Painting of ring-necked ducks wins state honors, moves on to national competition
WICHITA -- Layne Anderson, an 18-year old senior at Olathe Northwest High School, captured Best of Show honors for Kansas at the Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest on March 26 in Wichita. Her acrylic painting of a pair of ring-necked ducks won the top spot in the judging and will now represent Kansas in the national Junior Duck Stamp competition in San Diego, Calif.

Anderson’s entry will compete against the other 49 states' Best of Show entries to be held on April 17 at the San Diego Zoo. The first place national winner receives a $5,000 scholarship, a free trip to Washington, D.C., and has their entry made into a Junior Duck Stamp that is sold nationwide. Proceeds from the sale of the $5 stamp funds conservation education and art scholarships.

Anderson’s artwork was among 883 entries from students in 51 Kansas public schools, seven private schools, 11 home schools, five art studios, and two 4-H clubs. Entries were submitted in four age categories: Group 1 -- grades K-3 (316 entries); Group II -- grades 4-6 (282 entries); Group III -- grades 7-9 (168 entries); and Group IV -- grades 10-12 (117 entries).

Anderson plans to attend Baker University in the fall where she will continue to take art classes. To view her winning duck stamp artwork, go online to http://www.gpnc.org/JrDuck.htm.

Most outdoors men and conservationists know about the Federal Duck Stamp, required of waterfowl hunters. Revenues generated from their sale are used to purchase lands for the National Wildlife Refuge System, as well as other conservation efforts. The Junior Duck Stamp program was created to help American youth increase awareness and appreciation for wetlands and waterfowl. The Great Plains Nature Center, the Coleman Company, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sponsor the
Junior Duck Stamp program in Kansas.

Judges for the 2008 contest included Jim Reid, the Coleman Company; Marc Murrell, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks; Patty Marlett, the Wichita Audubon Society; Mary Werner, Kansas Newman University visual arts director; and Bob Gress, director of the Great Plains Nature Center.