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December 15, 2003 DNR News (803) 734-3950

ALABAMA ARTIST WINS S.C. DUCK STAMP CONTEST

Wildlife artist Eddie Leroy, of Eufaula, Ala., recently won South Carolina's 24th annual State Duck Stamp contest, a program of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

 Leroy's acrylic painting of a black Labrador Retriever holding a pintail in his mouth with three pintails flying over a Charleston County marsh was judged the winner by members of the S.C. Migratory Waterfowl Committee on Nov. 6 in Columbia. The winning artwork will be featured on the 2004-2005 S.C. Migratory Waterfowl & Hunting Stamp next season.

Artists from 22 states submitted 49 entries, including eight South Carolina artists in the South Carolina contest. Waterfowl committee members called the artwork submissions the strongest field in recent history of the contest. Leroy's painting, along with the top four entries from the stamp contest, will be displayed Feb. 14-16, 2004, during the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston, upstairs at the Galliard Auditorium. Leroy, 38, is best known among wildlife art collectors for his wild turkey paintings. He is one of the artists featured at National Wild Turkey Federation national headquarters in Edgefield.

Leroy's art career began in college in 1986 when he entered an Alabama Wildlife Federation art contest in Birmingham and did not win but a collector purchased his painting, his first art sale. Just two years later, he won that Alabama contest and has been chosen as the artist for a number of stamp-print programs since then. These include: the 1990-91 Florida Turkey Stamp; a 1991 Ducks Unlimited Sponsor Print; the 1998 Arkansas Turkey Stamp; the 1999-2000 Alabama Duck Stamp; 2000 the National Wild Turkey Federation Stamp; the 2003 Arkansas Wild Turkey Stamp and several Mississippi Flyway Ducks Unlimited stamps. One of Leroy's most recent works was a painting for former President Jimmy Carter of the area where Carter duck hunts in Arkansas.

Leroy painted the Lowcountry marsh background for the 2004-2005 South Carolina duck stamp from a scene on Ted Turner's Oak Plantation near Charleston. He took photographs of the area in 1997 when he did a painting of the plantation for Turner.

Other top winners in the 2004-2005 South Carolina duck stamp competition included: second place Clarence Stewart of Bruton, Ala.; third place Ronnie Hughes of Anderson; fourth place Ron Kleiber of Spencer, N.Y.; and fifth place Kem Welch of Hanahan. Four South Carolina artists were among eight who were given special honorable mention, including Bob Hickman and Donnie Hughes of Lexington, J.B. Basham of Longs and Lance Anderson of Greenwood.

South Carolina duck hunters age 16 and older are required to have the state waterfowl stamp in their possession while hunting. Duck hunters purchase about 24,000 stamps each year, and collectors buy another 5,000 stamps.

Now in its 23rd year with the 2003-2004 Jim Hublick green-wing teal stamp on sale, the South Carolina Migratory Waterfowl Stamp and Print Program has raised nearly $6 million since it began in 1981 to benefit the waterfowl of South Carolina and the Atlantic Flyway, according to Diane Lee, state waterfowl stamp contest coordinator and license administrator for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Columbia. Funds generated from the sale of "stamps" are used solely to fund state waterfowl habitat projects. "Print" sales support waterfowl breeding and nesting habitat projects in Canada.

Winning artists receive no money from the sale of the annual South Carolina migratory waterfowl stamp, which costs hunters and collectors $5.50 each, but they do earn $8 from each regular edition $135 art print sold from a maximum edition of 4,000 prints. Along with additional revenue from the publisher for remarques, an artist could realize about $50,000 if an edition of 4,000 prints sells out. Past year's waterfowl stamp prints may be viewed on the DNR Web site at under Special Programs - S.C. Migratory Waterfowl and Marine Recreational Fisheries Stamps.

Leroy's stamp for the 2004-2005 season will go on sale July 1, 2004, before next waterfowl hunting season, at DNR offices and South Carolina retail businesses that sell hunting and fishing licenses. Stamp collectors may purchase stamps in singles, numbered corner blocks of four and full sheets of 30 stamps by writing DNR Duck Stamps, PO Box 11710, Columbia, SC 29211. Collectors who bought numbered corner blocks and full sheets last year are entitled to purchase the same number this year.

The 4,000 signed and numbered prints of Leroy's design will go on sale mid-July 2004 for $135 each. Orders for state migratory waterfowl stamp art prints may be placed through local art galleries or in the South Carolina Wildlife gift shop by visiting the shop at 1000 Assembly St. in Columbia, SC, or calling toll free 1-888-644-9453.

Next year's duck stamp art contest to select South Carolina's 25th edition (2005-2006) stamps will feature the canvasback. For more information on South Carolina duck stamps or the annual stamp art contest, contact Diane Lee with DNR at (803) 734-3843 in Columbia.

- Written by Mike Creel -

 

 

 

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