‘Prairieville resident takes top prize in local Whooping Crane Art Contest’

An artist from Prairieville, Wendy Hazey, has emerged as the winner of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LAWFF) Whooping Crane Art Show contest, sponsored by Raising Cane’s. Hazey’s oil painting, titled Reciprocal Survival, features an adult crane in its natural habitat.

The judging panel evaluated over 60 adult entries, with Tony Forrest of Alexandria securing the second spot and Kellie Vaccaro of Luling taking third place and also bagging the biologist’s award. Marne Meynig of Sunset received an honorable mention.

The winners of the student category will be announced on Saturday, February 24.

Missy Fox, the Executive Director of LAWFF, expressed pride in the quality and quantity of entries for the contest’s inaugural year. The art pieces effectively capture the beauty of the whooping crane.

The Whooping Crane Art Show exhibit, held at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) headquarters in Baton Rouge until February 27, aims to support LDWF’s Whooping Crane Project. The exhibit is located in the Joe Herring Louisiana Room and is free for the public to visit. Operating hours are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Friday (February 20-23), closed on Saturday (February 24), and open on Sunday (February 25) from 1-6 p.m. The exhibit will wrap up on February 26-27, running from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both days.

LAWFF utilizes funds raised from the project to aid research and monitoring of the whooping crane population. Initiated in 2011, LDWF’s project aimed to reintroduce whooping cranes in Louisiana, a milestone in conservation efforts, marking the first return of wild whooping cranes to the state since 1950.

The primary objective of the project is to establish a self-sustaining whooping crane population in and around the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in southwest Louisiana.

Featuring art from LAWFF’s Whooping Crane Art Contest, the exhibit showcases pieces submitted by both adult and student artists. The judging panel included LDWF biologist Sara Zimorski, LDWF wildlife technician Eva Szyszkoski, Liz Koh from WAFB-TV, and Louisiana artists R.C. Davis and Becky Fos.

LDWF’s headquarters at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge offers some of the artwork for purchase. To view the art submissions, visit http://www.lawff.org/2024-art-show-submissions.

For further information, contact 225-765-5100 or visit http://www.lawff.org/whoopingcraneshow.