Woodland, Mich., to host Oct. 10 first day for namesake Winter Woodland Animals stamps
By Charles Snee
Stylized artwork of four woodland animals — a deer, rabbit, owl and fox — set in colorful scenes appropriate to the approaching winter season will take center stage on new United States forever stamps to be issued Oct. 10.
In a nod to the name of the new issue, Winter Woodland Animals, the U.S. Postal Service selected Woodland, Mich., to be the official first-day city for the new nondenominated (66¢) stamps that will be issued in double-sided panes of 20, a format the USPS calls a booklet.
The Postal Service is not sponsoring an official first-day ceremony, but a local ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. Eastern Time at Woodland Old City Hall, 190 E. Broadway, in Woodland. Linn’s Stamp News editor-in-chief Jay Bigalke will serve as master of ceremonies.
Jeff Mackenzie, supervisor of Woodland Township, Mich., will provide welcoming remarks, and Donald Dombrow Jr., district manager of the Michigan 2 District of the USPS, will dedicate the stamps.
Janette Bremer, postmaster of Lake Odessa, Mich., will deliver remarks from Katie Kirk of Minneapolis, who illustrated the Winter Woodland Animals stamps using original artwork.
Kirk, along with Nathan Strandberg, operates Eight Hour Day, a creative studio in Minneapolis that concentrates on design and illustration.
“We are two individuals with a passion for creativity — creativity makes us happy,” Kirk and Strandberg state on their website. “We believe in the transformative power of illustration and design and their ability to simplify communications, elevate experiences, engage and inspire people everywhere.”
Also speaking at the ceremony will be Jennifer Patton, founder of Foxes Journey Sanctuary in Howell, Mich.
The Postal Service’s preliminary artwork for the four Winter Woodland Animals stamps is shown on page 1 as a block of four.
A male deer, a full moon seemingly perched on the animal’s antlers, is featured on the top left stamp. The top right stamp pictures a rabbit in left profile, its face turned directly toward the viewer.
An owl, in a pose similar to the rabbit, stares at the viewer with its bright yellow eyes on the stamp at bottom left, while the bottom right stamp illustrates a fox sitting with its bushy tail pointing up in front of it.
“The animals appear with details of their habitat in winter, such as a full or crescent moon, snow-covered trees, holly branches with berries, and delicate snowflakes,” the Postal Service said.
According to USPS art director Antonio Alcala, who designed the stamps, several approaches featuring a winter theme were developed before Kirk’s final illustrations came to fruition.
“We looked at a variety of approaches including …
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