Duck stamps return

Published 12:32 am Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Duck stamp competition returns to Washington

The annual N.C. Waterfowl Conservation Stamp competition returns to Washington on Jan. 30.

The East Carolina Wildfowl Guild and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will conduct the competition to choose the state’s next “duck stamp” at the Washington Civic Center, with judging beginning at 10 a.m. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Jan. 27 at the guild’s office at 412 River Road, Washington.

The competition is a prelude to the 17th-annual East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships set for Feb. 11-12 in Washington. The artist whose entry takes first place in the contest will receive $7,000 in prize money and a $300 travel allowance.

This year will be the fourth straight year a nationwide, public art competition was conducted to select the winning artwork used to produce the North Carolina duck stamp. In previous years, the N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission picked artists to produce artwork for duck stamps.

Selected entries from this year’s competition will be displayed at the preview reception for the festival. At that reception, to be held Feb. 10, the top five entries will be unveiled by the Wildlife Resources Commission. The top entries will remain on display throughout the festival weekend.

Richard Clifton’s painting of a pair of Canada geese in a fall-winter pasture setting took first place in the 2011-2012 competition. He’s submitted an entry for this year’s competition, said David Gossett, the festival’s show chairman and a guild member.

“It’s shaping up good. We always get most of the entries in the last week before the deadline,” Gossett said of the competition. “Next week, we will probably average five to seven, eight pieces of art coming in every day.”

On Friday, entries were received from artists in Georgia and Montana, he noted.

“From the pieces we’ve gotten so far, it looks like we’ve got four or five artists whose names I don’t recognize from (being in) past competitions,” Gossett said. “So, that’s good.”

Each year, the WRC specified five species/habitats for the competition. For this year, the five eligible species/habitats are tundra swan, northern shoveler, brant, gadwall and redhead. The entries must show an eligible species in an appropriate habitat in North Carolina.

During the summer of 2006, the guild approached and persuaded the WRC to let the guild sponsor a national competition as the way to choose the artwork that will be used to produce the state’s annual waterfowl stamp, according to David Gossett, a guild member and chairman of its annual wildlife festival.

Revenue from sales of the print and stamps go to the commission’s Waterfowl Fund, which provides money for the conservation of waterfowl habitat in North Carolina. The fund has raised more than $4.2 million since its inception.

“The money is used to help North Carolina meet its financial obligations in implementing the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, the international agreement helping restore waterfowl populations throughout the continent. In addition, funds have been used to support waterfowl research and to buy equipment used to manage wetlands,” according to the commission’s Web site.

For more information about the competition, visit the guild’s website at or call 252-946-2897 or 252-946-9326.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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