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Big Rock show

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Amy, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    I didn't make it to the Big Rock show this year. Would anyone care to share some pictures from the show, and who the winners were ? I could use some taxi-dermy inspiration...
  2. czykdbcz

    czykdbcz Artist or just crazy

    In my opinion you didnt miss much. My thanks goes out to everyone that took efforts to put the event together and seminar instructors that took their time to share their knowledge. Oh and the judges thanks. That being said the participation in this years event had to have been at least half of what it was last year. The food provided was excellent as usual. The prizes were unbelievable. But to me the overall feel of the event was less than expected. During the judging phase of the event folks including the taxidermist were allowed to stroll freely through the competition room allowing anybody to come in contact with your mount. The seminars offered were good but less than previous years. During the banquet with the introductions (Mr. Bigrock) Ed Small didnt take the time to say a few words at his event the North American Championship. Fred Vanderberg on the other hand did an excellent job as M.C. sorry if I spelled your name wrong Fred. But for me the biggest disappointment was that there was no verbal critique, none what so ever. Being someone that is struggling to earn higher awards and grow as a Taxidermist I personally need that critique and was looking forward to it. I went into the competition room at 8;00am this morning to get my critique only to find the room being deconstructed my mount including others gathered on to tables darn near in a pile everyones ribbons and critique sheets mixed together., leaving felt at a loss the critique in the end is what I came for. How can I get better if Im not sure exactly what was incorrect? Granted I know some of the issues that he pointed out on the sheet before coming to the event. In the end I still learned a lot more than I will be able to remember and I did have fun. Oh and I did get my first second place ribbon that felt good.

  3. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    I was all set to go this year but when the schedule came out I felt it wasn't worth the drive and money....even though it's essentially free. IMO they are finding out that taxidermy competitions are a money pit that you are lucky to break even on, even the best ones and not putting the effort and backing into that part of their show. When you decide you are going to "make money" on one that's when you find out really quick the money and interest isn't there.
  4. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    I was hoping for a more positive report on the show this year but after hearing what I've heard, things sound bleak. After some issues with last year's show, I as well as some others were contacted (by an individual who I believe truly does have the best interest of the show at heart) and asked for my opinion on what things could be added, changed or improved to get the show moving in the right direction and attract more participants.
    I had a lot of suggestions. Money is nice, yes, but more importantly is a good selection of seminars and learning opportunities (that is supposed to be the reason we attend these shows, right?), enough judges for the job, and a well stocked trade show. Multiple seminars of different topics, at multiple times per day- like the World Show- would be of top priority. Yes, this would be costly to pay for that many seminars, but clearly money is NOT an issue for this show. With that much funding, there are so many possibilities! I think more people would be willing to go to a show with less money up for grabs, but more to see/attend while there. I had many other suggestions but I won't get into that as it will sound like I was whining, but I wasn't, I was called and asked for my opinion so I gave it.
    My suggestions were met with enthusiasm and I was told I was not the only one to have felt this way, and I was positive that things would be changing.
    When the Big Rock information was published, it was a surprise to see that the layout of the show was nearly identical to the year before, with even less offered. I'm not complaining ... heck, Big Rock is basically free to attend and the food cant be beat .. So I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth ... but when a show is failing, and people ask WHY? Well, sometimes some things need to be adjusted! If a show is offering that much money up for grabs but the numbers keep declining .. something is wrong.

    I'm probably opening up a big can of "worms" here .. But I also think some folks may be wary of putting 50-100+ hours into a piece by way of skinning, tanning, sculpting/altering a form, setting eyes, making earliners, mounting, controlling shrinkage, and finishing, to take it to a Taxidermy (ie; taxi=move derma=skin) show, and have Best of Show go to a reproduction invertebrate. That's no different than having the Taxidermy Best of Show go to a mannikin sculpture, a painting or a fish carving. They're all wildlife art but they're not taxidermy. Hey, I don't have a horse in this race, I wasn't even there. So I'm not saying that as someone who was beat. That's just painful for the traditional taxidermists, and you know it.
  5. czykdbcz

    czykdbcz Artist or just crazy

    They have also had internal changes Jerramy is no longer managing the show he is now over in Carolina fur. No longer with HQ. Heck he didn't even come to the show. Yes the food was excellent that seemes to be the only consistent thing there, and the price is right. For me the big money offered is wonderful if I was in the running but it my level that's just a dream . It's the little things that add up for me. By the way the worms were pretty cool and Nicky done. And I agree, taxidermy?
  6. Jon S

    Jon S Well-Known Member

    I'm only a half hour our of Raleigh. I didn't even know the Big Rock show was going on this weekend. Also the weather was bad, maybe that contributed to low turnouts.
  7. I think the time of year is probably rough on that show too. It's just not a time people are looking to go, but they probably don't have a lot of room to move it if they want to keep it with the trade show. It also wasn't advertised much this year. Seems like I generally get an email & I've gotten stuff in the mail in the past, but didn't this year.
  8. czykdbcz

    czykdbcz Artist or just crazy

    I didn't get any type of solicitation for the show. Its like they didnt want any participation.
  9. Brian Reinertson

    Brian Reinertson Well-Known Member

    If a worm beat everything else than so be it. The judges spoke. That means all the taxidermy at the show still wasn't at the judges expectations of a perfect specimen compared to a perfect worm. That's competition! Just like a dog show, judging should be against a perfect specimen of the breed.
  10. Judges opinions are just that opinions and it two years it means nothing but to the person who was judged on their work.

    With wildlife how you do judge against the perfect specimen when there are not any standards? Even dog shows change as they develop. an Irish setter from 40 years ago wthat won World champ, will not place today because of changing standard. Same with cattle and horses.

    Then you do see favoritism played in some of the larger shows and a judge saying there that evens the field! I personally saw that and refuse to even be friends with people who play those games when judging.
  11. those Worms were kick ass, they looked real... I am sure he had a lot of time invested in that piece as well...
  12. kjdouble

    kjdouble Member

    I missed this years show also and have been looking for the winners and photos. Anyone posting any photos of the competition?
  13. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Let me see how many of you I can piss off with the unvarnished truth.
    The Big Rock organization is a worldwide multibillion dollar industry whose annual show is geared to both it's investors and to the dealers who market their products. January is the absolute perfect time for their show. Most hunting seasons have ended and the frenetic pace of associated businesses are at a lull. Fishing and camping dealers are in the same doldrums and this is the perfect time for them to display new innovations. Boat makers want to show dealers what new models are available.
    Some magnanimous executive thought it might be nice to attract some ancillary typr show and he/she chose a "small" taxidermy competition as they would be the end item vendors for their products.

    Now, taxidermy has never been the center of the universe. Usually looking for nickels to prop up a dime, they could hardly pay the rent on a convention center without charging a $500 registration and $250 entry free. If you got Vienna sausages and saltine crackers for hors d'oeuvres you'd be thankful and they'd run out in the first 25 minutes. Free bar? Check the water fountain.

    Yet here's mana from heaven being dropped on you for the cost of your lodging, and you STILL manage to screw it up.


    The brutal truth is that the competition attracts lesser talents for some reason. From what I saw there, less than 10% of the work there could have stood the test of something like the World Show. When some of you in the peanut gallery start working to make shows better rather than standing around trying to impress others, shows will get better.

    Don't be surprised when Big Rock cuts their losses.
  14. czykdbcz

    czykdbcz Artist or just crazy

    George I knew you would chime in at some point. For lack of a better word we are the side show. Weather Big Rock drops the show or the Taxidermy thing all together that would be sad for those that stuck their necks out to try to make things better. I do not compete in the master division I do plan to at some time and the critiques at the end is indeed what I was looking for. All that other stuff is nice and heck you cant beat the price. As I said it the small things that shine.
  15. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

    Hi David,
    I read your post with interest. Perhaps it hasn't ocurred to you that you can get all the critiques you wish at any show, if not from the judges. Ask any participant who is attending the show, who has a reputation (and background) as a top winner, to critique your entry as a favor or courtesy to you. Introduce yourself to that guy or gal, tell them how much you admire their work, and that you would be honored if he would look over your mount and suggest some areas for improvement. Offer to buy him lunch. The top people I know are usually honored to be asked. It's a compliment to them. When I was judging I was asked often. I would start by saying, "Without second guessing the person who judged your mount, here's what I see could have been done better." Maybe take notes and pictures of the pieces you admire and incorporate the way they interpreted a subject into your piece the following year.
    If winning blue ribbons is your goal, get your piece critiqued by a couple of winners well in advance of entering a competition. Make any corrections if needed and your odds increase. It's not cheating and it's not unethical. Every sport I can think of utilizes coaches before the big event.
  16. Now George as for the dealer boat shows those are in the fall. I did some products for Ranger, and one of the big shows was flooded out during the hurricane in Orlando last fall. Ranger has a new boat that can handle the 400hp Erude. A;; the second level shows start after Jan.

    Anyway during the fall there is the deal only shows, some small dealers cant even get entry. There is one near you.

    The build crew supervisor came to me with some of their product options and an idea and I was able to put it together for them in a week. Of course you do know Flippin Ar home of Ranger, Triton and some lesser boats in 7 miles from my shop, Basscat and Legend is is the same town. Its pretty neat seeing what next years products are goign to look like and getting to put some things together for them. Plus the things are not animal related as taxidermy.
  17. czykdbcz

    czykdbcz Artist or just crazy

    Thanks Joe point taken thank you. However I am constantly trying to improve my taxidermy over all and I guess in the end to a degree I'm looking for that ribbon. I am a competitive person but I have a long way to go and the ribbon is not everything. I also look at it as a type of validation and for me it's a meter of improvement or lack of improvement. I have attended this show for the last four years and each year it seems to fall off a bit from the previous year. This year I received my first second place ribbon in professional and I'm proud of that. It would have been nice to have heard from the person that judged it his take on what was good and bad. I do have it In Writing but the verbal explanation would have been nice.
  18. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Well perhaps it hasn't occurred to you that maybe some people take their mounts to certain shows to get judged and critiqued by that certain person. I'm not the competition dude, but if I brought a cat for Phil Soucy to judge I would appreciate Ashley Barrets opinion, I would even ask for it, but would actually be there for Phils critique.
  19. czykdbcz

    czykdbcz Artist or just crazy

    Thanks Mike P.
  20. TripleC

    TripleC Member

    I have attended the last three events. I was shocked that this was the first year I attended that Head Quarters didn't have an area setup selling supplies. Imagine McKenize putting on a show and not have an area selling their products. I agree with David that this one fails in comparison to the previous ones.