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Student artists spend hours perfecting duck paintings

Cassidy Haggard’s duck stamp painting features vivid green and orange colors.1 / 2
Rabeca Schaefer is submitting this detailed oil painting for the Junior Duck Stamp Contest.2 / 2

BY Anna Erickson

Four 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.

Michael Hartung, Park Rapids Area High School art teacher, mentors students each year in the contest. Many create a painting each year and try to improve from previous years.

Park Rapids has had three state winners over the years.

More than 1,000 students generally enter the contest in Minnesota and the state winner goes on to a 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 up to 100 hours on the paintings.

Lydia Schaum, Rabeca Schaefer, Cassidy Haggard and Gabrielle Cermak participated in this year’s contest.

Paintings have been sent in to be judged at the state contest.

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 website, niorduck.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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