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April 16, 2009

Young North Hampton Artist Earns Top Honors in State Jr. Duck Stamp Contest

CONCORD, N.H. - Samuel Gray, age 13, of North Hampton, has taken top honors among young New Hampshire artists in the 2009 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Contest.   Gray's oil painting of a wood duck, entitled "Solitude," was chosen from among 48 entries as New Hampshire's State Best of Show in the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest.  New Hampshire's portion of the contest was coordinated by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. 

The young artist, a student of The Barn Art Studio in Exeter, will be New Hampshire's contestant in the 2009 National Junior Duck Stamp Contest held on April 22 at the National Postal Museum in Washington D.C.  Gray wrote the following conservation message to accompany his artwork: "If we make the commitment to sustain nature, it, in return will sustain us."

"Samuel's painting is a wonderful winning effort and at only 13 years of age, he shows a lot of promise," said Victor Young, a wildlife artist and publications designer for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the state's Junior Duck Stamp Contest coordinator.  

New Hampshire's first place winners for their age groups this year were:

  • Grades K-3: Brianna Garrison, age 7, a student of Barn Art Studio in Exeter; Emily Heidler, age 9, of Pen & Palette Art Studio in Hampstead; and Paul Hynes, age 9, of Windham.

  • Grades 4-6:  Sammy Merrill, age 9, a student of Barn Art Studio in Exeter; Veronica Morrier, age 10, of Plaistow; and Renee Morrissette, age 9, a student of Birchwood Studio in Shelburne.

  • Grades 7-9:  Samuel Gray, age 13, a student of Barn Art Studio in Exeter; Taylor Henry, age 14, of Hanover; and Michaella Wiss, age 14, a student at John Stark Regional High School in Weare.

  • Grades 10-12:  Niki Marion, age 17, a student of Pen & Palette Art Studio in Hampstead; Sylvianne Shurman, age 17, a student at Monadnock Regional High School in Swanzey.

A display of the winning artwork will open at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department headquarters at 11 Hazen Drive in Concord during Discover WILD New Hampshire Day on Saturday, April 18, and will remain on display through May 1, 2009. 

New Hampshire's first-place winning entries can be seen at Fish and Game's website at www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Education/Jr_Duck/Junior_Duck_Gallery_09.htm.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated the Federal Junior Duck Stamp program in 1994 to showcase the talents of the nation's young artists while teaching youngsters about the value of wetlands and waterfowl conservation.  The contest creates an opportunity for teachers to connect conservation issues with artistic expression.

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