Victor Young:  (603) 271-3211
Ellen Harrington: (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon:  (603) 271-3211
April 13, 2010    

To skip to list of all first-place winners in New Hampshire, click here.   

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

CONCORD, N.H. – Samantha Merrill, age 10, of Stratham, N.H., has taken top honors among young New Hampshire artists in the 2010 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Contest.   Merrill’s oil painting of a harlequin duck, entitled “Quiet Waters,” was chosen from among 70 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. 

A display of the winning artwork in New Hampshire's Junior Duck Stamp contest will open at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department headquarters at 11 Hazen Drive in Concord, N.H., during Discover WILD New Hampshire Day on Saturday, April 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and will remain on display through April 30, 2010. 

Best of Show Junior Duck Stamp artist Samantha Merrill is a student of The Barn Art Studio in Exeter. She will be New Hampshire's contestant in the 2010 National Junior Duck Stamp Contest held on April 23, 2010, at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Merrill wrote the following conservation message to accompany her artwork: “When we conserve, we guarantee a future of beauty and amazement for tomorrow.”

“Samantha’s painting is a wonderful winning effort and, at only 10 years of age, she 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: Steven Boutin, age 8, of Hampstead, a student of Pen & Palette Art Studio in Hampstead; Ella Erwin, age 8, of Bedford; and Christopher Busi, age 9, of Plaistow, N.H., a student of Pen & Palette Art Studio in Hampstead.

  • Grades 4-6:  Alyssa Felder, age 9, of Kingston, a student of Pen & Palette Art Studio in Hampstead; Samantha Merrill, age 10, of Stratham; and David Michel, age 11, of Stratham, a student of Barn Art Studio in Greenland.

  • Grades 7-9:  Meghan Michel, age 12, of Stratham, a student of Barn Art Studio in Greenland; Quinn Morrissette, age 13, of Berlin, a student of Birchwood Studios of Shelburne; and Shelby Merrick, age 13, of Merrimack, a student at Merrimack Middle School.

  • Grades 10-12:  Michaella Wiss, age 15, of Weare, a student of John Stark Regional High School; and Amelia Evanofski, age 19, of Contoocook, a student at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook.

All of New Hampshire’s first-place winning entries can be seen at Fish and Game’s website at

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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