2012 Delaware Junior Duck Stamp Winners Announced



On March 24, more than 30 artistic entries created by students in grades K through 12 from all over the state were judged in the 2012 Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Winners are on display at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center near Smyrna now through Saturday, April 7.

  • Maria Ji, a 16-year-old from Wilmington and first place winner for grades 10 through 12, won best of show for the third consecutive year. Her acrylic painting depicts a spectacled eider on the water.
  • Second runner-up was Tony Monaco, age 11, of Seaford, for his oil painting of a Canada goose.
  • Third runner-up was Hannah Doyle, age 12, of Seaford, for her watercolor of a green-winged teal.

Maria’s winning Duck Stamp entry will be judged along with other state winners on April 20 in the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest, sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of the Interior and slated to be held this year at the Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, Md., near Washington, D.C. The best of show winner of the federal competition will have his or her artwork made into the 2012-2013 Junior Duck Stamp and will also receive a $5,000 scholarship.

“The Junior Duck Stamp program is unique because it teaches biology and habitat conservation through scientific observation and artistic interpretation to K through 12 students,” said Dawn Webb, coordinator of the Delaware Junior Duck Stamp program.

Dorothy McCormick, age 8, the winner of this year’s kindergarten through third grade division, said she studied ducks in the pond near her Millsboro home and in bird books to create her watercolor of an American wigeon. “When you start, you think it’s about the art,” said her mother, Shawna McCormick. “But you really need to understand the ducks and their environment.”

“The opportunity to compete in something is always an asset for kids’ learning,” said judge Rick Berry, a member of Delaware’s Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish and of Ducks Unlimited. “It gives kids the chance to learn about habitat around them, to learn about wildlife around them.”

The judges panel also included Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Saveikis; retired wildlife biologist Bill Whitman, who founded the Delaware Junior Duck Stamp Contest in 1994; well-known wildlife artist and Federal Duck Stamp Competition winner Richard Clifton of Milford; and Dan Stotts, biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Judges base their decisions on anatomical accuracy of the waterfowl depicted, how well the work illustrates the species and its habitat, and which artwork would translate best into a stamp.

All 33 participants in the 18th annual contest received a certificate, ribbons and prizes from sponsors. Entries, which depict a species chosen from a list of North American waterfowl, were sponsored by teachers, schools, organizations and individuals.

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