RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 13, 2012) — The 2012 North Carolina Waterfowl Conservation Stamp and Print, “Redheads in Needlerush,” is now available for purchase at the N.C. Wild Store.
The acrylic painting by Delaware artist Richard Clifton was unveiled Feb. 10 at the 17th Annual East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and the N.C. Decoy Carving Championships in Beaufort County during an evening preview reception.
This is the first year the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is offering signed and numbered regular edition prints with mint stamps at a special reduced price of $120, which is good through June 30. On July 1, the price reverts to the normal $145. Additional stamps are $10 each. The Commission will begin shipping pre-ordered prints with stamps on July 1.
Representing the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at Friday night’s unveiling were Wildlife Commissioners, Mitch St. Clair, Ray White and Wes Seegars; Robert Curry, chief of the Commission’s Division of Inland Fisheries; and Sen. Stan White of Nags Head.
The unveiling of “Redheads in Needlerush” marks the second year in a row Clifton has won North Carolina’s waterfowl conservation stamp and print competition. He took top honors last year with his vivid portrayal of a pair of Canada geese standing in a pasture. He placed second in the 2010 contest with his portrayal of snow geese.
Clifton, an avid hunter, is a self-taught wildlife artist who uses his experiences in the field as inspiration for his work. His waterfowl paintings have won 34 duck stamp competitions, including the 1996 Australian duck stamp and the 2007-08 federal duck stamp — the oldest and most prestigious wildlife art competition in the United States.
Clifton was one of more than 30 wildlife artists from 20 states to submit entries for the fourth annual 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, Atlantic brant, Northern shovelers, 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. 30, were unveiled during the reception. They were:
2nd Place – Northern shoveler by Gerald Putt of Boiling Springs, Pa.;
3rd Place – Atlantic brant by Tom Crain of Branson, Mo.;
4th Place – Northern shoveler by Scot Storm of Freeport, Minn.;
5th Place – Northern shoveler by Jeffery Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind.
Proceeds from sales of the print and stamp 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.
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 34 duck stamp competitions, including the 1996 Australian duck stamp and the 2007-08 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. 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 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 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 competitions, retriever demonstrations, wildlife art and decoy auctions, a children’s decoy-painting contest and various waterfowl-calling contests.
A high-resolution image of the N.C. Waterfowl Stamp and Print can be downloaded here.