ICHS’s Rachel Smith wins Jr. Duck Stamp honors
IMLAY CITY — An acrylic painting by Imlay City High School senior Rachel Smith won the Michigan Best of Show Contest in the 2023 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program Conservation and Design Competition. The judging was held at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Headquarters on March 31.
Rachel’s painting of a mallard drake was entered into the contest, and will now be included in an exhibit that will tour the United States in the coming year.
The Michigan Best of Show artwork will move on to compete in the National Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest to be held in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, later in the month.
To compete in this junior duck stamp program, students create original artwork showing North American ducks, geese, or swans in their natural habitats. First, second, third, and honorable mention awards are given out in four age categories. The student art contest is modeled after the Federal Duck Stamp Contest, which encourages adult artists to submit entries that are used for the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Federal Duck Stamp), which provides funding for purchasing habitat and conservation easements.
More than 20,000 students throughout all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories participate in the Junior Duck Stamp Contest. The first-place national winning design is used to create the Federal Junior Duck Stamp. Proceeds from the Junior Duck Stamps support environmental education by providing awards and scholarships for students, teachers, and schools.
Rachel has studied art throughout all four years at ICHS under the tutelage of her Visual Arts teacher, Greg Irwin. She says she started getting serious about art when she was in fifth grade and spends a lot of time outside of school honing her skills. She plans to attend college after completing her senior year to study Psychology. She hopes to continue to pursue her passion for the visual arts and would hope to sell pieces as she works her way through college.