Brookings artist Buzz Stewart has an important role in the Third Annual Aleutian Goose Festival scheduled for March 23-25 in Del Norte County.

Stewarts painting of geese flying over Castle Rock is featured on the festivals official poster. He received $200 as the winner of the competition for art on this years poster.

Stewart said his training and early career was devoted to commercial art and design. he attended Design Institute of Seattle, formerly the Burnley School of Art and Design.

His career included illustration, brochure and package design while working in Seattle and Tacoma. He moved to Brookings in 1952, opened his own commercial art business and expanded his painting in watercolor and acrylic.

His work is currently shown at Words and Pictures, the gallery owned by his wife, Pat, which features many Curry County artists.

The festival, which provides many bird-watching and wildlife workshops and field trips, celebrates the successful restoration of the population of the once-endangered birds.

The Aleutian Canadian geese population has increased from less than 800 in the early 1970s to more than 40,000 today.

Festival coordinator Sandy Jerebek said artists from Southern Oregon and Northern California were invited to submit artwork.

The festival poster competition was stiff, said Rick Hiser, co-coordinator and official photographer for the event.It was tough to make a choice, Hiser said.

One hundred limited edition prints of the poster will be available for purchase at the festivals headquarters at the Crescent City Cultural Center, he said.

The festival brings bird watchers and nature lovers from across the country to view the flight of the worlds population of the Aleutian Geese each morning from Castle Island Wildlife Refuge to feeding grounds in Smith River pastures.

The festival includes ocean and harbor excursions, kayaking on Lake Earl, Smith River estuary drift, an ancient forest walk, backyard birding, bicycling for birds, bird and nature photography, as well as workshops covering other species such as hawks and raptors, bats, owls and little dickey birds.

Other special events will include a Friday night mixer and welcome party, a Saturday night goose gala reception and a lighthouse tour. For information or to make reservations for any of the events, visit the Crescent City-Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center at 1001 Front St., or call 1-800-343-8300.