Saturday, September 28, 2013

Inside the 2013 Federal Duck Stamp Contest

The 2013 Federal Duck Stamp contest brought together 201 qualifying entries, each illustrating one of five waterfowl species selected for the 2013 contest by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Judges raising "IN" and "OUT" cards to select images for the second round.
The judging process is serious business. Judges see each anonymous numbered work, one at a time, in isolation, on their monitor and, briefly, presented in front of them. They have just moments to decide and rule.

Viewers are respectfully quiet. A whisper here, the occasional sigh rising from a watching artist or an artists companion. Beside me, a spouse hugged and comforted an artist who's work scored three "OUTS" and so, did not move to the second round. This is serious business--a life-changing opportunity for one talented artist each year. All are hopeful.

A Mallard entry illustrating an uncommon posture.
The two-day, two-round competition prolongs tension for semi-finalists, 63 entries moved on to the second round, the next day.

Entries make it to the second round with three or more "IN" selections from the five judges.
This dignified competition was hosted by Ohio's Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service organizes each year's event using the entry fees paid by artists. Ohio's ODNR and nearby Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge presented hands-on outdoor activities for hundreds of school-age children. Early experience in the outdoors is essential for children and for the outdoors of tomorrow.

"IN" This display offers viewers another peek at some of the second round art. These are all excellent choices, the judges have a tough job to do!

Your blogger attended the first day only. I wore a name tag to advertise birder support and Ohio Ornithological Society support for our National Wildlife Refuge System and the all important Federal Duck Stamp.

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