Flights of Fancy at the County Museum

sb countymuseumBy Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Life in the air will take center stage during Flights of Fancy at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The event includes the first west coast exhibition of the top entries from the Federal Duck Stamp competition along with guest artists, conservation and environmental organizations, and a range of activities for adults, families, and children—even an early-bird walk and a breakfast with the birds! All activities are included with regular museum admission.

Guest Artists

Adam Grimm, this year’s winner of the Federal duck stamp contest, will meet museum visitors and set up an exhibit of duck stamp and waterfowl paintings. He will be joined by his daughter, Madison Grimm, who is coincidentally the winner of the 2013 Federal Junior Duck Stamp contest. World-champion carver Dennis Schroeder will show waterfowl and songbird carvings, and last year’s Duck Stamp winner, Robert Steiner, will exhibit art and both state and federal waterfowl stamp paintings and prints. All artists will have works for sale; proceeds benefit the San Bernardino County Museum Association in support of programs and activities at the San Bernardino County Museum.

Adam Grimm, an Ohio native and formerly a student at the Columbus College of Art and Design, won the federal duck stamp competition for the second time. He won the duck stamp competition as a fledgling artist more than 10 years ago. His depiction of a backlit mottled duck appeared on the 2000-01 stamp and made him the youngest winner, at age 21, of the contest. Grimm’s oil painting of two canvasbacks will be depicted on the 2014–15 stamp. Grimm, 34, who grew up in Elyria, Ohio and today calls Burbank, S.D., home, also is a two-time winner of the Ohio wetlands habitat stamp competition, the first time in 2005. His depiction of a northern pintail in flight will appear on the 2014 Ohio wetlands stamp. In April, Grimm’s daughter, Madison, then 6, won the 2013 junior duck stamp competition with an oil painting of a canvasback. Madison’s victory made her the youngest winner of the junior contest.

Robert Steiner is a guest artist at Flights of Fancy. Steiner is America’s foremost duck stamp artist. He has won the 2012–13 and 1998–99 Federal Duck Stamp art competitions and the 2012 California State Duck Stamp contest. He has designed 82 state duck stamps to date. These include three prestigious “First of State” stamps: 1989 Rhode Island, 1990 Colorado, and 1991 New Mexico. He is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and earned a Master’s degree in fine art printmaking from San Francisco State University. Steiner won his first duck stamp art competition when he was chosen as the winner of the 1981 California Duck Stamp contest. Since then, he has gone on to design more duck stamps than any other artist.

Dennis Schroeder was born and raised in Minnesota with its many lakes, rivers, and abundant wildlife and waterfowl. Wildlife art was always his primary interest while growing up and through his art education, sketching and painting the surrounding lakes and marshes and their wildlife. He began his carving career in 1984 and soon found that his background in landscape and wildlife painting to be very useful in creating his carvings. He began to enter his wildfowl carvings in competitions across the country, resulting in numerous first places and best of show awards. In 1990 and again in 1991 he won the prestigious title of “World Champion” in the Ocean City, Maryland international wildfowl carving competition. Though he does not compete in these competitions any longer, his love of wildfowl art has only increased. He now regularly serves as a judge in many of these wildfowl carving competitions, including the World Championships. He was also invited to judge the renowned Federal Duck Stamp art competition in Washington D.C. His work is displayed in museums and private collections across the nation and in other countries.


On Saturday, the weekend kicks off with an Early Bird Walk at the museum from 7 to 8 a.m. Led by Museum Director Robert McKernan, participants will walk through the museum grounds and native plant gardens to observe local wintering and resident birds. The Early Bird Walk is free; participants should bring binoculars.

From 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. museum visitors can enjoy a sneak preview of Duck Stamp Art and works by the visiting artists along with a buffet breakfast. Breakfast with the Birds is sponsored in part by Costco of San Bernardino, Orange Tree Lane Deli and Bakery, and Starbucks #10346. The preview breakfast is included with paid museum admission, and is free to Museum Association members and Flights of Fancy sponsors.

Flights of Fancy opens at 9:00 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m. Environmental organizations, including the San Gorgonio Wilderness Association, California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, the San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society, Inland Empire Resource Conservation Board, and San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation will be represented; all will offer special activities for children. The museum’s education division will invite families to create colorful three-dimensional butterflies, to make and color flip books that show birds in flight, to paint decoys, and to look through microscopes to see feathers up close and personal. Selena Bryan will employ music and free-form dance while helping visitors make colorful feathered bird masks. These family activities are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

At 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, the winning Federal Duck Stamp artist Adam Grimm and his daughter Madison, the winning Junior Duck Stamp Artist, will give a brief presentation followed by a drawing workshop for children. At 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Museum Director will present “Duck Stamps and Conservation” in the Land Birds Gallery.

Flights of Fancy is open on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Director McKernan will lead a gallery walk through the Life in the Air galleries on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

Duck Stamps and Refuges

Duck Stamp Art will be exhibited at the San Bernardino County Museum during “Flights of Fancy,” November 23 and 24, 2013. The exhibit includes the top entries from this year’s Federal Duck Stamp contest and Junior Duck Stamp entries.

Duck stamps are not postage stamps. In fact, they are not “Duck Stamps”—they are actually called Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps. These revenue stamps are purchased by waterfowl hunters each year to validate their hunting licenses. Duck Stamps are also used as entry passes to refuges with entry fees, and are sought after by collectors and conservationists. The proceeds from stamp sales are the single largest source of funding for wetlands habitat conservation and enhancement. The stamp design, new each year, is chosen through a prestigious, federally sponsored art contest. The winning painting appears on the following year’s duck stamp.

The Duck Stamp program started in 1934. America’s vast flocks of wild ducks were at record lows. Drought and drainage were destroying the wetlands where birds nested in North America. A political cartoonist, Jay N. “Ding” Darling, conceived the idea of a federal revenue stamp to be purchased by hunters to fund migratory bird habitat. Artists were commissioned to design each year’s stamp until 1949, when the annual contest began.

Since 1934, the Duck Stamp program has raised over $750 million to preserve 5.2 million acres of wetlands in 186 national wildlife refuges. Today, 98 cents of every dollar in Duck Stamp sales goes directly to the purchase of habitats in the National Wildlife Refuge System. These refuges are used by one-third of our threatened and endangered species and two-thirds of our most important commercial and sporting species along with fishes, songbirds, shorebirds, and countless other species. In California, Duck Stamp sales fund, in part, the following national wildlife refuges: Butte Sink, Colusa, Delevan, Grasslands, Humboldt Bay, Kern, Lower Klamath, Merced, Modoc, North Central Valley, Sacramento, San Luis, San Pablo Bay, Sonny Bono Salton Sea, Sutter, and Willow Creek–Lurline.

Community Support

Flights of Fancy is organized by the San Bernardino County Museum Association to support San Bernardino County Museum programs and activities. Event sponsors include; Beaver Medical Group; Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith LLP; Ted and Jo Dutton; Target; and Ayers Hotel Redlands.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. Flights of Fancy is open Saturday, November 23, from 9 am. to 5 pm and Sunday, November 24, from 9 am to 4pm. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student), and $5 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669.

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