Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Duck Stamp Champion a Six Year Old Girl

Duck stamps are extremely important for those that love waterfowling and the outdoors. Not only is there a national stamp, but many states have one as well, and they serve as a federal and state revenue sources since they are required in order to hunt.  The revenues raised by stamp sales are typically earmarked for habitat and conservation initiatives; things that likely would never be funded without the earmarked revenue.

Since the first federal stamp in 1934, it has become a point of prestige for outdoor/wildlife artists to have their handiwork featured on a stamp.  In fact, it has proved to be the launching pad for a long and lucrative career for many a wildlife artist.  As years have passed, formal selection processes have evolved to contests, and the result has been evident in the quality of the artwork that has been generated.  

Recently, the US Fish and Wildlife service held a Junior Duck Stamp contest for grades 12 and under, separated into age categories, which ultimately would decide a "best in show."  And the winner this year?  Well, she was 6.

That's right.  Six years old.  Miss Madison Grimm of South Dakota.  First grade age.

Here's her art of a Canvasback drake:

There was some back and forth on the technique that the little girl used to create the image, and she was actually removed as champion for a time.  But after investigation it was clear that the little girl created the image under legal means, and was rightfully reinstated as the 2013 Junior Duck Stamp champion.

I'm in my late 40's.  I can't draw stick people.  The above is something I'd love to have hanging on my wall somewhere in my house.  What fantastic talent.

Two obvious points:

1) I'm pretty sure that world of wildlife art has not heard the last of Madison Grimm
2) Can you imagine the art her parents have hanging on the family refrigerator?   

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