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RALEIGH, N.C. (March 26) - For the first time since its creation in 1983, the painting used for North Carolina's Waterfowl Conservation Stamp will be chosen through an art competition open to the public nationwide.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, in conjunction with The East Carolina Wildfowl Guild, will accept entries until January 2008. The program, which has commissioned an artist in previous years, will select a winner to appear on a postage stamp and collectible print that will be made available statewide. Proceeds from these sales go to the Commission's waterfowl fund, which has raised more than $4.2 million since its inception.

Entries must be full-color, realistic renderings of one of the following scenes:
Tundra swans in winter wheat
Snow geese in corn stubble
Canada geese in Piedmont pasture
Brant in open water/shoal habitat
Surf scooters flying low along the crest of ocean waves

Artists are limited to one submission each. Paintings must be horizontal and measure 13 by 18 inches, matted in white, and bearing no signature or other marks that would identify the artist.

Mailed entries must be received by Jan. 14, 2008, at 5 p.m., while hand-delivered paintings carry a Jan. 27, 5 p.m., deadline. All submissions must be accompanied by a signed artist agreement form, a $50 entry fee and be in full compliance with the guidelines set forth by the official entry form, which is available at www.eastcarolinawildfowlguild.com

Selected works will be shown at the Preview Reception of the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships. Five finalists will be announced at the Preview Reception, on Feb. 8, and will remain on public display throughout the weekend-long festival. The Commission will unveil the winner that weekend.
 
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