex, Markhor and blue sheep
Beware the clack of careless hoof
For peril awaits a single leap
Atop the tiles of Asia’s roof

Expect her not to abdicate
More place than any has she there
For never more to wild estate
Did claim such sole and rightful heir.

First Place – Mixed Media – Adult 18 & Over

Roof of the World

Artist – Judith Voce

Media: Watercolors with digital alteration

Second Place – Mixed Media – Adult 18 & Over

Snow Leopard Gaze

Artist – Tana Hakanson

Media: Pencil sketch/Digital painting

Fourth Place – Poetry
Adult – 18 & Over

Only A Mirage

by Sandra McEwen

Snow leopard.
Solitary, silent feline.
Toughest of the lot,
yet so elusive, beautifully mysterious,
almost ethereal as
it disappears through high mists,
leaving no trace.

Paw prints vanishing,
with snow gently blanketing.
This cat, gone like a wisp,
never even there,
a mirage of icy realms.

First Place – Unique Media – Adult 18 & Over


Artist – Lucia Schenk

Media: Pyrography and colored pencil on wooden board

Second Place – Unique Media – Adult 18 & Over

Looking Out

Artist – Debi Lockhurst

Media: Acrylics on turkey feathers

Third Place – Unique Media – Adult 18 & Over

Ready to Pounce

Artist – Genevieve Brayley

Media: Glass mosaics with oils

Fifth Place – Poetry
Adult – 18 & Over


by Daniel Burton

Come one, come all.
Brothers, sisters,
Mothers, fathers,
Sons and daughters,
Let us now join hands together.
In this era of seismic shifts,
Our beacon of faith still stands strong –
A spark of hope burns in her eyes.

She watches us
And protects us,
Hidden from view
Yet she is here
In the whispering of the wind.
The Goddess of the Mountainside –
She who survives adversity
Shall be our light in the darkness.

Through the years
And centuries
Of seasons’ change,
She shows the way
To a peaceful utopia
Where we may all gather and learn
Her secret, mysterious ways
So we may reinforce our souls.

Brothers, sisters,
Mothers, fathers,
Sons and daughters
Now we rejoice.
We have a long path ahead of us
And countless mountains to be scaled.
But the Snow Leopard will guide us.
Do not fear, for we are all one.

First Place – Unique Media – Youth 12-17

King of Mountains

Artist – Margarita Khrustaleva

Media: Colored pencils and paper collage

Second Place – Unique Media – Youth 12-17

Oscar the Snow Leopard

Artist – Tereza Schenk

Medium: Needlecraft

Sixth Place – Poetry
Adult – 18 & Over

When the Mountain Ghost Is Named

by Emma Lee

In a den on a mountain a ghost cub is born.

Villagers blame ghosts for losses, set traps
to protect livestock and hope mining jobs mean
security. But other herders lose pastures
and learn mining is not a gold seam.

Now adult, she has her first litter.

Villagers strengthen their corrals, take sheep’s wool,
formerly waste, to make rugs and needlefelt goods.
They set up a social enterprise and sell
handicrafts to supplement income from herds.

Two years later, a second litter, setting a pattern.

The villagers dismantle their traps.
Dagina becomes the oldest ghost mother,
the first snow leopard who may
see all her cubs survive her.

First Place – Pairing
Adult 18 & over

Spirit of the Mountains

by Anna Carrino

Poem & Digital drawing

Second Place – Pairing
Adult 18 & over

The Old One

by Charith Pelpola (In Memoriam)

Poem & Watercolor pencil & ink drawing

For the last time, the old one came down from the mountain.

He retraced his steps, following trails worn by countless years of use; familiar footfalls now lost to the passage of time.

Like all of his kind, his life had been shaped by the instinctive drive for survival. And he carried his scars with pride.

Some of his kin had fallen, but others had thrived. And now he stood, at the edge of the precipice – the last of his generation.

If he had cared to stop and think awhile, he might have looked upon his life as a success. But he did not dwell on such things.

Instead, he fixed his gaze across the valley that stretched out before him. Across the ravine he spied a herd of wild sheep, fleet of foot and almost dancing across the rubble fields.

For a split second the hunter in him stirred, muscles tensed in anticipation. But the urge passed, for he felt his great age – and now the comfort of a sheltering cave and dry sedge appealed to him far more than the call of the chase.

Still, he hoped that his progeny, now spread far and wide across the country below, might take up the hunt in his stead.

An icy breeze caressed the peak, and he felt its chill in his bones. As he turned to retrace his steps back up the mountain, the old one stopped for a minute to watch his breath steam rhythmically in the air before him.

At last he began to clamber with purpose, choosing his steps wisely. It was a painful ascent and he snarled now and then as his feet snagged on sharp-edged fragments of rock. But he took some comfort in the knowledge that this would be his final climb.

And so the old soul turned his back upon the world. He climbed high.

As the mists rolled in and cast a thick shroud upon the peak, his figure gradually became indistinct, losing form and consistency.

Finally, he disappeared completely, and no mortal eye could make out his departure…
The Old One and the Mountain were now one.

Honorable Mentions

Artist – Kim MacCallum

Medium: Diptych – Oils on canvas

King of Pamir

Artist – Muhammad Sufyan

Medium: Acrylics on Canvas

Haiku For A Snow Leopard

by Silvia Schmidt

Icy wind over the snow

In spotted fur the hunter

A short beat of wings

Power Couple

Artist – Silvia Schmidt

Medium: Pastels

Snow Leopard

Artist – Ingeborg Saes

Medium: Pastels on pastelmat

Guardian of Innocence

Artist – Sandy Moser

Medium: Acrylics

Snowy Solace

Artist – Lynne Waters Griffey

Medium: Watercolors

We Still Stand

by Daniel Burton

Change arrives swiftly, like a mountain gust.
In just a heartbeat
Whatever is known shall become unknown,
Yet hope still remains.

In this perilous era of panic,
Let’s lift our heads up
And recall how we have survived before.
As one, we still stand.

Under the Snow Leopard’s protective gaze,
We will all still stand.
Guided in adversity, turning tides,
Together, we still stand.

Each soul shall unite as they always have
And raise our hands high
To the Mountain Queen – she who always sees.
She who inspires us.

Though she dwells hidden in the mountain fog,
We stand side by side
To face each wave with honour and courage –
Man and noble beast.

Snow Leopards of Love

Artist – Birgit Bührlé

Medium: Acrylics on canvas

I Can Be Lost

Artist – Natalia Ermakova

Medium: Watercolors


Artist – Marcia Sivek

Medium: Oils on canvas

Resting Mountain Queen

Artist – Elizabeth Todd

Medium: Pastels


Artist – Kateryna Bielikova

Medium: Pastels on paper

Reproduction of art and literary works appearing on this website is permitted for educational purposes. Reproductions should be credited appropriately to the various authors and/or artists.

For reproduction of art and/or literary works appearing on this website for any other purpose than educational, please contact the Snow Leopard Conservancy at or in order that we might obtain special permission from the individual authors and/or artists.