Wildlife artists angle for top prizes, prestige

AP News
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Posted: Dec 30, 2014 1:45 AM
Wildlife artists angle for top prizes, prestige

LAKEVILLE, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota man pulled off a rare feat this fall when his painting of walleyes on the prowl made him only the second artist ever to win all five of the state's fish and wildlife stamp competitions.

Stephen Hamrick is a Minnesota star in the intensely competitive world of wildlife painting, where artists take part in fish and wildlife stamp competitions at the state and national level. These stamps aren't for postage — they fund wildlife programs and conservation efforts, and they bring in millions.

The publicity helps artists make a living selling limited-edition prints and boosts their prestige. The dominance of one family even rated a mention in the Oscar-winning film "Fargo."

Collectors and dealers say wildlife art resonates among its fans because it transports them to the outdoors.