MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Dec. 3, 2012 – Wildlife artist David Maass of Long Lake, Minn., is Ducks Unlimited's 2013 Artist of the Year (AOY). His winning painting, "Pitching into Cypress," earned Maass his fourth AOY award, more than any other artist.
"I don't think an artist who paints mainly waterfowl and upland birds could have a higher honor than being named Ducks Unlimited's Artist of the Year. And winning it for the fourth time in a career is almost unbelievable," Maass said. "I am both tremendously honored and humbled."
As an avid conservationist, Maass has fostered the protection and restoration of wildlife habitat through his involvement with DU's Artist of the Year program, winning top honors in 1974, 1988 and 2004. He has also designed 38 duck and conservation stamps, including two federal duck stamps.
"David Maass is a pillar in the wildlife art community and has been an integral part of DU's Artist of the Year and overall art programs for nearly 40 years," DU CEO Dale Hall said. "His amazing artwork and his dedication to waterfowl and wetlands conservation have earned him much-deserved awards throughout his career, and Ducks Unlimited is proud to honor his work again in 2013."
Maass's renowned wildlife art career spans five decades, making him a pioneer in this genre. Known to some of his fellow artists as the "Dean of Wildlife Art," Maass continues to produce lifelike depictions of many waterfowl species, habitat types and favorite hunting locations across America.
"I have said many times that I wouldn't trade what I do for any other occupation. Wildlife art has not only been a job, but it has also connected me to hunting, conservation and many of my closest friends. I have been fortunate from the time I was young to have always had support from my family, starting with my parents and now including my wife, Ann; daughter, Jenni; and son, Paul," Maass said. "And I, of course, am very grateful to Ducks Unlimited and the relationship we have shared from the very beginning."
Ducks Unlimited's art program has raised more than $300 million for the organization's wetlands conservation mission over 40 years, $36 million of which has come from the Artist of the Year program.
"DU's art program has created a mutually beneficial stage for wildlife artists and conservation," Hall said. "When our supporters buy or bid on art at DU events, their dollars allow more habitat acres to be conserved for the ducks. At the same time, appreciation for wildlife art grows, broadening the market and increasing success for the artists."
"Pitching into Cypress" limited-edition prints will be available exclusively at Ducks Unlimited events beginning in January 2013.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, DU is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, with special events, projects and promotions across the continent. Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.