In celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week, “Ding” Darling’s 145th birthday, and the 40th anniversary of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island will be hosting its first Art in the Wild at the refuge on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Stay tuned for announcements about free activities honoring 2022-2023 Duck Stamp artists and the legacy of Refuge namesake Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling, a Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist of the early 20th century. Current, six-time Federal Duck Stamp winner Jim Hautman, who has achieved the most wins of any artist in federal duck stamp history, will make a personal appearance that day to sign stamps. A special exhibition of his nature art also will be on display in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center auditorium that day and through November.
The refuge’s 2022-2023 Artist in Residence Jacqui Roch will be on hand to lead nature-art demos and workshops, plus expect the announcement of the 2022 “Ding” Darling Amateur Photo Contest winners, anniversary treats, and other surprises. Admission to Wildlife Drive will be free that day.
“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.”
DDWS seeks sponsors for this year’s Art in the Wild. For more information, contact April Boehnen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-472-1100 ext. 4. To learn more about Art in the Wild’s schedule of events as it develops, visit dingartinthewild.com.