Acclaimed Artists to Headline Art in the Wild Day


James Hautman, Madison Grimm, Jim Sprankle, Tim Smith, Jaye Boswell, Jacqui Roch will headline the inaugural Art in the Wild event at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Saturday, October 29.

Hautman is a six-time Federal Duck Stamp winner. Grimm, age 15, has won the Federal Junior Duck Stamp contest three times. Sprankle is Sanibel Island’s own unofficial artist laureate – a wildlife sculptor of renown. Smith operates Sanibel Pottery and has taught clay sculpting for decades at Cypress Lake High School’s Center for the Arts. Boswell, “mother of the Junior Duck Stamp Program,” started the contest in 1989 as an art teacher at Sanibel’s elementary school. Roch is the 2022-2023 Refuge Artist in Residence.

Highlights of the day include a presentation, exhibition, and stamp-signing by Hautman; hands-on chalk pastels with Roch; pottery-throwing workshops with Smith; pen-and-ink drawing with Boswell, demonstrations by Sprankle and other artists, including plein-air along Wildlife Drive; nature photography, shell-crafting, nature-sketching, award presentations, and a celebration of DDWS’ 40th anniversary. Admission to Wildlife Drive is free from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

“Our inaugural Art in the Wild event honors the 40th anniversary of our wonderful friends group, which falls on Oct. 6,” said Supervisory Refuge Ranger Toni Westland. “This will become an annual fall tradition to celebrate “Ding” Darling’s art legacy and role in creating the Federal Duck Stamp Program, which has continued for nearly 90 years and preserved six million acres of sensitive wetlands and wildlife habitat.”