2018 Montana Junior Federal Duck Stamp

Eureka, Montana can now proudly accept a first for their community., having a winner of the Junior Federal Duck Stamp of Montana. Two students of Wanda Mumm’s art class at the Creative Art Center in Eureka entered the Montana Junior Federal Duck stamp this year Avrye Smith and Jackson Hall. Avrye Smith won first place with an acrylic entry of a Redhead for our region of the state and first for her age group, 4-6 grade category. Jake initially won first for his age group. After all the firsts were gathered together they judged again for the Best of Show. Jackson Hall won Best of Show and is now the current Montana Junior Federal Duck Stamp for 2018.
This is the first year for Avrye to entered the Duck Stamp and was a finalist placing her entry in the finals with much older students for the competition. Jake has entered the stamp competition 2  previous times, placing in the finals both times. His winning entry won out over 144 entries from across the state. “The group of finalists this year was one of the best groups we have had in a while'” stated Tom Reed, competition director for the state of Montana. The entries were done in various mediums. Jake did his entry in acrylic with an oil overlay. He had a goal to win this competition before he got out of high school. Winning it as a freshman is quite the achievement. His strategy included wanting to learn to paint in oils prior to starting his entry because he felt oil was needed for the right look. When Jake was called at school during the day he worried for a few seconds something was wrong with his entry. We had worked on it right up to the night before it was to go in and the paint was still wet. He had placed the painting in front of a heater all night to dry it before it went out the next morning. They had called to congratulate him on winning Best of Show for the state and each judge took time to ask Jake questions or comment on his entry.
A panel of five judges selected Jake’s entry on Friday, March 23, along with the other selected  11 finalists. All 11 vie for the final Best of Show. Avery was one of the finalists along with Jake. Tom Reed director of this program for Montana stated, ” It was a very nice group of entries in the finals this year but Jake’s won out with his entry’s coloring and accuracy of the Hooded Merganser.  Both entries from Eureka were well done and top notch,” stated Tom Reed.
Both students spent from January until the week the entities were due in mid-March preparing their duck entries. They learn about the ducks, their habitats, conservation measures as well as the art of creating a contest entry that has all the art elements needed to make a winning piece of art. The students must start with a concept and several drawings. Once their duck species and setting is decided upon they draw the design unto their artboard. They then decide on the setting’s time of day and color of light. Painting is only the very last step in creating the contest piece. The students must write a statement about their Duck, conservation or habitat that they learned about in their research to create the entry they submit.
Jakes winning Montana duck entry is now in the National Junior Duck Stamp competition where all 50 states send their best of show entries to Bismarck, North Dakota, where that level of the competition will select 1 winner for the nation. The overall winner will then have prints and stamps created from the winning student’s work. The national contest will be held in late April in Bismarck.
There will be an awards ceremony in Montana to present the state winners with ribbons and present Jake with his Best of Show award in early May in Stevensville. Both Avrye and Jake will receive ribbons for their entries.