In 2005, ArtsMemphis and Ducks Unlimited formed Conservation Through Art (CTA), an unprecedented partnership supporting the arts and wildlife conservation. The initiative evolved when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to hold its Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest in Memphis - the first time it had ever been held outside of Washington, D.C. In this prestigious 81 year-old national art competition, many of the country’s most renowned wildlife artists submit artwork with the hope of being chosen for the following year’s Federal Duck Stamp. Since the program’s inception, sales of duck stamps have raised more than $900 million to conserve more than 6 million acres of critical wildlife habitat, making this one of the most successful conservation efforts ever initiated.
The Miller Collection: From Decoys to Decoratives at Ducks Unlimited national headquarters is a distinctive, free exhibit that represents a significant accomplishment and years of dedication and commitment to wildlife art. The one-of-a kind collection of national award winning decorative decoys is made possible by the generosity, passion and remarkable philanthropy of private collectors Ellen and Doug Miller of Castle Rock, Colorado and features works by internationally renowned carvers such as William Schultz, John Scheeler, Pat Godin and Jeff Brunet.
Over the past nine years, CTA has raised more than $4 million to help support the shared goals of ArtsMemphis and Ducks Unlimited, connecting passion and philanthropy, preserving treasures that enrich lives for generations to come. Whether it’s an awe-inspiring sporting life sculpture or a spectacular sunrise over the marsh, the arts and the outdoors inspire us, shape communities and create lasting family memories.
Our success in bringing the community together in support of art and conservation is possible through the dedication of a volunteer leadership team and our visionary presenting sponsor, Regions Foundation, and the scores of other contributors. We also thank our Conservation Through Art 2014 honorees, Spence, Bob and Kem Wilson, dedicated philanthropists and past supporters of CTA. Their community leadership, philanthropic legacy and dedication to their family and the outdoors make them ideal honorees.
Gary Guyette of Guyette & Deeter, the world’s leading decoy auction firm, has again stepped up to be a trusted collaborator and adviser and has been generous not only with his expertise but also his time and design of the catalogue. Most importantly, he introduced us to Ellen and Doug Miller, extraordinary keepers of this world-class collection and true friends to ArtsMemphis, Ducks Unlimited and Memphis.