RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 17, 2011) – Delaware artist Richard Clifton’s painting of a pair of Canada geese standing in a pasture was selected as the 2011 North Carolina Waterfowl Conservation Stamp and Print.
The painting, “Canadas in Pasture,” was unveiled at the 16th Annual East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and the N.C. Decoy Carving Championships in Beaufort County during an evening preview reception on Feb. 11.
Representing the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at the unveiling were Deputy Director Mallory Martin; Wildlife Commissioners Wes Seegars, Ray White and Mitch St. Clair; former Wildlife Commissioner Arthur Williams and Sen. Stan White, who succeeded Marc Basnight in the N.C. State Legislature earlier this year.
The unveiling of “Canadas in Pasture” marks the first time Clifton has won North Carolina’s waterfowl conservation stamp and print competition. He placed second in last year’s contest with his portrayal of snow geese.
Clifton was one of more than 30 wildlife artists from 19 states and Mexico to submit entries for the fourth annual State of North Carolina Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Competition. In 2008, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission began partnering with the East Carolina Wildfowl Guild to conduct a nationwide competition open to the public.
This year, artists could submit portraits of redheads, brant, Canada geese, tundra swans or gadwalls. In addition to Clifton’s painting, four others, rounding out the top five entries as selected by a panel of judges on Jan. 31, were unveiled during the reception. They were:
2nd Place – Tim Donovan of Lovettsville, Va.; Canada geese
3rd Place – Scot Storm of Freeport, Minn.; redheads
4th Place – Jennifer Miller of Olean, N.Y.; gadwalls
5th Place – George Lockwood, Santa Wuez, Calif.; gadwalls
Signed and numbered regular edition prints with mint stamps of the winning portrait will be available from the Commission on July 1 for $145. The stamp is $10.
Proceeds from sales of the print and stamps go to the Commission’s Waterfowl Fund, which generates revenue for the conservation of waterfowl habitat in North Carolina.
About the N.C. Waterfowl Conservation Stamp and Print Program
The N.C. Waterfowl Conservation Stamp and Print program, established in 1983 by the Commission, generates revenue for waterfowl conservation in the state, including acquiring and improving habitat. Proceeds from the sale of stamps and prints are designated for the Commission’s Waterfowl Fund.
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.
About the Artist – Richard Clifton
Clifton is an avid hunter and a self-taught wildlife artist. He lives in Milford, Del., on an historic family farm where he is surrounded by inspiration for his art. His waterfowl paintings have won more than 30 duck stamp competitions, including the 1996 Australian duck stamp and the 2007-2008 federal duck stamp, the oldest and most prestigious wildlife art competition in the United States.
In addition to winning duck stamp competitions, Clifton has been named “Artist of the Year” for multiple conservation groups and his work has graced the covers of numerous magazines, and appeared on products such as a beer stein for the Coors Brewing Company and shotguns for the Ducks Unlimited National Art Package and the National Rifle Association.
About the Festival
The East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships are annual highlights for Washington, which sits on the scenic Pamlico River in coastal North Carolina. The festival is sponsored by the East Carolina Wildfowl Guild, a 70-member group of local carvers and wildlife artists dedicated to providing educational activities associated with wildlife art and the preservation of eastern North Carolina’s wildlife heritage.
With its thousands of attendees whose interests lie in the conservation and management of our state’s wildlife resources, the weekend-long festival has been an ideal venue for the Commission’s waterfowl stamp unveiling since 1996. Each year, the unveiling occurs during the corporate reception on Friday evening and amid hundreds of onlookers.
In addition to the more than 80 wildlife art exhibitors, the festival features many other wildlife-related events, including duck-carving competition divisions, retriever demonstrations, wildlife art and decoy auctions, a children’s decoy-painting contest and various waterfowl-calling contests.