Wildlife art enthusiasts, stamp and print collectors, waterfowl hunters, anglers, birdwatchers and wetland conservationists will gather at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, April 11, at the Delaware Agriculture Museum and Village in Dover to watch the judging of Delaware’s annual Waterfowl Stamp and Trout Stamp contests. Entries will be on display at the museum through Friday, April 26.
Sponsored by the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife in partnership with Delaware Ducks Unlimited, the annual waterfowl stamp (formerly known as the duck stamp) competition draws entries by renowned and emerging artists from across the country. The winning artwork will be reproduced on a stamp which must be signed and carried by all duck and goose hunters while hunting in Delaware. Waterfowl stamps are also purchased by collectors and other conservation-minded citizens.
Delaware’s 2014 Waterfowl Stamp will mark the 34th anniversary of the contest, which began in 1980, to raise funds for waterfowl conservation, including acquiring and improving the wetland habitats that are vital for the survival of migratory waterfowl. To date, more than $2.5 million has been raised. The artwork chosen for the 2014 stamp must include one or more Delaware native species as the dominant feature, and may include any other objects including non-natural objects.
For the trout stamp contest, artists from across the nation submitted paintings of rainbow, brown or brook trout for consideration in the 2014 Delaware Trout Stamp competition. The winning artwork will be reproduced on a stamp which must be displayed by all trout anglers while fishing. Some 6,500 trout anglers and stamp collectors support this program annually, generating funds to purchase trout for stocking in six northern New Castle County streams, Tidbury Pond in Kent County and Newton Pond in Sussex County.
A panel of judges consisting of an artist, a waterfowl collector, an art teacher/professor, a biologist and the chair of Delaware Ducks Unlimited will select Best of Show winners for the 2014 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp. A similar panel will select the 2014 Delaware Trout Stamp. Judges will base their decisions on originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy and suitability for reproduction as a stamp and print.
The previously selected 2013 Delaware Junior Duck Stamp winners also will be on display. The competition provides an opportunity for students throughout Delaware to participate in a national art competition keyed to native waterfowl and wetland values. Students learn hands-on activities in waterfowl, wetland and habitat education and conservation while completing waterfowl stamp art entries. Artwork is judged in K-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12 grade categories. The Best of Show will move on to the National Federal Junior Duck Stamp Competition.
For more information on the Delaware Waterfowl Stamp and Trout Stamp programs, contact the Division of Fish and Wildlife at 302-739-9911, or go to www.fw.delaware.gov.