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Duck stamp paintings complete

Cassidy Haggard, Alissa Berthiaume and Gabrielle Cermak hold up completed Junior Duck Stamp Contest entries. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Five Park Rapids students have spent hours upon hours putting the final touches on paintings of ducks in hopes of having their art transformed into a collectible stamp.

The Junior Duck Stamp Contest is one of the largest art competitions in Minnesota.

"Every year we do really well on the duck stamps, it's kind of one of my prides in terms of teaching," said Michael Hartung, Park Rapids Area High School art teacher.

Park Rapids has had three state winners over the years.

More than 1,000 students generally enter the contest in Minnesota, Hartung said. Whoever is chosen as the state winner goes on to the national competition.

The students looked through photos for inspiration before starting their paintings that depict ducks in their natural habitat. They used oil paint.

It was not a simple task to complete the 9-by-12 inch artwork. Students spent between 40 and 100 hours on the paintings.

Alli Belfiori, Cassidy Haggard, Alissa Berthiaume, Lydia Schaum, Heidi Schaum and Gabrielle Cermak participated in this week's contest.

Paintings will be sent in to be judged at the state contest this week.

Students from around the United States submit drawings to their state, territory or district competition. Winners from these competitions, called the "Best of Show," are submitted to the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest. The winner at this level becomes the Junior Duck Stamp.

The entry requirements are incredibly detailed and scenes are supposed to depict birds in their natural habitat. Feather colors should be appropriate to the time of the year depicted by the environment. Junior Duck Stamps are sold for $5 each by the U.S. Postal Service and at various National Wildlife Refuges. Proceeds from the sale of Junior Duck Stamps are returned to states for environmental and conservation education programs.

For more information about the Junior Duck Stamp Contest, go to the Web site,

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561