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Conservation Art Day at Ding!


The 2016-2017 Federal Duck Stamp featuring trumpeter swans, designed by five-time winner Joseph Hautman.

Five-time Federal Duck Stamp winner Joseph Hautman from Plymouth, Minn., headlines the eighth annual free Conservation Art Day at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island this coming Saturday, October 22 from 10am-5pm. The family-friendly event will also have Florida Junior Duck Stamp winner Megan Zou on hand.

“Eight years ago we moved the duck stamp artist presentations from Family Fun Day so we could honor the winning artists with a day devoted especially to them,” said Supervisory Refuge Ranger Toni Westland, “so Conservation Art Day is now the time to get your duck stamps signed.”

The event will bring the weeklong “Ding” Darling Days 2016 to a close with the duck stamp artist presentations, nature art, cartooning, photography, and art demonstrations. Admission to Wildlife Drive is free all day, and plein-air artists will be painting along the way.

The first 200 arrivals to Conservation Art Day score a reusable bag with art supplies and an opportunity to “Ask the Artist a Question,” as fine wildlife artist John Brennan demonstrates in the Visitor & Education Center. Select art gifts will be 10 percent off in the Refuge Nature Store.

The Santiva Chronicle Bird Dress-Up Photo Station in the center will allow visitors to take “selfies” and “groupies” to immediately share on social media platforms and via email.

“Conservation Art Day has grown into a day of wildlife art that pays homage to the legacy of conservation art begun by the refuge’s namesake, Jay ‘Ding’ Darling, a Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist and the original duck stamp artist,” said Westland.

Geared toward families and art enthusiasts, the day will offer participants the choice between a photography tram workshop on Wildlife Drive, compliments of nature photographer Terry Baldwin and Tarpon Bay Explorers (for first 30 signups that day); and a Make & Take Feather Portrait class with Painting with a Twist of Fort Myers for the first 25 children who sign up that day.

The day’s full schedule is posted at

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