Davis wins award for Junior Duck stamp entry

Tessa Davis won the Betty Nelson Artistic Promise Award for her Wyoming Junior Duck Stamp Contest submission — a watercolor depiction of two pintail drakes.

The winners of the 2018 Wyoming Junior Duck Stamp Program were recently announced, and several Kemmerer and Cokeville students placed well.

A grand total of 546 art entries were received from around the state from students in kindergarten up to 12th grade.

The program also presents the Betty Nelson Artistic Promise Award to an artist in kindergarten to third grade that the judges feel exhibits exemplary artistic promise. This year’s Betty Nelson Artistic Promise Award went to Tessa Davis, age 9, of Kemmerer, for a watercolor depiction of two pintail drakes.

“I was so excited when they said I won,” Davis said.She said she was in the Canyon Elementary cafeteria when her classmates heard about her award, and everyone was cheering and clapping.

Tessa Davis draws a duck in her sketchbook as she visits the Gazette to share her story about winning the Betty Nelson Artistic Promise Award in the 2018 Wyoming Junior Duck Stamp Contest with her watercolor painting. (GAZETTE PHOTO / Michelle Tibbetts)

CES art teacher Jake Parks is an integral part of the program because he encourages his students to participate in the contest. Parks provides photographs as study material for the students to examine and use as a resource for their art work.

“Mr. Parks gave me pictures of duck butts,” David said with a giggle as she explained how she created her own watercolor using different photographs as reference.

Davis also won an honorable mention award in last year’s Junior Duck Stamp contest.

Her art work depicting a “save the world, don’t litter” message was also chosen for the drug-free billboard program in Kemmerer.

Davis has been drawing ever since she can remember, she told the Gazette.

She said artistic talent runs in her family.

Students can also include a conservation message with their art, which summarizes what they learned through the program.

Emma Waite, age 17, of Powell, submitted this year’s winning conservation message: “Conservation is a way we can give back to the environment and preserve it for future generations.” 

Wyoming’s 2018 Best of Show artwork for the Junior Duck Stamp program is an oil paint rendition of a ruddy duck drake, titled “Ruddy Duck” by Kateri Bell, age 18, of Cody. Bell’s oil painting of the ruddy duck and Waite’s conservation message will both advance to represent Wyoming at the 2018 National Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest which will be held Friday, April 20, in Bismarck, North Dakota.

This dynamic educational program uses both conservation and design principles to teach wetland habitat and waterfowl biology to students in kindergarten through high school.

The art contest provides an opportunity for students to express through art their knowledge of the diversity and beauty of waterfowl and their habitat.

This year, students submitted artwork featuring the following native North American species: whistling ducks, swans, geese, dabbling ducks, diving ducks, sea ducks, mergansers, stiff tails, or Hawaiian ducks.

Artwork entries were judged on the basis of original design, anatomical accuracy, artistic composition and suitability for reproduction on a stamp. The contest was judged in four age groups.

The following is a list of first, second, and third places, as well as the honorable mentions and recognition for creativity from each group for student’s Wyoming Junior Duck Stamp Program artwork.

Group 1 (K-3)

First place: Kycen Moore, 9, Cokeville; Anna Smith, 9 Kemmerer; and Tessa Davis, 9, Kemmerer.

Second Place: Cole Rodgers, 9, Kemmerer.

Third Place: Cooper Bird, 8, Cokeville; Noah Parks, 8, Kemmerer; and Ledger Ellis, 9, Kemmerer.

Honorable Mention awards went to Joey Thomas, 8, Cokeville; Bentley McKinnon, 8, Cokeville; Kylee Pinter, 8, Cokeville; Cooper Hansell, 8, Cokeville; Temperance Henrie, 9, Kemmerer; Samantha Viviano, 8, Kemmerer; Naiya Dunn, 9, Kemmerer; and Ally Bartschi, 9, Kemmerer.

Creative Recognition was awarded to Jade Villarreal, 9, Kemmerer; Jake Taylor-Swearengin, 8, Kemmerer; and Kimberleigh Goodman, 9, Kemmerer.

Group 2 (4th - 6th)

Third Place went to Mia Dayton, 9, of Cokeville. Creative Recognition went to Howard Watson, 10, Cokeville; and Ammon Hatch, 9, Cokeville.

Group 3 (7th - 9th)

Kallie Brooks, 15, Cokeville won Second Place and Nate Barnes, 14, Cokeville won Third Place.

Honorable mention went to Demi Harmon, Ammon Halls, Ryan Almendariz, Landon Walker, Justin Floyd, Rileyanne Floyd, Conner Viehweg, Rylie Payne, Kayla Teichert, Michael Cook, Brenda Bencome and Hunter Thomas, all of Cokeville.