A year’s work ready to pay off

Wa­ter­fowl Fes­ti­val vol­un­teers prep for week­end ahead

The Star Democrat - - FRONT PAGE - By KAYLA RIVAS kri­vas@star­dem.com

EAS­TON — With the up­com­ing week­end re­volv­ing around con­ser­va­tion, com­mu­nity, hos­pi­tal­ity and her­itage, Wa­ter­fowl Fes­ti­val artists and vol­un­teers were hard at work this week, prep­ping for the fes­tiv­i­ties to come.

The fes­ti­val is in its 48th year, and has raised more than $6.5 mil­lion for re­gional wa­ter­fowl and habi­tat con­ser­va­tion ef­forts. Fea­tured Art Com­mit­tee Co-chair­per­son Kathy Dawkins is en­ter­ing her 27th year with the fes­ti­val, and is on the fes­ti­val’s Hall of Fame.

“We had rain Tues­day, which made out­side set up a lit­tle hard,” she said along­side a crew near the fea­tured artist tent, across from the Wa­ter­fowl Fes­ti­val Build­ing. “We al­ways push through the el­e­ments and every­body has a great at­ti­tude.”

The crew in­cluded Carl Tanker­s­ley, Tom Ledv­ina, Scott Sullivan, Jake Barnes and Syl­van Kauf­man. Each re­ported sev­eral years of in­volve­ment in help­ing with the fes­ti­val.

Tanker­s­ley’s wife is Nancy Tanker­s­ley, a con­tem­po­rary im­pres­sion­ist whose work is fea­tured in the fes­ti­val. She trav­els world­wide show­cas­ing her art, teach­ing and judg­ing.

This year’s fea­tured artist is Canadian In­ter­pre­ta­tive sculp­tor Eric Tardif. Dawkins ar­tic­u­lated his art as “mod­ern,” “stylis­tic,” and “unique.” While Tardif typ­i­cally fo­cuses on var­i­ous wood medi­ums, his fea­tured piece is bronze.

Wa­ter­fowl Ch­e­sa­peake Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Mar­garet En­loe said it’s amaz­ing that the fes­ti­val has vol­un­teers who have been around for 45 years.

“I don’t vol­un­teer just for the week­end,” said

Wa­ter­fowl Board and Hall of Fame mem­ber and Co-chair­per­son of Art at the Ar­mory Martha Horner. “I started when I moved here 40 years ago. It was some­thing to do, and I just love it.”

“We meet all these nice peo­ple, ar tists and nice friends I wouldn’t have known oth­er­wise,” she said.

“We are very lucky to be able to vol­un­teer and give our time,” said Wa­ter­fowl Hall of Fame mem­ber and Fea­tured Artists Ex­hibit Co-chair­per­son Ann White. “I just feel very glad that I’ve been able to give back to the com­mu­nity.”

“One of the rea­sons I en­joy vol­un­teer­ing is I get to meet all these artists from across the coun­try,” said vol­un­teer Linda Lit­tle. “I get to help them set up and learn about their craft and their part of the coun­try.”

When Thurs­day morn­ing comes and the fes­tiv­i­ties be­gin, for­mer art com­mit­tee chair and vol­un­teer Linda Goss said, to her, it feels like “the cur­tain is go­ing up.”

The 48th Annual Wa­ter­fowl Fes­ti­val be­gins to­day with open­ing cer­e­monies at 4 p.m. at the Avalon Theatre. The Premiere Night Party will fol­low from 4:30-8:30 p.m. at the Wa­ter­fowl Fes­ti­val head­quar­ters, which also hosts the “Mak­ing Way for Duck­lings” auc­tion to ben­e­fit lo­cal schol­ar­ships at 7 p.m.

The premiere night party ben­e­fits the con­ser­va­tion work of Wa­ter­fowl Ch­e­sa­peake and the Fes­ti­val to cre­ate, re­store and con­serve wa­ter­fowl and their habi­tat in the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay re­gion.

The Fes­ti­val has long de­pended on scores of lo­cal vol­un­teers as well as par­tic­i­pa­tion by tal­ented artists. This year’s Hall of Fame in­ductees — John Flohr, Al­bert Pritch­ett and Henry Stans­bury — have been long­time sup­port­ers of the Wa­ter­fowl Fes­ti­val, whether as vol­un­teers, board mem­bers, or as an artist.

The Fes­ti­val kicks off in earnest on Fri­day, Nov. 9, and con­tin­ues through Sun­day, Nov. 11. The Wa­ter­fowl Fes­ti­val is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fri­day and Satur­day and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sun­day. Tick­ets for the Fes­ti­val are $20 each, which gives ac­cess for all three days, with chil­dren un­der 10 ad­mit­ted free. Some ac­tiv­i­ties are not in­cluded in the general ad­mis­sion fee.

PHOTOS BY KAYLA RIVAS

Vol­un­teers Syl­van Kauf­man, Jake Barnes, Co-Chair­man of the Fea­tured Art Com­mit­tee Kathy Dawkins, and vol­un­teers Scott Sullivan, Tom Ledv­ina and Carl Tanker­s­ley as­sist in set­ting up the fea­tured artist tent on Wed­nes­day.

Artist Sara Linda Poly of Eas­ton set­ting up her pieces in the Wa­ter­fowl build­ing. Poly said her fa­vorite muse is the sun, and it works its way into many of her pieces.

PHOTO BY KAYLA RIVAS

The Wa­ter­fowl Fes­ti­val draws long­time vol­un­teers and new ones as well. Pic­tured in front of Artist Rob Les­lie’s ex­hibit are Les­lie, Ann White, Martha Horner, Lau­ren Lit­tle, Linda Goss, and Judy Knight. Seated are Betty Brunetti and Blenda Ar­mis­tead.

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