NOW AVAILABLE – Ducks Unlimited Canada releases 2019 National Art Portfolio
Four Ontario artists selected for Canada’s premier collection of conservation artwork
DATE, CITY, ONTARIO– Connecting Canadians with the benefits of conservation is central to the Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) National Art Portfolio.
“Among our greatest challenges in wetland conservation is transforming how people relate to the natural world,” says Karla Guyn, CEO of Ducks Unlimited Canada. “Artists have a unique ability to evoke people’s feelings about the importance of our land, water and wildlife. They are strong proponents of conservation and their artwork is a powerful tool for building appreciation and support for wetland conservation in Canada.”
The 2019 National Art Portfolio is a collection of memorable moments that highlight the importance of Canada’s natural environment to our Canadian lifestyles. “Each year DUC receives hundreds of submissions,” says Guyn. “We select pieces that we feel can inspire Canadians to reflect on their own experiences in nature and to embrace wetland conservation within their lives.” The artwork of four outstanding artists from Ontario are featured in this year’s collection.
Olaf Schneideris a renown muralist and painter from the Toronto area. He earns a place in this year’s collection with his piece entitled Breathless, a scene rich in memories to any Canadian who lives for summers at the lake. Schneider’s work illustrates a lazy moment before sunrise with deck chairs set out from the night before, mosquitoes dancing on the water, loons calling in the distance and aromas of cedar and pine on dew-soaked air. “These are the gifts we love to share with each other,” he says of the familiar scene.
Conrad Mieschkeis a professional artist who works from his home studio in Ontario. After losing his wife to a motor vehicle accident, Mieschke recommitted his artwork to celebrating life and finding peace in the natural world. He earns a spot in this year’s portfolio with Peaceful Silence, an invitation to share in a favorite Canadian moment following a fresh snowfall. “Winter is my favorite season of the year,” says Mieschke. “Nothing can be more enjoyable for me than gliding on my skis though the countryside on a crisp and sunny winter day in complete silence.”
Brent Trachis a professional artist who receives his inspiration from the iconic landscapes of Temagami, Georgian Bay and Algonquin Park, Ontario. He attributes his self-taught skill to the endless inspiration he gets from living in this beautiful region of Canada where camping, canoe trips and fishing are a way of life. Generations of Canadians will recognize Old Friends, a piece that beautifully captures a Canadian sentimentality rooted in fishing traditions. “These are the lures and fishing equipment passed down from my grandparents and parents,” says Trach of the subjects in his work, a tribute to the classics. “Over the years, some of these treasures have worn out, broken or gone missing, usually clinging to a stump at the bottom of the lake.”
Daniel St-Amantstarts his artwork in the streets and finishes in the studio. Laying prepared canvass on roadways, St-Amant then uses the distinct markings left by passing vehicles as a backdrop for his animal portraits. “The over-use of resources is changing people, animals and habitats everywhere,” says St-Amant. “This unique process challenges us to reflect on the impacts of industrialism and urbanization, like our use of climate-affecting technologies and resulting carbon footprint.” Amid those urban imprints is where you’ll find Rutt and Tuke, his winning depiction of a pair of moose, their next steps bleeding into tire tracks. Born and raised in Québec, St-Amant now resides with his family in Toronto.
DUC has been partnering with artists on the National Art Portfolio since 1986. The annually-released collection is up for auction with proceeds funding DUC’s conservation work. Canadians can bid on pieces in the collection now at ducks.ca/2019NAP.
Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) delivers wetland conservation that benefits every Canadian. We keep the water in your lakes and rivers clean. We protect your community from the effects of flood and drought. We save wildlife and special natural places. We use science to find solutions to the most important environmental issues of the day and we collaborate with people who are helping create a healthier world. The wetlands we save aren’t just for ducks; they’re for all of us. Visit Ducks.ca.
To arrange interviews with DUC or the artists,
Ducks Unlimited Canada