Artists support duck-stamp programPublished 7:09pm Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Several of the best wildlife artists in the nation, if not the world, will compete in the 2013 North Carolina Wildfowl Conservation Stamp competition later this month.
The competition, open to the public, will be held Jan. 28 at the Washington Civic Center, where it’s been held for several years. The competition starts at 10 a.m. The winning artist receives $7,000 in prize money and $300 for travel expenses to attend the upcoming East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships, set for Feb. 8-10 in Washington.
The competition’s top five entries will be displayed at the Civic Center during the festival. For this year’s competition, entries must depict tundra swans, northern shovelers, brants, gadwalls or hooded Mergansers.
A question about this year’s contest is will Richard Clifton, who lives in Delaware, win his third blue ribbon in a row. Clifton won the competition in 2012 and 2011. On Wednesday, Clifton declined to say if he’s preparing an entry for this year’s competition.
Clifton explained how he began competing in the North Carolina contest.
“North Carolina has always seemed like they have had a nice duck-stamp program. They always get quality art. Some of the other artists who enter are very good. I know the competition is stiff down there. There’s an incentive for me to try to put together a strong entry,” he said.
The first year he entered, Clifton took second place.
“After that I kind of looked at the list of the artists that were entering and realized, you know what, you’ve got to bring you’re a-plus game because there’s some good people who are entering this contest,” Clifton said.
Clifton said the $7,000 prize money given to the winning artist also serves as an incentive to enter the competition.
“It’s a tough contest to win, I think, just based on the competitive field,” Clifton said.
Revenue from sales of the duck-stamp 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 website.