The annual Waterfowl Festival features more than 80 artists working in a number of subject matters and styles.
For one weekend each November, Easton, Maryland, becomes a must-visit destination for patrons of waterfowl, wildlife, landscape and sporting artwork, as its annual Waterfowl Festival gets underway. The event, highlighted by the artwork and decoys, also has ties to conservation of the Chesapeake Bay region. The 2018 show will take place November 9 to 11, with its Premiere Night, benefitting Waterfowl Chesapeake, kicking off the festivities on November 8.
The official opening of the Waterfowl Festival takes place at 4 p.m. on November 8, when the Hall of Fame awards will be announced and the new Federal Duck Stamp-winning artist will be named. Following from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. is the premiere party where attendees have the first look at the artwork in the show, which is situated across three art venues. They also will have the chance to mingle with the participating artists, enjoy a “Fin, Fowl and Farm” tasting tour, and at 7 p.m. can participate in the “Making Way For Ducklings” Art & Decoy Auction where art and miniature decoys donated by participating artists will be up for grabs in
support of the William A. Perry Scholarship. This year the festival is also adding quick draws to the opening night event, allowing patrons to watch artists create new works of art on the spot.
“Every year we look forward to the crates of art arriving, the artists walking in that have become like old friends to our chairmen and welcoming the new artists to town and telling them where to find the best cream of crab soup,” says Leslie Milby, the festival and events manager. “While we began as and will always be the Waterfowl Festival, guests will still see a variety as they stroll through our exhibits. A great example is our featured art piece this year titled The Lovers by Eric Tardif—it depicts the beauty of nature in a very contemporary form for our festival.”
Canadian artist Tardif, who is the Featured Artist, will have his bronze The Lovers on the poster for the festival. The 46-inch piece, inspired by two birds courting that he saw on a trip to Florida nine years ago, is available for purchase as well as smaller wood versions. In explaining the work, Tardif says, “I decided to bring this memory to life for the Waterfowl Festival and have created two long-tailed birds—the Lovers—in a single, strong piece that express the rich and solemn connection and communication between the pair. I hope that it expresses their grace, calm, peacefulness and formality during a moment in time.”
Along with Tardif, visitors can view artwork by 37 painters, 16 sculptors and more than 30 carvers including Featured Carver Jeff Rechin. Among those participating are Chris Maynard, David Kiehm, Jill Basham, Laurie Snow Hein, Sara Linda Polly, Tom Baldwin, Vivian Boswell and Joseph Waldroup, to name a few.
Three-day tickets to the Waterfowl Festival can be purchased for $15 online prior to November 1, while children under 12 are admitted free. For a complete schedule of weekend events and a venue map, visit the show website.
Collectors view artwork in the Pavilion.
David Kiehm, Slow and Steady
Black-throated Blue Warblers, by Jeff Rechin, the 2018 Featured Carver.
The Lovers, bronze, 46”, by Eric Tardif, is the 2018 Featured Art Piece.
Chris Maynard, Everything