Clifton of Delaware Selected as Winner of 2006 Federal Duck Stamp
October 7, 2006
Joshua Winchell, (202) 744-8301
Kyla Hastie, (706) 613-9493, ext. 234
Wildlife artist Richard Clifton of Milford, Delaware, today won the
2006 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest - the oldest and most prestigious
wildlife art competition in America - in Memphis, Tennessee with his
depiction of a pair of swimming ring-necked ducks.
"Richard Clifton's persistence has paid off not only for him but
also for wetlands conservation," said H. Dale Hall, Director of
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "Richard's home state of Delaware
may be small in size but it is on the world stage for wetlands conservation.
It's not only home to Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge but also to
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, a wetland of international importance."
Clifton's painting - chosen from among 297 entries from artists representing
49 states - will grace the 2007-2008 Federal Duck Stamp, which goes on
sale in late June 2007. The sale of Federal Duck Stamps raises approximately
$25 million each year to fund wetland habitat acquisition for the National
Wildlife Refuge System. The Federal Duck Stamp Contest is sponsored annually
by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The competition, co-hosted by Ducks Unlimited, Greater Memphis Arts Council,
and the Memphis College of Art, was surrounded by a week of public events
at the Memphis College of Art. The announcement of the winning artwork
also launches National Wildlife Refuge Week.
"Ducks Unlimited has a long relationship with the Federal Duck Stamp
program," said Ducks Unlimited Executive Vice President Don Young. "Once
again, the competition has been an extraordinary success, and we look
forward to working with the Fish and Wildlife Service on sustaining our
shared objective of familiarizing the American public with how art and
conservation make for a natural partnership."
All waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry
the current Migratory Bird Conservation and Hunting Stamp, but conservationists,
stamp collectors and others also purchase the stamp in support of habitat
conservation. Duck Stamps. Ninety-eight percent of the proceeds from
the $15 Duck Stamp go into the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which
purchases wetlands for the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Clifton has entered the Federal Duck Stamp competition numerous times
over the years.
"I don't know how many times I've entered," said Clifton, "But
at this point it was starting to add up. After a while it's just is a
big relief to win. I'm just tickled to death."
Clifton's winning acrylic is a close-up of a swimming male and female
ring-necked duck. He is a self-taught wildlife artist from Milford, Delaware.
Clifton's work has graced many wildlife stamps, but this is his first
win of the Federal Duck Stamp Competition.
Second place went to Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minnesota, who painted
a pair of flying wood ducks. Third place went to Ed Yanok of North Canton,
Ohio, who painted a pair of swimming cinnamon teal.
Eligible species for this year's contest were the wood duck, gadwall,
cinnamon teal, ring-necked duck and American wigeon.
The Federal Duck Stamp Contest is the nation's only federally sponsored
art competition. No cash prize is awarded, but winning can boost the
professional reputation of even a previously unknown wildlife artist.
Winning artists stand to make hundreds of thousands of dollars from the
sale of limited editions of prints of their Duck Stamp designs.
There are more than 545 National Wildlife Refuges spread across all 50
states and U.S. territories. A current Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation
Stamp can be used for free admission to any refuge open to the public.
Refuges offer unparalleled recreation opportunities, including hunting,
fishing, bird watching and photography. Duck Stamp dollars have been
used to acquire land at hundreds of refuges in nearly every state in
Duck Stamps bearing this year's winning design will go on sale at post
offices, national wildlife refuges, some national retail chain stores,
and various sporting-goods stores nationwide in late June, 2007. The
2007-2008 Duck Stamp will be available at select locations in both a
self-adhesive format and the traditional gummed format.
The five judges for the competition were chosen by the Secretary of the
Interior for their dedication to conservation and their professional
expertise. They are:
Harvey Nelson of Bloomington, Minnesota, is a retired biologist with
42 years experience in waterfowl conservation with the U. S. Fish and
John Maclean, is an author and journalist with 30 years experience
with the Chicago Tribune He is an avid fly-fisherman and outdoorsmen,
and divides his time between Washington, D.C. and Sealy Lake,
Barbara Higgins Bond is an artist from Nashville, Tennessee, whose
work has graced three U.S. postal stamps and more than 20 books.
Janet Klug from Pleasant Plain, Ohio, is a stamp expert and president
of the American Philatelic Society, the world's largest nonprofit membership
organization for stamp collectors.
Dr. Bruce Batt, of Memphis, Tennessee, is Ducks Unlimited's Chief
Biologist. He oversees Ducks Unlimited's Mexico and Latin American
waterfowl conservation programs and is the biological liaison
for their Canada programs.
Downloadable images of the top three paintings are available on the
Internet at http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency
responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife
and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American
people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge
System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands
of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates
69 national fish hatcheries, 63 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological
services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws,
administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations,
restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife
habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their
conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program, which
distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing
and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies. Visit www.fws.gov/duckstamps.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's
largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization.
The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands
- nature's most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than
100,000 wetland acres each year. For more information visit www.ducks.org.
Raising funds to ensure excellence in the arts and build a vibrant
cultural community for everyone, Greater Memphis Arts Council is the
8th largest United Arts Fund in the nation. In addition to raising
almost $3 million annually in support of the arts, the Arts Council
administers Arts Build Communities grants and Student Ticket Subsidy
awards through annual funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission. The
Arts Council also funds arts education through the Arts for Children & Teachers (ACT) program,
which brings the arts to thousands of area schoolchildren every year.
Greater Memphis Arts Council,
8 S. Third St., Ste. 300, Memphis, TN38103
(901) 578-ARTS, fax
Small by choice and purpose, Memphis College of Art is the only
not-for-profit, independent art college between Atlanta and Kansas
City. It is accredited by the National Association of Schools of
Art and Design and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
to grant the BFA in Design Arts and Fine Arts and the MFA in Computer
Arts and Studio Arts. It extends its programs to the public through
gallery exhibitions, continuing education and children's classes
and visiting artist lectures. For more information about the college,