The 2017 WASCO Award Winners

The 2017 convention season has come to a close, and for the 25th consecutive year, the judges have chosen the WASCO Award winners. I think that 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 »

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The Legacy of Jan Van Hoesen

It is indeed sad to see the great artists of our industry pass. On the first of December, one of my biggest taxidermy heroes left the world of the living and, in that instant, became a legend of our industry, to be remembered for years to come for her enormous influence.

I had been friends with Jan Van Hoesen for over twenty years. I feel blessed that I got to spend time with Jan at the World Show in 2017 and I am even more grateful for the extended visits we had at the 2016 UTA convention. Jan was so many things to so many people; a compassionate friend, a teacher, a judge, an active force for advancing the art of taxidermy and improving the politics of our profession. Sweet, but strong. Shy, but fearless. Soft spoken, but powerful. And amazingly generous with her knowledge and her friendship. But when I think of Jan, I will always remember her most as a great artist; one who almost singlehandedly brought mammal taxidermy from the level it was at before her to the level it is at now. Read the rest of this entry »

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NTA 2017 Major Award Winners

At first, I was a little bit skeptical when I heard the The National Taxidermists Association decided to call their 46th annual convention the NTA Rocky Mountain Taxidermy Extravaganza, but after attending last week, I realize that they could not have picked a better name. It was indeed an extravaganza of fantastic displays of taxidermy, informative seminars and the west’s biggest trade show in many years!

Last week, I was privileged again to return as the show photographer, and as the amazing mounts kept rolling in during the registration period, I realized that this would be a spectacular competition. Well over half of the entries were large floor pedestals with artistic representations of lifesize mammals, bird groups, and fantastic fish. The spacious competition room quickly filled up with over a hundred large floor displays, which were cleverly arranged to spell out the initials NTA. Read the rest of this entry »

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2017 Texas TTAI Award Winners

I just returned from the 2017 Texas Taxidermy Association Inc. convention held in Killeen, Texas. As usual, the Lone Star State organization put on a great show, which drew a large crowd of enthusiastic attendees, an impressive display of taxidermy competition entries, outstanding seminars, and lots of fun activities. The Killeen Civic Center was a ideal venue, and the adjacent hotel was convenient, clean and accommodating. Each year I look forward to the Texas show, as it is consistently one of the most fun conventions I attend. The warmth, enthusiasm and hospitality of the organizers and members always make it it an especially great experience.

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Joe Meder Lifetime Achievement

On May 19, 2017, at the World Taxidermy and Fish Carving Championships® awards banquet held at the Peoria, Illinois Civic Center, Show Chairman Larry Blomquist and Master of Ceremonies Russell Knight presented the fifth ever World Show Lifetime Achievement Award to Joe Meder of Solon, Iowa.

Honoree Joe Meder of Iowa (left) with Master of Ceremonies Russell Knight of Alaska (right).

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