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Best Interpretive Exhibit - Anyone?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Joe Kish, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    The TTAI board is looking forward to having you at the meeting Kish, see you next Saturday!
  2. Ron Kelly

    Ron Kelly Active Member

    As a member of the TTAI and a former Board member, you can't have my vote now if you want. NO! You sound like a grumpy old man who doesn't get his way so he has to come on here and try to rally the troops. I know I am now in the "CLUB" as you like to call it. I also know that now I will be insulted with the rest of the guys who just happen to be a couple of the BEST in the World at this time. Guys that on their WORST DAY can beat your socks off in a competition. I do think you need an opportunity to present this to the board, but I also think you need to accept whatever they decide and I personally hope your idea doesn't fly because I think it is silly. I have lost alot of respect for you from your personal attacks and now have stooped to your level and I am sorry to everyone else for this reponse. Just couldn't take it any longer.

  3. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

    Thanks James for writing back in. Glad you’re still in the game. I have a few things to say now and will save my responsive arguments to your post for later. I’m going to pull my punches for now because this isn’t a game of winning an argument or who is right or who is wrong.

    You and I are in the court of public opinion and we have to play this out. Our reputations are on the line and people are watching. 3bears and Cole stand by their opinions and weren’t slow to defend them. I’m going to defend mine. It looks bad if you don’t defend yours. But do it with facts not unsubstantiated allegations. You’ve said twice in other posts that that was your final words on the matter. Each time you came back on because you had more to say. You still have more to say, I know. Don’t bugger out now. No one will hold you to your closing statement on your above post.

    To readers out there…,
    In my post #65 on the Open Letter topic, I wrote: “I only hope that he [James] will peek at the other side of this coin. There’s a great OPPORTUNITY lurking there for him alone to exploit. I dropped it at his feet. I HOPE HE’LL PICK IT UP.” (Emphasis added.)

    Here’s what I had in mind:
    Through private means I communicated to James that at this time and under the current circumstances, we Texans had the whole industry’s attention through this forum and that he and HE ALONE could make something positive happen, a first that would have the whole industry on its feet and all ears. And I suggested that we exploit that in a positive way. I had in mind nothing less than a grudge match between us. A chance for James not to get even but to get ahead. But he was in ‘I’m done with you forever Mr. Kish’ mode and wasn’t interested in anything I had in mind.

    If you think a grudge match between James and I wouldn’t bump attendance way up at next year’s convention, then you’re simply too young to remember how profitably it worked for the Muhammed Ali - Joe Frazier fights. I believe guys like 3bears and Cole and a few dozen others would come all the way down to Texas next year just to see James knock the dog snot out of me in competition. (With a winning mount of course!) And the TTAI would gain lots of new members too!

    When a man feels insulted or offended, as the aggrieved party he naturally wants satisfaction. I extended to him, his friends and supporters my sincere apologies. I did my duty. When I ofered him a further chance to take satisfacion he refused to hear what I had in mind. So that’s off the table. Until he gets satisfaction his perceived wounds just aren’t going away.

    I’ll wait awhile before addressing his unsubstantiated claims in his post above. My reputation is on the line too and my facts are in black and white while he’s working from memory distorted by anger or self pity or I know not what. I’ll give him an opportunity to get his facts down and leave the ball in his court for now. I think most would like to see him throw the ball soon and straight.
  4. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

  5. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

    There are a number of things which I think urinates off certain people about me and I don’t think jealousy is high on the list. I believe many think I rock the boat for no other reason than to rock the boat as if there was something of value in it for me. Or that maybe they think I have an axe to grind or I’m simply an arrogant SOB or a plain ordinary starts with a and ends with e. Well….What I believe also urinates off some, is my habit of offering unsolicited opinions about their work at competitions.
    At a show I just presume that taxidermists enjoy having their work talked about when it’s good and would naturally be pleased to talk about it with me. It’s my mindset I suppose. I taught taxidermists for so many years now that I sometimes forget that everyone I speak to is NOT one of my students. I can understand when they don’t want to talk. Nevertheless I like alerting people to little adjustments they miss which I know would have bumped up their pieces a notch or two if employed. My butt-in-ski also stems from yeats as a pistol coach.

    But how do you tell a man how he can make his presentation even better next year without making him feel defensive? When I get the cold shoulder, as I often do, I begin to suspect I might just be talking to someone whose confidence in his own work may not be all that rock solid. It’s like you’re going to tell him he’s wrong about something - the one thing a man will never forgive you for.

    That old Chinese wizard SunTzu gave some pretty sage advice a couple thousand years ago still applicable today. He wrote, “Know thy self, know thy enemy.” I read his book twice over the years and have kept that advice in the back of my mind. But I’m still a work in progress on implementing it. It’s feedback from pieces on this net that helps me to know myself better. And I don’t think of those who love taking verbal swipes at me as enemies when I think of them at all. When its laid on me hard and heavy I notice they’re invariably talking about themselves.

    But here on the forum I can offer out some of what I’ve learned over the years to my heart’s content AND get all the negative feedback a man could want. The harsher the criticism the closer I search it for a nugget of self enlightenment. I root through those posts for scraps of wisdom like a pig hunting for truffles in barren ground. Occasionally I find one. And what I’m learning about the mindsets of frequent posters would be considered military intelligence to Sun Tzu.
  6. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    That's an interesting statement, considering I never stated my opinions, therefore had no reason to defend them.

    Not a chance. I'm sure I will end up at the TX show someday, because I love traveling to other shows, but it certainly won't be because of some "grudge match".
  7. mislynx

    mislynx Active Member

    Mr Kish do you still do taxidermy for your living?
    What year did you start?
    And have you entered a competition in the last 20 years?
  8. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

    Thanks for asking. Over the last 16 years I worked exclusively as a consultant for commercial guys mainly on large jobs like elephants, rhinos, Brahma bulls and gators. Since January this year I finished a half-LS elephant from my original LS model, an elephant head and a just competed 14 ½ foot crocodile model, including molding it. Sculpting models for suppliers is mostly what I’ve done since about 1980.
    I fell in love with the art as a teenager in junior high when I saw a case of mounted specimens in the biology classroom back in the late 1950s. I struggled with the well-known correspondence school lessons through high school with enough success to hook me for life. Then a short 18 months apprenticeship in Carnegie Museum starting in ’64. I turned to other jobs to make a living while doing contract work for others until 1970. That was the year I started full time at Jonas Bros. in Denver.
    I participated in four or five competitions as best I remember, the first NTA show in 1978, the ASOB bird challenge twice in conjunction with the Taxidermy Review shows fore and aft 1980, (a competition within a competition,) and two world shows. No competitions in the last 20 years. They were all exciting fun and I understand exactly why so many like the thrill of victory. For the record, I got a second and a third at the WTC with a pedestal red deer and a leopard killing a lechewe. I don’t remember which got what. I also got blue in two pre-sculpted manikin categories.
  9. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    You use the word "I" Joe Kish more than any man I know. Problem is, the association is not about "you". I've never said this about an individual, but you genuinely disgust me. Never in my life have I ever met such a self centered son of a bitch and what's even sadder, when you read those words you will smile and take it as a compliment.

    Your perfect goal would be to destroy what you could not accomplish. You're a sick man.
  10. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Joe, don't flatter yourself. There are list of reasons that I would like to visit Texas and unfortunately, for you, you don't make the list.
    In all honesty I don't find this whole discussion a total waste. You have, by example, been directing me, and hopefully others here, on how not to treat others.
    Back to the topic at hand, I wish you well on your endeavor.
  11. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

    I’ve allowed enough time and opportunity to Mr. Newport to get his facts straight from his post #38 above and nothing has happened.

    The letter referred to was titled Membership Categories and Credentials and was relevant to suggested sweeping changes to our by-laws to tilt our association toward more typical professional standards. Men like Mr. Newport and I are not in accord. His response #38 indicates to me that he has no particular concern or wish to further professionalize our association hence it appears to me that he deliberately chose to distort the suggestions (not dictats) in my letter for purposes known only to him and to hold fast to his distortions. His response has done the readers a disservice which I doubt he took into account when he posted it.

    Since my letter bears no resemblance to the fictional contents in his response above, I’m posting the summary, the last two pages of my letter here so that the reader can see and judge for him/herself what I actually wrote. Not a word has been changed from the original right down to a misspelled word. Compare it particularly to paragraph two of Mr. Newport’s response. Anyone wishing to read my arguments for changes in it's entirety in my letter can send me an email and I'll send the whole letter to you.


    So how might a taxidermy association/club welcome and integrate a new member? First, associations don’t need members for the sole reason that there is strength in numbers. Numerical size is important mostly if or when taxidermists are locked in a struggle against a tyrannical licensing scheme that would infringe their right to practice an occupation of common right and they chose to resist. It’s already severely infringed with laws, licenses and taxes and everyone seems comfortable enough in enduring those conditions without taking any positive action to alleviate those burdens. So, large memberships common to large states mostly brings in more revenue to defray the costs of conventions and associated expenses which adds to the opportunities, excitement and inspiration one gets at large conventions, like the Texas, NTA or the World shows. That’s a good thing.

    Let me suggest this. Offer and provide a first time member a conditional membership at least the first year. Maybe call it an associate membership or a probationary membership with a certificate that reads that way. Provide the privilege of attending conventions, the classes offered and the banquet, of course. But no voting rights or the privilege of entering the competition. Allow them to exhibit their work but not register as a competitor in the competition. Not even in a beginner category. (Youth categories excepted.)

    Separate that exhibit section from the main competition in the same hall. Provide an option of paying the same as an entry fee to have their mounts critiqued by the same judges. Half the fee going to the association and half to the judge. That’s fair. Speaking as a former competitive shooter and competition judge, beginners are not ready for competition, yet they are judged by the same criterion as experienced veterans. That’s fair in a rifle or pistol match but not fair in an art competition.

    Many first time competitors will tell you they come mainly for the critique anyway. If we provided a “critique only” category those aspiring taxidermists could meet their goal 100% without feeling like a loser or feel compelled to use an excuse to assuage a feeling of rejection, “I came mainly for the critique anyway.” If their work had genuine merit, encourage it with a certificate of merit or of recognition. We’re talking about real people with real feelings here. No score sheet, just a judge’s words. They can take their own notes.

    As a side note, the more entry level mounts or beginners’ level mounts there are in a competition, the lower the mean level of quality in the competition will be. This boosts the advantage of marginally first and second place mounts by contrast and influences a judge’s decisions on the numbers of ribbons he thinks he is expected to give out. Competition rules try to mitigate that effect by creating master and master of masters categories, but a remedy like that is based on whether a competitor has previously won a minimum number of blue ribbons in the past and not on some greater challenge or demonstration of creativity, originality or artistry. It influenced me when I was judging. You see this effect when a deer head wins several blues in state shows and scarcely places in a regional or national show where overall quality of all entries is highest.

    And like my association’s by-laws claim, it is “dedicated to the conservation of wildlife,” perhaps require a first time member to show a membership card in a bona fide conservation club as a condition of membership. We want our members to support what we claim we are dedicated to, do we not? If they wish to join us let them show evidence of how much. Association by-laws are not sacred cows. Even our national Constitution has been amended twenty-seven times.

    I understand that self-interests will take issue with everything I‘ve written above. And nothing I’ve written is intended to exclude anyone from any right, privilege or benefit of association membership. Nevertheless I’m confident that some of these suggestions have merit. Creating other membership categories can ultimately move associations and taxidermy’s image toward a stronger and more influential force in boosting the art’s public image. The more professional an association is the more credibility it has as the standard bearer for the industry. There’s also an expectation that every member of any association will proselytise for others to join. Since the largest commercial outfits in Texas have never sustained memberships in the TTAI, we might wonder and ask why not. (Woodbury Taxidermy, B & B Taxidermy and Conroe Taxidermy.)

    Let new members sort themselves out. If they come to our association for something they can‘t get just anywhere, it’s only fair to require them to declare who they are before we grant them all rights, privileges and immunities attendant thereto. For those who say don’t fix a thing if it ain’t broke, I say think before you speak. I’m talking opinion here not some sinister plot to disenfranchise anyone from full participation in life, liberty, and the pursuit of taxidermy association membership.

    Joe Kish
  12. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    " There’s also an expectation that every member of any association will proselytise for others to join. Since the largest commercial outfits in Texas have never sustained memberships in the TTAI, we might wonder and ask why not. (Woodbury Taxidermy, B & B Taxidermy and Conroe Taxidermy.)"

    Ok, ok, ok....... I have thought before you were self centered, now I must apologize, I was just entirely wrong, we can also add blind to the number of your self served disabilities. Mr. Kish, James Newports 'Mesquite Creek Taxidermy' studio, Jimmy Fontenot's 'Safari Studios' and Roy Holdridge's 'TruLife Taxidermy' can all easily qualify as in the top ten Taxidermy studio's in this great state of Texas...... and every owner are board members of the TTAI and freely offer seminars to their award winning techniques every year.

    I do not believe in my opinion there is any reason to ask any member of the TTAI to proselytise other members of our taxidermy industry to join. We are Taxidermist's, not Seventh Day Adventist. I think progress of the TTAI shows through the improvement of Taxidermist's state wide, not preaching to others to join. Advertising does that, not pandering to certain people who others believe need to be there to show how great you are because "XYZ Taxidermy is there". Joe, you are a broken record scratching worse every time you spin around. At first pieces are not natural enough, now you need to bring in the big show boys to impress people...... did you lose sight there again??? Did you go blind?? Let me remind you, at first you're talking to Akeley about an artists personal work and now you're upset that certain commercial taxidermist catering to the clients interpretation, not a museums are not involved......... after all, if those 'studios' enter a piece it would be in the combined artist division........ so none of their employees have not ever competed in a TTAI competition???? Matter of fact, don't think I've ever wrote a check and been listed as a business in their directory as my DBA, it's always been listed as an individual member as has been my employees.

    If you ever want to speak, I'd love to meet you for lunch at the Oak's in Warenton since you roam my beautiful county now, I'll even buy, especially the homemade cheese sticks!!! They are wonderful!!! But I am not only giving you time, it will be a debate, and I will speak also..... I have witnessed you cutting people off profusely who wanted to ask a simple question. You like to hear yourself talk, that is the problem. You are not the only shining light of this industry, usually it's 13-20 others who want to retort who you look down your nose at....... sorry, your arrogance only leads to writing hypocritical post's. 979-966-9853 if you want to eat and talk. See, that's the beauty of an association, even a piss ant like me has an opinion and view and they haven't agreed with me either...... I just didn't cry because all the rest of the board did not agree with me...... it's not MY association!

    Thank Gosh Larry Blomquist did not think Mike Boyce had to be a part of his show to give it credibillaty (as you suggested the three above in your post would do Texas) ....... but a hell of a lot of his employees did.... as they have also done through various states. Do you really think Phil, Ray or Dennis would have been on the game they are on if they relied on a studio to support their abilities or do you think they did better striking out on their own and putting their own mounts, studio and individual in and letting their employees branch out? Do you even realize there are a lot of employees of major studios competing against their own boss and win? Please don't take associations back to the 70's & 80's because of your own selfish reasons, let us go and flourish with damn good leaders.

    Never be quiet, but please stop slamming those whose dream may have risen above your own. Thank you for your contributions, you did so much........ you really did. Just show them the respect they have shown you.
  13. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

    In a Best Interpretive exhibit category there need be no losers. Entrants who do not place 1st, 2nd or 3rd should receive
    a Distinguished Service award in certificate form and a brass plate from the TTAI just for entering the category.
    It could read approximately,
    In Recognition for Distinguished Service
    In promoting the PURPOSES and IDEALS of
    hereby recognizes ____________________________________for his(her)
    Best Interpretive Exhibit at it’s Annual Competition of June _____, 2017.

    It’s just as much a credit to the TTAI if the competitor displays it in one’s own showroom where it will be a unique attraction while announcing to his/her customers that that establishment (and the TTAI) is CONSERVATION and EDUCATION minded and not just a business for profit. The competitor is still at liberty to donate the piece to a library or school as he/she wishes.

    If this suggested new category never gains traction among TTAI members, then I double dare any of them to suggest anything at all that will qualify as an OUTREACH project worthy of the TTAI. And for those who are members not interested in conservation and education goals, but only join for the competitions, classes, supplier discounts and to rub shoulders with the real pros, which the association abundantly offers, let him so state on his membership application and pay a premium membership fee. Maybe $100.00 for starters.
  14. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    You sure are getting desperate for self glory..... no losers, brass plaques...... only thing though, I can tell you are not fully confident or else that would have been a 'double dog dare', not just a 'double dare'......everybody knows a 'double dog dare' is the real $hit!!