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Thursday, April 22, 2004

Ward Museum Hosts World Carving Championship April 23-25

SALISBURY, MD---More than 125 varieties of bird carvings, from hummingbirds and kiwis to owls and hawks. Over 50 award-winning renderings of waterfowl, all created by young people from across the nation. What do all these have in common? They are part of the 34th annual Ward World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition Friday-Sunday, April 23-25. The world's best carvers will take part in the largest and most prestigious competition. In addition, the state winners of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Competition will face final judging. Held at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, Ocean City, MD, the competition is hosted by SU's Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. The world's premiere wildfowl carving competition, it draws 10,000 visitors and more than 1,000 of the world's best carvers from around the world. There are five major levels of competition for bird carvers, from novice to the most advanced, World level, as well as a Youth Competition. Bird carvings, though, are not the only arenas of competition. Other artists will also vie for awards in fish carving as well as in painting, photography and sculpture depicting any type of wildlife. The competition holds something for everyone. There are seminars on carving and classes on watercolor painting and basket making. A live auction will satisfy those who want to take home a piece of art. Kids can enjoy carving soap, wooden feather carving and decoy painting. Attendees can watch carving demonstrations (including chain-saw carving); view any of the 1,000 pieces of art in the contest; meet some of the artists; see how judges determine a winner; witness retriever dogs in action; cast a vote for the carving they like the most; visit some of the 150 exhibitors selling fine art (much of it with wildlife motifs), as well as jewelry, folk and sporting art, carving supplies, sporting goods and more. Tickets for the Ward World Championship may be purchased at the door, at the Ward Museum gift shop or by calling 1-800-OC-OCEAN or 410-289-8311. Daily tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students; a three-day pass is $18. Children 12 and under are admitted free if accompanied by an adult. Show hours are Friday, April 23, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, April 24, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday, April 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The competition is funded in part from a grant given by the State of Maryland, Department of Business and Economic Development and a grant given by the Worcester County and Maryland State Arts Councils. For more information, call 410-742-4988, ext. 106, or visit www.wardmuseum.org.

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