David Nix of Cottondale, Ala., is the winner of this year’s Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest with his painting of Canada Geese. This makes Nix a three-time winner, having previously won the 2006 and 2010 contests. Artists are ineligible to submit an entry for three years after winning the contest.

The winning artwork will be used as the design of the 2017-18 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp, which is required when hunting waterfowl in Alabama. Funds generated by the sales of waterfowl stamps at both the state and federal levels are used for conservation of waterfowl habitat.

Nix has been painting since he was six years old and has submitted artwork to the contest since 1980. “It’s kind of unbelievable when it happens,” Nix said about winning the contest. “You hope to win, but it doesn’t hit you until it really happens. It’s a good feeling.”

First runner-up in this year’s contest was Bill Stem of Madison, Ala., who painted a hooded merganser. Second runner-up was Barbara Keel with her painting of a red-breasted merganser.

A panel of experts in the fields of art, ornithology and conservation judged the contest. Representing the field of art was Chris Payne, Professor of Art at Huntington College. Representing the field of conservation was Claude Jenkins, Wildlife Biologist with the Alabama Wildlife Federation. Representing the field of ornithology was Dwight Cooley, Manager of the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. 

Entries were judged on suitability for reproduction as a stamp, originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy and general rendering. The designs were limited to living species of North American migratory ducks and geese. Winning species from the past three years – American widgeon, mallard, and pintail– were not eligible subjects for the contest this year.

The annual contest is sponsored by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division and is open to resident Alabama artists only. Artists should visit www.outdooralabama.com/alabama-waterfowl-art-contest for complete information on how to enter future contests. Past winners of the contest can be viewed here, www.outdooralabama.com/alabama-waterfowl-stamp-art-contest-winners.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit http://outdooralabama.com.

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Photo: David Nix is the winner of this year’s Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest with his painting of Canada Geese. The artwork will be used as the design of the 2017-18 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp, which is required when hunting waterfowl in Alabama.