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Conservation Through Art Celebration Honors the Federal Duck Stamp Contest In Memphis

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Conservation Through Art Celebration Honors the Federal Duck Stamp Contest In Memphis

Week-long events include a Family Day, artist lecture and a free public exhibition of the Federal Duck Stamp art collection

MEMPHIS, Tenn., July 1, 2005 ─ This fall, Ducks Unlimited, the Greater Memphis Arts Council and Memphis College of Art join forces to host the prestigious, national Federal Duck Stamp Art Competition. Sponsored by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, this event is moving out of Washington, D.C. for the first time in its 71-year history. It is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious wildlife art competitions, and one of the most successful wildlife conservation programs ever initiated.

Ducks Unlimited Executive Vice President Don Young (left) talks with Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton during the first day of sales of the 2005-2006 Federal Duck Stamp on Capitol Hill on Thursday, June 30. DU Chairman John Tomke (second from left) and Paul Schmidt, assistant director of Migratory Birds for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife office, joined in the festivities.
The week-long Conservation Through Art Celebration will be held Sept. 11-17, 2005 at Memphis College of Art. Family Day kicks off the week on Sunday, Sept. 11 from noon to 4 p.m. at MCA. Various hands-on activities for children are scheduled, including a duck-calling contest, a workshop with the Tennessee Junior Duck Stamp coordinator and performances of The Ugly Duckling by local theater company Voices of the South.

Entries for the national art competition will be on display at the college throughout the week along with Ducks Unlimited’s collection of the winning duck stamp artwork, selected each year since the inception of this program. Lectures by prior duck stamp competition winners are scheduled throughout the week. The week-long events at Memphis College of Art are free and open to the public.

“We are very excited to work with Ducks Unlimited and the Greater Memphis Arts Council to bring the Federal Duck Stamp Art Competition to Memphis this year,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acting Director Matt Hogan. “The duck stamp is one of the world’s great conservation successes, raising hundreds of millions of dollars to fund important habitat acquisitions for the National Wildlife Refuge System. We hope that by bringing the competition to the banks of the Mississippi River, more Americans can be introduced to the duck stamp
and the network of public lands it supports.”

“This week promises to be an excellent opportunity for the Mid-South and the United States, as a whole, to learn how art benefits our conservation work throughout the country,” said Ducks Unlimited Executive Vice President Don Young. “Tying the Conservation Through Art Celebration to our DU Expo will expose thousands of people to a new side of conservation.”

“We are delighted to bring this national art competition to Memphis and the Mid-South,” said Susan Schadt, Greater Memphis Arts Council president and CEO. “We know the residents of this region have an enormous interest in duck hunting and waterfowl art, and with the additional exhibits and activities we have planned, we hope that Memphis will become the permanent home for this prestigious event.”

“For many centuries and for all of human history, art has begun with close observation,” added Jeff Nesin, Memphis College of Art president. “This continues today even with abstract and conceptual work, but especially with work from nature. This exhibition will give our community and city a wonderful opportunity to see the very best of closely observed work from nature. We are very proud to have it take place at the College of Art.”

The week culminates with the Ducks Unlimited Outdoor Expo, Sept. 16-18 at the Agricenter International near Ducks Unlimited headquarters.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service selects the judges’ panel, which is kept secret until the day judging begins. Competition judging begins at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, and continues on Thursday, Sept. 15. The winning artwork will be identified Thursday afternoon. The winning artist will fly to Memphis on Friday to attend the Ducks Unlimited Outdoor Expo on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 and 18.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

For more information on the Federal Duck Stamp Program, visit www.fws.gov/duckstamps

Contacts:
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Nicholas Throckmorton, 202-208-5634 or nicholas_throckmorton@fws.gov

Ducks Unlimited
Vicki Tyler, 901-758-3859 or vtyler@ducks.org

Greater Memphis Arts Council
Marci Woodmansee, 901-578-2787, ext. 213 or mwoodmansee@memphisartscouncil.org

Memphis College of Art
Michelle Byrd, 901-272-5111 or mbyrd@mca.edu

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands ¬− nature’s most productive ecosystem − and continues to lose more than 100,000 wetland acres each year.

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Look for Ducks Unlimited on the World Wide Web at www.ducks.org. Tune into The World of Ducks Unlimited Radio Network, and starting again in July, watch Ducks Unlimited Television on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN).

Raising funds to ensure excellence in the arts and build a vibrant cultural community for everyone, the Greater Memphis Arts Council is the 8th largest United Arts Fund in the nation. In addition to distributing more than $ 2 million annually in operating and project support to local arts organizations, the Arts Council administers Arts Build Communities grants and Student Ticket Subsidy awards through annual funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission. The Arts Council also funds arts education through the Arts for Children & Teachers (ACT) program, which brings the arts to thousands of area schoolchildren every year.

Greater Memphis Arts Council, 8 S. Third St., Ste. 300, Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 578-ARTS, fax (901) 578-2784, www.memphisartscouncil.org

Small by choice and purpose, Memphis College of Art is the only not-for-profit, independent art college between Atlanta and Kansas City. It is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to grant the BFA in Design Arts and Fine Arts and the MFA in Computer Arts and Studio Arts. It extends its programs to the public through gallery exhibitions, continuing education and children's classes and visiting artist lectures. For more information about the college, visit www.mca.edu.


 

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