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A painting of a bird witch a white head and black white and brown feathers along its wings and back.
Information icon Rayen Kang’s acrylic rendition of an emperor goose took home the Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Best of Show. Painting by Rayen Kang.

2018 Georgia Junior Duck Stamp student art competition winners chosen

For the third year in a row, Rayen Kang, an 18-year-old student at the First Fine Art & Design Studio in Johns Creek has been announced as the winner of the annual 2018 Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Art Competition held Tuesday, April 10, at the Southeast Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office (Service) in Atlanta.

Five judges selected Kang’s acrylic rendition of an emperor goose as the Georgia Best of Show. She will receive a $175 scholarship from Georgia Power, a long-time sponsor of the Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Program, as well as a certificate and ribbon. As Georgia’s Best of Show, Kang’s original artwork will be sent to compete in the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest being held on Friday April 20 in Bismark, North Dakota.

“I have been drawing ducks for the past several years, and I chose the emperor goose to see if there was a difference in painting a goose or a swan”, said Ms. Kang when notified she won this year’s contest. She spent about 30 hours on this painting including experimenting with different ways to paint the water.

This year, 477 Junior Duck Stamp entries of 46 different species were submitted statewide from 14 different public and private schools, home schools, and art studios. Kang’s winning entry was submitted through art teacher Zhi Qu, at First Fine Art & Design Studio in Johns Creek, which submitted 25 various placed winning artwork entries.

A panel of distinguished judges selected for their expertise in artistic design, wildlife art, and waterfowl biology decided the winners of this year’s Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Contest. A total of 100 winners were selected, featuring 25 winners in each of four different age groups: Kindergarten to third grade, fourth to sixth grade, seventh to ninth grade and tenth to twelfth grade, as well as the state’s Best of Show. Three first place, three second place, three third place and 16 honorable mention winners were chosen in each of the four categories. The Best of Show was selected from among all of the first place winners.

This year’s panel of esteemed judges included: Kevin Lowery, wildlife biologist, Georgia Department of Natural Resources; Jim Ozier, wildlife biologist, Georgia Power, long-time sponsors of the Georgia Junior Duck Contest; Ernie Clark, Service deputy regional supervisor Area 2 Refuges, Brett Wehrle, Service project leader of the Central Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex and Dean Demarest, deputy chief, Migratory Bird Program, Service, Southeast Region.

Download the complete list of contest winners.

Prizes and ribbons are also being given for the best student conservation message that expresses the spirit of what they learned while researching and planning for their Duck Stamp Contest artwork entry. This year’s winning conservation message was submitted by 12 year old Hannah Jiang from First Fine Art & Design Studio in Johns Creek:

“The past and the present teach us how to conserve in the future.”

Junior Duck Stamps are sold by the U.S. Postal Service and Amplex Corporation consignees for $5 per stamp. Proceeds from the sale of Junior Duck Stamps support conservation education, and provide awards and scholarships for students, teachers, and schools that participate in the program. Donations to the Junior Duck Stamp Program can also be made through purchases on

The Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest is open to all youth in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade. All participants receive a certificate of appreciation. To learn more about the Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest including a new curriculum and study guide for students, teachers and parents, visit the Service’s junior duck stamp website.

For further information about the Junior Duck Stamp contest or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, please contact Georgia Coordinator Carmen Simonton in the Division of Migratory Birds, 404-679-7070 or by e-mail at


Elsie Davis, (404) 679-7107,
Carmen Simonton, (404) 679-7070,

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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