News Release

For Immediate Release
Bob Ellis, Wildlife Division Director, 804-367-6878

NOTE: This news release was distributed on 6/27/2012. The information below may no longer be the most up-to-date information available, or may pertain solely to events that occurred in the past. Please contact the person listed as the contact person for this release for the most current information.

John Obolewicz Wins Duck Stamp Contest, 2012 Virginia Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Available July 1

Richmond, VA — On July 1, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) will begin selling the 2012 Virginia State Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp. The artwork for the stamp, painted by John Obolewicz, is entitled "Buffleheads at Cape Henry Light" and depicts a pair of bufflehead ducks arching up with outspread wings on the water, with the lighthouses at Cape Henry in the background.

The painting by Obolewicz was selected by a judging panel made up of VDGIF staff and representatives from the Northern Virginia Chapter of Delta Waterfowl, the LOCS chapter of Waterfowl USA, Virginia Ducks Unlimited, and the Virginia Waterfowlers Association. All submitted entries were produced by Virginia artists.

John Obolewicz grew up in Sullivan County, New York, a place rich in woodlands and lakes, and near the Delaware River, which he describes as nature's schoolroom where he learned a love of the outdoors and a desire to capture its beauty in paintings. He is a graduate of New Paltz State College in New York, with an Honors Bachelor's Degree of Fine Arts in painting. His paintings have won numerous honors including Best in Show, First Place awards, prizes and ribbons in competitions from Connecticut to South Carolina. His paintings have been successful auction items for Ducks Unlimited, the Ruffed Grouse Society, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and the North American Hunting Retriever Association. This is the second time that Obolewicz has been selected as the winning artist for the Virginia Waterfowl Conservation Stamp. In 2009 he won the Virginia state duck stamp competition with a painting depicting a drake ring-neck duck stretching its wings with a duck blind and decoy in the background.

Obolewicz specializes in watercolors; his versatility is shown in paintings of landscapes, old farms, historic homes, hunting and fishing scenes, wildlife, and dog and horse portraits. In keeping with his love of the outdoors, John Obolewicz is an avid sportsman who enjoys fishing, hunting, golf, skiing, and boating. He and his wife Barbara and their daughter Haley reside in Powhatan, where he maintains his studio.

A Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp is required of all persons (unless license exempt) 16 years of age and older hunting or taking any migratory waterfowl (ducks, geese, brant and swans) within the Commonwealth. The annual duck stamp can be purchased for a fee of $10 (resident or non-resident) at license agents or clerks who sell Virginia hunting licenses, or from the Department's website. Stamp collectors who would like the 2012 Virginia Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Collectors Stamp and/or print with artwork by John Obolewicz can request it by contacting Mike Hinton at

Funds generated from all sales of the Virginia Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp are placed in the Department's Game Protection Fund and are accounted for separately, designated as the Virginia Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Fund. Monies are used to contract with appropriate nonprofit organizations for cooperative waterfowl habitat improvement projects to: protect, preserve, restore, enhance and develop waterfowl habitat in Virginia through the Department's waterfowl program; and, offset the administrative costs associated with production, issuance of, and accounting for the stamp. The annual Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp can be purchased for a fee of $10 (resident or non-resident) at license agents or clerks who sell Virginia hunting licenses or from the Department's website. Last year, 22,464 duck stamps were sold bringing in $224,640.For more information on waterfowl hunting in Virginia, visit the Department's Web site at

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A photograph of the winning artwork is available by contacting