Wildlife Arts Festival, duck stamp competition sending out call for artists

Published 6:33 pm Monday, August 26, 2019

Organizers are gearing up for the annual Wildlife Arts Festival by putting out a call for art and artists.

Though the Wildlife Arts Festival is slated for Feb. 8-9, 2020, the request for art comes months in advance from several sources: North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and Washington Tourism Development Authority and Arts of the Pamlico.

WTDA, host of the annual the North Carolina Waterfowl Conservation Stamp competition, with NCWRC, are seeking artists for the 2020-2021 waterfowl conservation stamp, known more familiarly as the North Carolina duck stamp. AOP is seeking wildlife art vendors for the Wildlife Arts Festival. Traditionally, the duck stamp competition and the festival go hand in hand.

According AOP Executive Director Debra Torrence, both play an important part in spurring tourism in Washington.

“We’re carrying on a festival that provides economic impact in one of the slowest times of the year and our goal to get people on the street and shopping and dining downtown, supporting stores and nonprofits,” Torrence said. “Art is the catalyst, and wildlife is the theme.”

Torrence said AOP is currently looking for sponsors, as well as wildlife artists to fill the Washington Civic Center, and hopes to build on the festival’s continued success.

“We actually tripled attendance last year,” Torrence said. “The call for exhibitors is happening now through November, until all the slots are full.”

AOP will bring back old favorites such as decoy-carving and retriever demos, duck decoy painting at the Estuarium, duck calling, and Literacy Volunteers’ homemade chowder, along with the new, in featured decoy carver Ed Morrison, and hunting and fishing items, Torrence said.

Artists seeking the $7,000 in prize money that comes with winning the North Carolina duck stamp competition have until 5 p.m. Jan. 17, 2020, to bring their submission to the Washington Tourism Development Authority. The call is for a full-color realistic rendering of the artist’s choice of tundra swan, blue-winged teal, ruddy duck, lesser scaup or bufflehead, depicted in the appropriate habitat, according to a press release from NCWRC.

Artwork is 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 winning artwork will be reproduced in print and on stamps, which are sold to support the Wildlife Resources Commission’s Waterfowl Fund. The fund raises money for the conservation of waterfowl habitats in North Carolina. Complete rules for the competition and the entry form can be found on the WTDA website at www.visitwashingtonnc.com/nc-duck-stamp.