Some of the best examples of student art will be on display in February and March when the Junior Duck Stamp Exhibit comes to the Lake. Sponsored by the Lake Arts Council, Missouri Arts Council, Bass Pro Shops, and the Department of Conservation, the exhibit is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The goal of the program is “connecting students with nature through science and art.”
Participating students are encouraged to visit conservation areas and wetlands to learn more about natural settings and their inhabitants. Students can then use internet resources to supplement their real-life experience to create a work of visual art accompanied by a “conservation statement” describing what they’ve learned about conservation issues and challenges, such as climate change and its impact on wetlands, the important natural balance between people and wildlife, and the need to protect our natural resources.
Each spring, the student art entries are submitted to state, district, or territory contests for judging in four age-range categories: kindergarten—3rd grade, 4th—6th grade, 7th—9th grade, and 10th—12th grade. From the top three entries in each category, a Best of Show, regardless of grade level, is selected.
The various states, districts, and territories submit their Best of Show paintings to the national contest, held in April. The national Best of Show from these entries becomes the design for the Federal Junior Duck Stamp for the following year (last year’s winner was 12-year-old Isaac Schreiber of Duffield, Virginia. The stamps become collector’s items, available for purchase from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Post Office, and on line at Amazon.com. One hundred percent of the revenue is used to support the awards and environmental education. Information, entry forms, and contest guidelines are available at www.fws.gov/juniorduck.
The Missouri Junior Duck Stamp Exhibit for 2017-2018 may be viewed at the following libraries:
Osage Beach from February 5—15; Camdenton from February 15—23; Versailles from February 23—March 5; and Eldon from March 5—14. Entries from this exhibit will then go to Columbia March 15 to conclude their tour, and the judging will begin for this year’s entries for national competition.