Wildlife Art Festival
The 28th annual Wildlife Art Festival at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands will take place on Saturday, November 20 from 9am to 5pmand Sunday, November 21 from 9am to 4pm. Along with featured artist Robert Steiner, twenty three prominent artists will exhibit paintings, sculptures, carvings, and limited edition prints in the museum galleries. The festival is organized by the San Bernardino County Museum Association. Festival admission is $8 (adult), $6 (senior and military), $5 (student), and $4 (child 5 to 12). Half-price admission is offered between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday and Sunday. Children under 5 and Museum Association members are admitted free.
The festival kicks off on Friday between 6 and 9:30 p.m. with “An Evening with the Artists.” This reception, which includes the introduction James Hautman, this year’s Federal Duck Stamp competition winner, is open to the public. The cost for the reception is $10/person, with festival sponsors and Museum Association members invited at no cost. Reservations are required.
The festival also includes the top entries from this year’s Federal Duck Stamp competition. Children’s art is represented by classroom and family projects for the Tom Bennett Children’s Art and Environmental Science Competition. Family Fun Day activities are centered around art and the natural world are scheduled on both days of the festival.
The Wildlife Art Festival began when top paintings from the Federal Duck Stamp Contest were first shown on the West Coast in 1983 at the San Bernardino County Museum. From this exhibit of small, exquisitely detailed paintings, the festival has grown and evolved over the years while maintaining its focus on wildlife and conservation. Twenty-eight years ago, the event was called the “Waterfowl West Festival,” and art works featured water birds. As more artists sought to enter their works in the festival, a wider range of wildlife paintings was accepted into the event. This year, participating artists will show subject matters related to the natural world.
Since 1987, a Featured Artist has been selected every year to produce a work of art as a signature piece for that year’s event. This year, Robert Steiner from San Francisco, California will present a painting created especially for the festival, “Yellow Lab at Tule Lake.” Steiner is America’s foremost duck stamp artist. He won the 1998–99 Federal Duck Stamp Art Competition, and has designed more than 70 state duck stamps to date. He is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and earned a Masters degree in fine art printmaking from San Francisco State University.
Bob Steiner won his first duck stamp art competition when he was chosen as the winner of the 1981 California Duck Stamp contest. He has been selected as the “Featured Artist” for the Hudson River Wildlife Art Festival, the San Bernardino County Museum’s Wildlife West Festival, and the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association’s show. He was also awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership by The Park Rangers Association of California for his outstanding contributions to California’s wetlands preservation efforts.
Other participating artists are Rita Bechtold (Fountain Valley, CA), Cliff Barnes (Burbank, CA), Bill Churchill (Anaheim, CA), Ray Brown Jr (Lake Forest, CA), Barbara Jean Emerich (Boron, CA), Mike Diaz (Ramona, CA), Truong Buu Giam (Westminster, CA), Lynn Freed (Laguna Beach, CA), Carol Heiman-Greene (Orange, CA), Pat Gilmore (Vista, CA), Gary Johnson (Crestline, CA), Lee Kromschroeder (Escondido, CA), Leslie Kirchner (Green Valley, CA), Sally Quenette (Ramona, CA), Linda Merchant (Perris, CA), David R. Rojas (Carmel Valley, CA), Arlene Rheinish (Trabuco Canyon, CA), Pam Stoehsler (Klamath Falls, OR), Dennis Schroeder (Junction City, CA), Rob Sutton (Monrovia, CA), Diane Versteeg (Spokane, WA), Linda Walker (Bemidji, MN), and Dennis Zervas (Lake Forest, CA).
The importance that the museum places on education and the efforts it makes to serve children as well as adults is typified at the Wildlife Art Festival by museum education division programs and the Tom Bennett Children’s Art and Environmental Science competition, which students learn about wildlife habitats. This year’s theme is “Migratory Birds.”
Many species of birds undertake long migrations from wintering to breeding grounds. Southern California enjoys the comings and goings of birds like yellow-rumped warblers, white-crowned sparrows, kingbirds, and various species of ducks. Learning about bird migration is a great way for families to enjoy nature, get creative, and share their experiences with museum visitors.
On Saturday from 9am to 5pm and Sunday from 9am to 4pm, the museum’s education division with the support of the Museum Youth Club will organize a variety of hands-on art experiences for children and families using paint and natural materials. The Ramona-Country Carvers will provide hands-on instruction in carving, and artist Trudy Wood will teach drawing and pastel classes for children 8 to 15 years old. All family activities are free.
Federal Duck Stamp Story
The top entries from the Federal Duck Stamp art competition will be exhibited at the museum from November 19 through 21. “Duck Stamps” are not postage stamps; they are revenue stamps purchased by waterfowl hunters to validate their hunting licenses each year. The proceeds from stamp sales are the single largest source of funding for wetlands habitat conservation and enhancement. The stamp design, new each year, is chosen through a prestigious, federally-sponsored art contest called the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp. This year’s winner, chosen in October, is James Hautman with his painting of greater white-fronted geese. Hautman will meet with festival visitors on Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday.
Since 1934, the “Duck Stamp” program has raised $770 million to preserve wetlands acres within 186 national wildlife refuges. These refuges are used by one-third of our threatened and endangered species, two-thirds of our most important commercial and sporting species of marine fish, and songbirds, shorebirds, and countless other species. Birdwatchers, photographers, fishermen, and others who enjoy wildlife can contribute to the conservation of wildlife habitat by purchasing Duck Stamps at most post offices, wildlife refuges, and many licensed hunting retail stores.
The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. Admission is $8 (adult), $6 (military or senior), $5 (student) and $4 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Admission from 9am tonoon will be half-price on both days. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org or call (909) 307-2669. To make reservation for “Evening with the Artists,” visit the museum website or call (909) 307-2669 ext. 250.
The Wildlife Art Festival is presented by the San Bernardino County Museum Association and sponsored in part by Macy’s, San Bernardino County Fish & Game Commission, John Biddick & Associates, PrintProPlus.com, Beaver Medical Group, Mr. & Mrs. Jim Glaze, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, Ted and Jo Dutton, McGrath’s Catering, Party Plus Rentals, Ramona-Country Carvers, Ayres Hotel, Brutoco Construction Management, Target, and HDR Inc.
The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is (909) 307-2669 ext. 229 or TDD (909) 792-1462.