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Young Manchester Artist Earns Top Honors in State Jr. Duck Stamp Contest

Concord NH  Jessica Gray of Manchester, N.H., a  16-year-old Manchester West High School Student, took top honors among young  New Hampshire artists in the 2012 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and  Design Contest.  Gray's mixed media  painting of mallards, entitled "Winter by the Cattails," was chosen from among  90 entries as New Hampshire's State Best of Show in the Federal Junior Duck  Stamp Contest.

Gray will be awarded a $500 scholarship prize made  possible by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Ten other students who entered the contest  and earned first-place awards earned $75 prizes for their entries in the  contest.  New Hampshire's portion of the  contest is coordinated by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

A display of the winning New Hampshire waterfowl artwork  will open at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department headquarters at 11  Hazen Drive in Concord, N.H., on Saturday, April 21, during Discover WILD New  Hampshire Day (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), and will remain on view through May 4, 2012  (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays).

Best of Show winner Jessica Gray will be New Hampshire's  contestant in the 2012 National Junior Duck Stamp Contest, which will be held  on April 20, 2012, at Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, Maryland.  Gray wrote the following conservation message  to accompany her art: "Conservation groups are difficult to find and I  want to help out."

"Gray's mallard painting was very well done, and she will  represent New Hampshire proudly at the national competition," said Ellen  Macneil, who coordinates New Hampshire's Junior Duck Stamp Contest

New Hampshire's first place winners for their age groups  this year were:

Grades K-3: Lydia Brown, age 8 of Brookline; Declan  Lister, age 8, of Orford; and Heidi Dillon, age 6, of Hebron.

Grades 4-6:  Ella  Erwin, age 10, of Bedford; Gabrielle Paquet, age 11, of Nashua; and Sierra  Davis, age 11, of Harrisville.

Grades 7-9:   Samantha Merrill, age 12, of Stratham; Rachel Fonseca, age 12, of  Hampstead; and Isabelle Kapoian, age 13, of Bedford.

Grades 10-12:  Jessica Gray, age 16, of Manchester; Taylor  Carter, age 17, of Penacook; and Amanda Lewis, age 17, of Swanzey.

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