The Alabama Center for the Arts is pleased to announce the opening of the Junior Duck Stamp Show on Wednesday, May 5. The Junior Duck Stamp Program is a youth art contest sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that is coupled with a curriculum that is designed to teach youth about waterfowl (ducks, geese, and swans) and their habitat needs, featuring only waterfowl that are native to North America. The show will be featured in the Center’s Walking Gallery until June 30. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
The annual art contest takes place in each of the 50 states and is open to students in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade. At the state level, students are judged in four groups according to grade level: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Three 1st, three 2nd, and three 3rd place entries, along with 16 honorable mentions, are selected from each age group. Contest judges select one “Best of Show” from the 12 first place winners. Each state or territory “Best of Show” is then entered in the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest which occurs in April.
Artwork is judged on the basis of originality, anatomical accuracy, artistic composition and suitability for reproduction on a 1.5’’x2’’ stamp. Artistic mediums include acrylic, watercolor, and pencil and artwork is submitted from students in schools and art studios from around the state including Mobile, Auburn, and Montgomery.
To further the interdisciplinary goals of the program, students are encouraged to include an original conservation message along with their artwork. The message should explain something about what the student has learned about wetlands, conservation, or waterfowl and wildlife. It may also be a statement encouraging others to learn about and participate in conservation.
The Best-of-Show this year was a Red-breasted Merganser that placed 1st in the 10-12 grade age category. The artist, Grace He, is a 16-year old student from Auburn, Alabama and is a student at the Barbara Keel Art School. The show will feature 37 pieces of art including the artwork that accompanies the Conservation Message that was selected as Best-of-Show.
Duck hunters and conservationists purchase the Federal Duck Stamp (not to be confused with the Junior Duck Stamp) each year to support wetland conservation across the United States. Junior Duck Stamps can also be purchased and the proceeds go to provide recognition, incentives, and scholarships to students, teachers, and schools who participate in the Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest. The $5 Junior Duck Stamp can be purchased online (https://www.duckstamp.com/).
The Alabama Center for the Arts is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm and on Friday from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm. For more information about the contest, visit https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Wheeler/JDS/ or www.fws.gov/juniorduck/.