Ed Piaskowski Whitetail Gallery

Edward J. Piaskowski, 77, of Jackson Township in Ohio, passed away Thursday, August 7, 2014. Universally liked and respected by his peers, Ed was the embodiment of a gentleman. He was a rare combination of extreme talent, yet humble to a fault. Ed was born on April 6, 1937 in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, the son of Enoch and Nellie (Borcufsky) Piaskowski. He was a devout Catholic. Ed retired from Babcock & Wilcox where he was an engineer for over 40 years and received the “Engineering Honors Award”. Ed enjoyed playing clarinet and saxophone in many different bands in Pennsylvania and Ohio. He was a member of the Ohio Taxidermist Association and the National Taxidermists Association, and he won the Best in World Whitetail Deer award at the World Taxidermy Championships® in 2009. His hobbies included taxidermy, fishing, hunting and spending time with his family.

I looked through my photo files and found only two of Ed’s whitetail mounts that I had photographed, but the additional close ups and alternate views of these beautiful mounts had never been published before. I thought that Ed’s friends and fans should have a chance to see some additional angles on his stunning taxidermy work.

Ed’s whitetail deer eating an acorn off a stump won the prestigious Best In World Whitetail award the 2009 World Taxidermy Championships® held in St. Charles, Missouri.

Ed was presented with the World Championship title by Joe Meder at the 2009 WTC awards banquet.

The fall habitat helped Ed win the Van Dyke’s creativity award at the 2009 National Taxidermists Association convention.

A close-up of the face reveals Ed’s attention to detail, helping him to win the 2009 North American Champion award for open-mouth whitetails.

The mouth work and tongue were exceptionally well-done.

A rare front-on view shows the attitude and expression of the head.

Ed posed for this impromptu portrait as the mounts were brought into the competition area.

In addition to the many other honors bestowed upon Ed, he was named “Taxidermist of the Year” for 2009 based upon this mount.

A chipmunk peeking out from under the log added to the narrative story of the piece.

The deer appeared to be stealing the chipmunk’s lunch.

Ed was proud of the engineering he had constructed in this display. A hidden hinge allowed the stump to rotate independently from the habitat base, so the judges could have access to the mouth interior. In this view, you can see that the stump and acorn has moved away from the mouth of the deer.

With the stump rotated away, the taxidermy judges had a clear shot to inspect the mouth interior and nostrils.

This deer entry was also the recipient of the prestigious Joseph Bruchac Memorial Award.

Along with the many other awards from the 2009 NTA convention, this mount also won Second Place in the Challenge of the Art of Taxidermy competition. One of the most honored whitetail deer mounts in many years, this shoulder mount won almost every major award for whitetails in 2009.

Ed was proud to be named the “Taxidermist of the Year” for 2009.

He also received the Joseph Bruchac Memorial Award, which is the top whitetail deer award at the Nationals.

Posing with all of his awards after the 2009 NTA Awards Banquet, Ed Piaskowski was a happy man.

But before a competitor is eligible to win a North American Champion title, they must first have won a National Champion title. Ed Piaskowski won his National Champion title in 2003 at the NTA convention in Louisville, Kentucky with this impressive pedestal shoulder mount deer.

Ed is pictured here after the 2003 awards banquet with his National Champion Whitetail Pedestal award.

The hand-made artificial tree stood over six feet tall.

Ed depicted the deer rubbing the tree.

Close-up views of the face display Ed’s finesse for finishing, and his talent for taxidermy. A great man, he will be missed by all whose paths he has crossed. A Forum post with condolences and friends’ remembrances can be found here: http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,371887.0.html

Permanent link to this article: http://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=1132

NTA 2014 Major Award Winners

Last week in Springdale, Arkansas, the National Taxidermists Association met for the 43rd time to hold their annual convention and competition. For many of those conventions, I have had the privilege to serve as the show photographer which allowed me close access to see every mount. During the awards banquet, we project photos of the winning entries on the big screen as the winners are announced.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=1118

Priceless Dioramas Under Threat

Imagine if a state legislature voted to “repurpose” a famous painting in an art museum to make it more relevant for the twenty-first century. Perhaps something like updating “American Gothic” by painting over it to include iPhones? Or by just removing it altogether from the museum, dismantling the canvas, and sending the pieces off to long-forgotten storage facilities. You can bet that the press would be all over it with righteous indignation.

Yet for the past half-century, beautiful works of art have been disappearing at an alarming rate with little protest from the art establishment. Many of the historic dioramas from America’s natural history museums have been lost forever to the march of progress. One of the last great diorama showcases, the Bell Museum in Minnesota, is in grave and imminent danger of this fate. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=1105

UTA 2014 Competition Winners

Even though I consider myself to be well-travelled, I had never been to North Platte, Nebraska until last week, when I attended the second biannual United Taxidermists Association Expo and Competition as the show photographer. The UTA officers put on a great show, which was well run, and lots of fun for participants. Show organizers got high praise from all attendees who genuinely enjoyed the entire experience. There were great seminars, hands-on workshops, free food, live music, and cordial camaraderie overflowing from every corner of the Sandhills Convention Center. Kudos to Chairwoman Brenda DuVall for achieving the difficult task of keeping the atmosphere loose and festive while simultaneously running a tight ship. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=1090

The Donnie C Memorial Plaque

Donnie CollierTwo days before Christmas, I logged into the Taxidermy.Net Forum and was met with horrible news. One of our own—a popular, happy, helpful, generous member from Texas—had lost his life in a tragic house fire. I immediately went to Donnie Collier’s account activity and saw where only a few hours before, he had been hanging out on the Forum, interacting with friends in the Taxi.Net Bar & Lounge and discussing Christmas presents for wives in the Current Events Forum.

All of the Forum community was stunned by this sad news. Apparently, the fire started shortly before 4:00 a.m. from a heat lamp which had been placed under the house for the past few weeks to prevent pipes from freezing in the extreme cold. Donnie’s wife and kids were alerted to the fire by smoke alarms and escaped the blaze. When they gathered outside, they realized Donnie was missing. They broke open the windows of the master bedroom in an attempt to rescue Donnie, but the smoke and flames were too intense. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=1084

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