SPEARFISH – Judges spent four hours Sunday, March 29th, viewing hundreds of pieces of artwork to find the South Dakota Junior Duck Stamp Contest Best of Show for 2015. Students from across the state entered the contest for a total of 489 entries.
This year’s top winner for the state of South Dakota is Brittnay Welbig, an eighteen year-old student from Dell Rapids. Welbig’s depiction of a Red-breasted Merganser caught the eye of the judges. Welbig used acrylic paint on her piece titled “Morning Merganser.” Her painting will now go on to Washington D.C. to be judged against 52 other Best of Shows in the National Contest. The winning submission from the national contest will be used to create a Federal Junior Duck Stamp the following year, which is sold for $5 a stamp. Proceeds go to continuing the program.
Contest participants also had the option to write a conservation message explaining why wetland conservation is important. A Spearfish Classical Christian School student, Jessica Hanson, age 15, won the Conservation Message award with the message “Ducks help us to stay calm and are peaceful to our nation. And their colors make the world smile.”
35 other South Dakota student artists placed in the competition, and 64 more received Honorable Mentions for their art. The top 36 winners will receive art and conservation related prizes and recognition for their outstanding art.
The South Dakota Junior Duck Stamp Contest is an annual U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service program designed to teach students about the importance of wetlands and waterfowl conservation through art. It is open to students kindergarten through high school and is a free contest. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Booth Society, the Friends Group of the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives in Spearfish, sponsor the South Dakota contest.
More information about the contest, a complete list of winners, and pictures of the winning artwork can be found at sdjuniorduck.org
SD Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator
(605) 642-7730 ext. 221