Festival fever: Duck-stamp contest serves as overture to signature event
Published 7:37 pm Wednesday, January 21, 2015
The 20th East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships will offer new activities and traditional events when it returns to Washington the weekend of Feb. 6-8
One of those traditional events is a contest open to competitors from across the nation and around the world.
Friday is the deadline to submit entries to the 2015 North Carolina Waterfowl Conservation Stamp competition. Judging of the entries begins at 9 a.m. Monday at the Washington Civic Center. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the WTDA sponsor the event.
One of those new things is the festival will be open to the public on Friday for the first time. In its previous 19 years, the festival was open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays.
Artwork for the duck-stamp contest will be judged on the following criteria: level and accuracy of detail in all aspects of the anatomy of waterfowl; appropriateness, accuracy and detail in depiction of the selected species’ habitat; attractiveness and creativity of the composition, regarding spatial balance, lighting and harmony of subject and background and visual appeal and suitability for reproduction at both the print and stamp scales.
The competition is open to artists 18 years and older. Artists may submit only one design in whatever medium they choose. Images must be horizontal, 13 inches by 18 inches, matted in white to outside dimensions of 18 inches by 23 inches and should be loosely covered with a protective overleaf, although not framed or covered with glass.
A panel of five judges who have expertise in waterfowl biology or artistic method and expression will select the winning entry. The winning artist is encouraged to attend the unveiling ceremony Feb. 5. The winner will receive $7,000 in prize money, $300 in travel expense money and free booth space at the 2016 festival.
The top five entries will be exhibited at the Turnage Theater during the festival weekend.
The winning entry is used as the artwork for the prints and stamps sold to help pay for North Carolina’s portion of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, an international agreement aimed at protecting waterfowl and waterfowl habitat. The sales of prints and stamps also support waterfowl research and purchases equipment used in wetlands management.
The fund has raised more than $4.2 million since its inception.
Festival Park will play host to the First South Bank Sportsman Venue, which features items for sale with the sportsman in mind. Archery Alley, an outdoors market, a boat-builder and sporting demonstrations (retrievers and the like) will be located at Festival Park.
Next to the park, the children’s decoy-painting workshop takes place Feb. 7 at the North Carolina Estuarium.
The Turnage Theater is the venue for the waterfowl-calling contests Feb. 8.
The city’s tourism website — www.littlewashingtonnc.com — has a link to the festival’s website. (Click on the “Arts and Culture” icon, then scroll down that page to the “East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival” link and click on it.) Another option is to simply visit www.ecwaf.comto access the festival’s website.