Wendy Hazey of Prairieville wins first place in LAWFF Whooping Crane Art Contest

Wendy Hazey’s winning portrait in the LAWFF Whooping Crane Art Contest. (Photo courtesy LDWF)

Wendy Hazey of Prairieville, whose portrait is titled Reciprocal Survival, has been named the winner of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LAWFF) Whooping Crane Art Show contest, presented by Raising Cane’s. Hazey’s oil painting features an adult crane in its natural habitat.

Hazey’s entry was one of more than 60 adult pieces judged in the contest. Tony Forrest of Alexandria finished second and Kellie Vaccaro of Luling was third and also won the biologists award. Marne Meynig of Sunset was named honorable mention.

The contest’s student winners will be announced Saturday, Feb. 24.

Tony Forrest’s second place entry in the Whooping Crane Art Contest. (Photo courtesy LDWF)

“This is our first year and we’re so pleased with not only the quantity but quality of our entries,’’ said LAWFF Executive Director Missy Fox. “Judging wasn’t easy because we had so many outstanding pieces. They captured well the whooping crane and its beauty.’’

LAWFF is holding the Whooping Crane Art Show exhibit at Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) headquarters in Baton Rouge until Feb. 27. The exhibit, to benefit LDWF’s Whooping Crane Project, is in the Joe Herring Louisiana Room and is free and open to the public. The exhibit is open from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday (Feb. 20-23), closed Saturday (Feb. 24) and open Sunday (Feb. 25) from 1-6 p.m. The exhibit wraps up Feb. 26-27 and will be open from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. both days.

Kellie Vaccaro of Luling had the third place entry and won the biologists award in the Whooping Crane Art Contest. (Photo courtesy LDWF)

LAWFF uses money raised for the project to help in research and monitoring of the whooping crane population. LDWF began the project to re-establish whooping cranes in Louisiana in 2011. It marked a significant conservation milestone with the first wild whooping cranes back in Louisiana since 1950.

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

The exhibit features art from LAWFF’s Whooping Crane Art Contest, where adult and student artists submitted pieces for judging. Judges for the contest included LDWF biologist Sara Zimorski, who oversees the Whooping Crane Reintroduction Project, LDWF wildlife technician Eva Szyszkoski, who works on the project, WAFB-TV’s Liz Koh and Louisiana artists R.C. Davis and Becky Fos.

LDWF’s headquarters is located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Some of the art will be available for purchase. To see art submissions, visit http://www.lawff.org/2024-art-show-submissions.

For more information, call 225-765-5100 or go to http://www.lawff.org/whoopingcraneshow.