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Times of the Islands Magazine

SCCF Announces Winner of Annual 'Brush of Excellence' Drawing

May 23, 2018 10:49AM ● By Kevin

Artist Jim Sprankle, Brush of Excellence Chair Sandy Gross, and 2018 Winner Phil Weyman. Photo courtesy of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation's annual Brush of Excellence winner was announced during its Earth Day Event, Phil Weyman (pictured above) was chosen as the winner in the annual drawing for the Brush of Excellence Art Program.

Renowned wood carver Jim Sprankle gave SCCF a carving of a belted kingfisher after being chosen as the 2018 Prize Recipient of the SCCF “Ding” Darling Brush of Excellence Environmental Art Program, according to the foundation's newsletter.

“I feel blessed to be able to recreate the beautiful birds that I observe here and hopefully instill in others a love of these glorious creatures in their natural habitat,” Sprankle said on the foundation's website.

“It was so fitting that Jim Sprankle was chosen as the 2018 Prize Recipient,” said SCCF CEO Erick Lindblad. “SCCF’s Brush of Excellence program was designed to keep Ding Darling’s legacy alive on our islands. With his significant donations to the Wildlife Refuge’s Education Center, Jim has been a tremendous catalyst for drawing people into the places on Sanibel where Darling’s story continues to be told.”

Sprankle celebrates his 50th year as a waterfowl artist, this year. His carvings are in collections throughout Europe, Japan, and North America. His sculptures have been displayed at the Smithsonian Museum and are on permanent display in many places world-wide.

"Initiated in 2015, SCCF’s Brush of Excellence Program honors Darling’s legacy and recognizes environmental artists following in his footsteps," the foundation's newsletter said. "Inspired by the gift of a paintbrush used by Darling in his Captiva studio, SCCF created the Brush of Excellence Program to keep alive the story of his relationship to SCCF’s founding, and to encourage artists to help inspire environmental stewardship and introspection. Previous Prize Recipients were painter Jaye Boswell and photographer Clyde Butcher."

This was the third year the contest was held and the award was presented. Two previous recipients are Jaye Boswell and Clyde Butcher. Next year's prize recipient will be announced at the organization's annual meeting on Dec. 11, 2018, with the chance to win a piece of art from the 2019 artist.