Nov. 7, 2013 – Tony Bernard of Lafayette, La., captured first place in the 2014 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp competition sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). The contest determines the image to be used on what is commonly known as the Louisiana Duck Stamp.
Bernard, who also won the 2007 stamp competition, beat out 20 other competitors and was recognized at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s Nov. 7 meeting as the 2014 winner. Guy Crittenden of Richmond, Va., who has won the Virginia State Duck Stamp contest three times since 2005 and placed second in last year’s contest, placed second again. John Harris of Groveland, Fla., who was won the Florida State Duck Stamp contest three times and placed second in the 1998 Federal Duck Stamp Contest, took third place. Last year, Ron Louque of Charlottesville, Va., won the Louisiana contest.
Tony Bernard was born and raised in Lafayette where as a high school junior he recognized his raw artistic talent. With no professional training, he has built a career in the art world that includes commissions to produce original art for local and regional festivals, professional athletic teams, NASCAR and SEC sporting events. In 2008, Tony was commissioned to paint the official portrait of Governor Bobby Jindal that now hangs in the Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge.
"Again this year, the department was impressed with the number of high quality entries," said LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader Larry Reynolds. "Bernard’s painting combined a spectacular depiction of a pair of white-fronted geese, the most targeted species for goose hunters in Louisiana and a highly desirable prize among waterfowl hunters everywhere, with a background of marsh and leaden sky that makes you feel optimistic about the upcoming hunt."
For the fifth consecutive year, LDWF held an open contest that allowed the artist to choose any migratory waterfowl species known to winter in Louisiana other than northern pintails, wood ducks, American wigeon and mallards, which were featured on the 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 duck stamps respectively.
The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program was established in 1988 by the Louisiana Legislature to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of state wetlands and other worthy programs that benefit Louisiana’s ducks and geese. This program has generated over $11 million for wetland conservation in Louisiana since 1989, with over $270,000 from last year’s stamp sales alone.
The 2014 stamp, featuring Bernard’s work, is expected to go on sale June 1, 2014. The artist will retain the original artwork and will have reproduction rights to the image for prints and other commodities after LDWF has used the image to produce the stamps.
Judges for the competition were Dr. Headley Adelmann, Fred Roetker, John Robinette, Randy Caminita and Stephen Gauthier. Dr. Adelmann is a retired biology professor at Southeast Louisiana University and artist from Hammond who has both competed in and judged our contest in the past; Roetker is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service waterfowl biologist and survey pilot from Lafayette; Robinette is an artist and retired LDWF wildlife biologist from Lake Charles; Caminita is a professional wildlife artist from St. Tammany who has also competed in this contest many times; and Gauthier is a residential contractor for Ron Gauthier Homes in Lafayette and is the State Chairman for Ducks Unlimited.
For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org  or 225-765-0456.