, 2015

White Stone VFD to roll out
the camouflage for the
35th annual waterfowl show

This weekend, the tankers and pumpers will be replaced by buffleheads and mergansers as the White Stone firehouse is filled with paintings, carvings, sculpture and photography from more than 80 artists, carvers and photographers for the 35th annual Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show.

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Public hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 16. Admission is $8. Children younger than age 12 will be admitted free.

Original paintings, prints, decorative carvings, working decoys, folk art carvings, bronze sculpture, photography and antique decoys will showcase a variety of wildfowl in many mediums and prices, said co-director Pat Bruce.

Artist of the Year

John Obolewicz

“The 2014 Artist of the Year is John Obolewicz of Powhatan,” said Bruce. “For the show, John has painted a lovely painting of a pair of decoys. Color prints of this painting will be given away each day at the show.”

Obolewicz grew up in Sullivan County, N.Y., near the Delaware River. He describes it as nature’s schoolroom as it is where he learned a love of the outdoors and a desire to capture its beauty in paintings, said Bruce.

At age 13 he was chosen Best In Show-Jr Division for watercolors at the Kearny Arts Festival In New Jersey. The next year he was one of three Emerging New Artists by the Orange County Art Alliance Festival in New Jersey.

He has a bachelor’s of fine arts in painting and his work has been recognized and awarded numerous prizes and ribbons.

His works have been selected twice for the prestigious Virginia Waterfowl Conservation Stamp, said Bruce. In 2009, he won with “Morning Stretch,” a painting of a drake Ring Neck duck. In 2012, he won with “Buffleheads at Cape Henry Light.”

Although his first love is wildlife, he has expanded his subject matter to include landscapes, architecture, sporting scenes and a variety of commission work.

His work has been used for fundraising by Ducks Unlimited, the Rocky Mount Elk Foundation and the North American Hunting Retrievers Association. This is Obolewicz’s 25th year as an exhibitor at the Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show.

Show highlights

The originals of all the show prints are on display at the firehouse. Copies of many of the prints from previous years are available for sale. A limited number of signed and numbered commemorative posters will be for sale, said Bruce.

The Preview Night door prize is a decoy carved by William Bruce of White Stone and the weekend door prize is an original painting by Timothy Leary of Dumfries.

The Best in Show entries from the 2013 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program will be on a special exhibit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Rappahannock Decoy Carvers Guild will conduct the annual carving contest on Saturday in the White Stone Women’s Club building next door to the firehouse. Stop by to see the entries or watch the judging, which begins at 11 a.m. Entries from across the country will be competing in several categories including the International Wildfowl Carver’s Association’s canvas decoy championship.

The Northern Neck Audubon Society will sell bluebird boxes. The Virginia Waterfowler’s Association and the Holiday Lake 4-H Center will again have an enlarged space with special presentations and demonstrations repeatedly on Saturday and Sunday. They also will host activities for ages 6 and older.

Special business sponsors of the show are W. F. Booth and Son Inc. for the show prints, Rappahannock Rentals, Bank of Lancaster and Bay Trust, Lawler Real Estate, Paul Sciacchitano and Welby Saunders of Wells Fargo Advisors, Willaby’s Catering, Currie Funeral Home and Coloryn Studio.

All weekend, oysters, crab, barbecue, chowder and homemade desserts will be available to eat at the show or take home. A special tent is set up just for dining.

The show is sponsored by, and all proceeds benefit, the White Stone Volunteer Fire Department.

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