MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan. 26, 2006 – Ducks Unlimited (DU) announced today the return of the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest to Memphis this fall. Sponsored by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the event returns to Memphis after debuting here last year for the first time in its 73-year-history. Previously held in Washington, D.C., it is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious wildlife art competition, and one of the most successful wildlife conservation programs ever initiated.
“We’re proud and excited to host the Duck Stamp competition here in Memphis again,” said DU Executive Vice President Don Young. “The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has a long and successful history of partnership with Ducks Unlimited, and this competition lets duck hunters know just how important their Duck Stamp dollars are to wetlands conservation.”
The Greater Memphis Arts Council (GMAC) and the Memphis College of Art (MCA) are once again local partners in presenting the importance of wildlife art to conservation and displaying the Duck Stamp entries.
“Our co-host, Ducks Unlimited Inc., and partner organizations Greater Memphis Arts Council and the Memphis College of Art, energized the local community and brought the Federal Duck Stamp Program to new audiences last year,” said Dale Hall, director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. “I look forward to another successful contest in Memphis.”
Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest entries will again be displayed at the Memphis College of Art, from Sept. 25 through Oct. 7. This exhibition is free and open to the public. Various additional community events are planned in conjunction with the exhibition as part of a two-week long Conservation Through Art celebration, including a free Family Day, together with various artists’ workshops and lectures at MCA.
“We are honored and honestly excited to host this marvelous, one-of-a-kind art competition once again,” added Jeff Nesin, Memphis College of Art president. “Last year’s contest brought hundreds of waterfowl paintings to our college from around the country, amazing people with their gorgeous composition and the intensity of observed detail. The actual judging was fascinating and ultimately thrilling. We can’t wait.”
A significant new addition to this year’s event will be a special exhibition of the world’s premier private collection of duck decoys on loan from Paul Tudor Jones. It will be displayed at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, concurrently with the Duck Stamp exhibition at MCA.
This year’s Conservation Through Art dinner will be held at the culmination of public judging on Oct. 7. Billy Dunavant will be honored at the dinner for his philanthropic leadership and contributions to the Memphis community, arts and conservation. Dunavant and his wife Tommie were inaugural co-chairs of last year’s event, along with John and Anne Stokes.
“Bringing this prestigious art competition to Memphis is a fantastic opportunity for our city,” said Susan Schadt, Greater Memphis Arts Council president and CEO. “We are looking forward to putting on a great event that appeals to the cultural community, as well as to the many individuals in this region who are interested in wildlife and conservation efforts.”
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.
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. The Arts Council will distribute more than $3 million in funding during the upcoming fiscal year to the local arts community. Arts Council funding includes operating and project support to local arts organizations, Arts Build Communities grants and Student Ticket Subsidy awards through annual funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and Enhancement Grants through funding from the Memphis for the Arts campaign. The Arts Council also funds arts education through the Arts for Children & Teachers (ACT) program, which brings the arts to thousands of area school children every year.Greater Memphis Arts Council
8 S. Third St., Ste. 300
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 578-ARTS, fax (901) 578-2784
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
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.