Waterfowl stamps mean more than just art to 2013 winner
The winning submission in the 2013 Colorado Waterfowl Stamp art competition comes from a first-time winner with more than a passing interest in waterfowl stamp art. Artist Charles Black grew up hunting and fishing in Minnesota and Wisconsin and majored in wildlife biology at University of North Dakota before landing a series of jobs working to restore wetland and wildlife habitat. Black’s career path showed him the power of waterfowl stamp funds on the ground but it is his burgeoning career as a wildlife artist where he hopes to share the things he learned growing up with others.
“More than anything, I realize now that I’ve had such great teachers, who showed me that hunting and fishing, as fun as it was, also came with great responsibility,” Black said. “I learned to love and respect the animals we chased, and the land they lived on.”
Black’s winning entry, titled “A Break in the Clouds,” features two greater scaup on a dark Colorado lake. Black’s painting conveys a cloudy day scene with the hint of a sliver of early morning or late day light illuminating the ducks for the viewer. Black’s entry can be seen online on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Waterfowl Stamp page.
With his 2013 victory, Black is awarded $3,500 and his artwork will be featured on the 2013 Colorado Waterfowl Stamp. The second-place entry this year was by Delaware-based artist Richard Clifton, who had taken first place in the Colorado competition the previous three years. Clifton receives a $1,000 cash prize. This year’s third-place entry was painted by Dale Pousson of Louisiana, who wins $500.
“The competition gets more incredible and tougher to judge each year,” said committee member Kirk Davidson. Davidson is Director of Development for Ducks Unlimited and has been helping judge the waterfowl stamp competition for nine years.
The Colorado Waterfowl Stamp program was implemented in 1990 and provides funding to conserve wetlands for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. Waterfowl hunters 16 years of age and older are required by state law to purchase a waterfowl stamp validation annually before hunting. In addition to hunters, many collectors aid in wetland conservation by purchasing collector stamps and prints that are created from the winning entry.
Hunters can purchase the required $5 waterfowl stamp validation where hunting licenses are sold. The gum-backed stamp is available for an additional $2.50.
“We’re thankful to all of the artists and especially the artists that chose to donate their works to benefit waterfowl and the North American Waterfowl Management Plan,” said Hank Luria, Executive Director of the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation. The Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation administers the Colorado Waterfowl Stamp Program and sells commemorative stamps and the donated works to help fund programs to benefit wildlife.
The Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation was created in 1989 as a result of Governor Roy Romer’s Wildlife 21 Task Force report. The Foundation was formed to raise funds to help fill the gap between available hunting and fishing funds and wildlife needs. The Foundation focuses its efforts on wildlife protection, habitat
preservation and educating people about wildlife and environmental stewardship. For more information on the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation, go to: www.cwhf.us.
The species chosen for the 2014 Colorado Waterfowl Stamp Program art contest is the smaller subspecies of the Canada goose. Additional details for the 2014 competition will be announced this summer. Artists are advised that entries for the 2014 Colorado Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest will be accepted earlier starting this year.
The 2014 competition will open on Sept. 19 with entries due by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct 18.
Collector gum-backed stamps and art prints of the 2013 waterfowl stamp will be available for purchase in late April. Collector stamps and prints are sold through the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation. The Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation also has past stamp winner fine art prints and stamps available.