SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — A painting by 18-year-old Jocelyn Desisto of South Berwick won Best of Show in the Maine competition of the 2013 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest. The judging was held March 27, at the Washington County Community College in Calais.
Jocelyn, a senior at Marshwood High School, entered an acrylic painting of a Wood Duck. Her entry was chosen from the 449 received from 15 schools and groups throughout Maine. The Best of Show artwork will compete in the national contest on April 19. Her artwork will be included in an exhibit that will tour the United States for the coming year.
The contest is organized each year by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is part of a program that teaches students in grades K-12 about wetlands and waterfowl conservation. It is modeled after the Federal Duck Stamp Contest for adult artists. Students create original artwork showing North American ducks, geese or swans in their natural habitats. First, second, third and honorable mention awards are given out in four age categories.
The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program was created in 1989. The art contest started in 1990 with 3,000 students from California participating. Today more than 30,000 students throughout the United States, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands participate in the Junior Duck Stamp Contest annually.
The preparation and participation in the program itself is an educational experience in that the students are required to think about and understand the fundamental principles of anatomy and environmental sciences. It also provides an opportunity for students to express their knowledge of the beauty and diversity of wildlife artistically.
The first-place national winning design is used to create the Federal Junior Duck Stamp. The Junior Duck Stamps cost $5 each and proceeds go to support environmental education by providing awards and scholarships for students, teachers, and schools. Good luck at Nationals Jocelyn!