By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– The Wildlife Art Show featuring 2014 Federal Duck Stamp Art will take place at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands on the weekend before Thanksgiving. Show hours are Saturday, November 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, November 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Artists will exhibit their work in the museum’s Fisk Gallery, where the top entries in this year’s Federal Duck Stamp contest will also be shown. Festivities kick off on Friday, November 21 between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. with a reception for the artists. The reception is open to invited guests and Museum Association members. Family Fun Day activities to “discover ducks” are scheduled on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Jennifer Miller is this year’s winner of the Federal Duck Stamp contest. She lives just outside her home town of Olean, NY, where she is surrounded by all she loves most: a natural setting of eastern deciduous forest and wildlife, where visiting birds are a special delight. In addition to the company of wild birds, she happily keeps a flock of chickens and is entertained by their individual personalities. Indoors, her home is made livelier by the companionship of five parrots. The wild and domestic birds are endless inspiration for her work, even finding their way into her fantasy art, where the imaginative creatures are given the same attention to detail, anatomy, and behavior as their real counterparts.
The transition into painting duck stamps was only natural since the program mirrors Jennifer’s love for birds and conservation. Along with entering many state-level competitions, Jennifer first entered the Federal contest in 2010. She chose to paint Ruddy Ducks for this year’s winning painting out of love for the personable little diving ducks. She first encountered this charming species in the wild some years prior near Batavia, NY. They captivated the artist and she vowed to paint them someday. She has observed them several times since in her home state, on a trip to the U.S. west coast, and in captivity at various aviaries.
Jennifer has had no formal training in art. Instead, she has studied under the vast canopy of nature and delights in the smallest details of a mossy rock all the way up to grand, sweeping landscapes. Other artists also influence her translation of nature to paint. Even as a young child, Jennifer was buried in borrowed library books of Robert Bateman’s artwork. Today, she draws inspiration from the works of Raymond Harris-Ching, Bob Kuhn, Guy Coheleach, and Morten Solberg, to name only a few.
Other participating artists are master carver Dennis Schroeder of Junction City, California; and artists from the Redlands Art Association: Vici Haag, Juell Villarreal, Dan Soury, Brad Willason, Judith Sparhawk, Judy Blair, Maggie Williams, Deborah George, Richard George, Sandy Davies, Linda Willason, Won Madeline Koh, Sheila LeBlanc, Randolph Staley, and Edward Sotello.
On Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm, the museum’s education division will invite visitors to “Discover Ducks!” a variety of hands-on experiences for children and families. Discover duck diversity, migration, habitats, behaviors, and their role in nature conservation in this Ducky Family Fun Day. Gallery cart conversations, crafts, games, and story book reading offer something for the whole family. Art instructor Trudy Wood will offer two 90-minute drawing classes to a limit of 30 participants, focusing on basic line, form and shape. All activities are included with paid admission.
Federal Duck Stamp Story
The top entries from the Federal Duck Stamp art competition will be exhibited at the museum during the festival. This year, Jennifer Miller of New York won the contest with her painting of a pair of ruddy ducks. Miller will be at the festival to meet museum visitors on Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday.
“Duck stamps” are not postage stamps; they are revenue stamps called the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp purchased by waterfowl hunters to validate their hunting licenses each year. 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.
Since 1934, the “Duck Stamp” program has raised $770 million to preserve wetlands acres within 186 national wildlife refuges. These refuges are used by one-third of our threatened and endangered species, two-thirds of our most important commercial and sporting species of marine fish, and songbirds, shorebirds, and countless other species. Birdwatchers, photographers, fishermen, and others who enjoy wildlife can contribute to the conservation of wildlife habitat by purchasing Duck Stamps at most post offices, wildlife refuges, and many licensed hunting retail stores.
The Wildlife Art Festival is organized by the San Bernardino County Museum Association with support from the Redlands Art Association and sponsored in part by PrintProPlus.com; Impressions; Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith; Ayres Hotel Redlands; Bass Pro Shops; Ken Williams, State Farm Insurance Loma Linda; Dr. Barbara Morrow Williams; Johnnie Ann Ralph; and Alan and Cheri Marks.
The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. 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 www.sbcountymuseum.org or call (909) 307-2669. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.