The 2016 WASCO Award Winners

The 2016 convention season has come to a close, and the results are in! To me, the most compelling part of each competition is when all of the judges get together collectively pick what they feel is the most artistic entry in the entire show. I have been in on many of these lively discussions and the judges always make it a point to give a great deal of thought and consideration to fairly choose the entry they feel is most deserving of this prestigious award.

The WASCO Most Artistic Entry Award is presented to the most artistic piece in a taxidermy competition. The winner is chosen collectively by all of the judges from the entire competition. WASCO Award winners receive a polished acrylic award and a gift certificate from WASCO (Wildlife Artist Supply Company).

The winning entries were chosen by the following criteria:

1. Exhibition of Taxidermy. The entry should tastefully display both the subject as well as the taxidermy profession in a favorable light. The taxidermy should be of good competition caliber, without any obvious flaws to the casual observer. The close scrutiny of a judge’s flashlight should not be as important as the overall impression of the piece from a normal viewing distance. The main requirement is that the animal portrayed looks “alive” to the viewer. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=1778

Thanksgiving and Cancer

This fall has been a time of tumultuous change in my personal life. I have struggled with whether or not to publish this blog, but I felt that my longtime readers and friends would appreciate understanding my situation. I hope you all can indulge me with this single blog departure from focusing on the taxidermy industry and allow me to be more personal than I am generally comfortable with. I have never been one to post my daily shenanigans on Facebook, tending to keep my private life private, but on this Thanksgiving, my heart is full and I wish to share a bit of it.

It’s funny how our lives go on and on with slow incremental changes. Sometimes we have to look back for years to recognize how things are different from the way they were before. And then, out of nowhere, there are unexpected times when all of the waves and winds come crashing together into a prefect storm of turbulence, and life changes on a dime.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=1759

The Arc of Taxidermy History

Taxidermy is on an upswing. If you had to chart the overall perception of our profession to the general public, it would have probably started going downhill in the 1960s after Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psyco” and remained low for many decades. In the past twenty years or so, taxidermy began to enjoy a renessaince of sorts with high quality competitions leading the way. Taxidermy started showing up more in commercials, reality television shows, and on the internet. Interior designers rediscovered taxidermy and started using it to decorate millionaires’ penthouses. A revolution of new-age millennial artists became involved in expanding our perception of what taxidermy could be. I never thought I would see the day, but taxidermy is actually COOL now. And that is not merely my opinion. Just this past week, Elle Magazine published an article entitled “How Taxidermy Became Cool Again“.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=1746

Carl E. Akeley, Action Hero

At the dinner reception at the Clarendon Historical Society before the unveiling of the Akeley monument stone in New York, a display was presented featuring various memorabilia from the life of Carl E. Akeley. Mostly provided by taxidermy historian John Janelli of New Jersey, this display featured letters, photographs, documents, banquet programs, and literature inspired by the amazing experiences in Akeley’s life. As such, he was a favorite subject for the men’s adventure magazines and comics of the early twentieth century. One of the items was an action-themed comic book showcasing the African adventures of the honoree. Since the statute of limitations on the copyright had expired, I photographed the pages of the comic book to read at a later date. I am presenting the entire strip here for the enjoyment of our readers. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=1718

New Jersey: A Tale of Two JJs

Last month our industry scored a victory against anti-hunting zealots in the state of New Jersey, largely due to the efforts two men; the amazing John Jackson of the Conservation Force, and unstoppable taxidermy advocate John Janelli. These two JJs joined with the Garden State Taxidermy Association and five New Jersey big game hunters to file suit against the state of New Jersey in Federal court. On August 29, Federal Judge Freda Wolfson found in favor of the plaintiffs and struck down the African trophy import ban which had been signed into law earlier this summer by Governor Chris Christie. For those who haven’t followed the chronology of events of this strange journey, here is a recap. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=1698

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