Thankfully on Saturday the Arts Goddess granted us a rare day of sunshine and light winds. And how lucky is that? Very…very, lucky! It was The Arts Center’s first Day of Culture: Harvesting Traditions focused on Hunting & Fishing. The event occurred in the Arts Park, owned by The Arts Center and maintained by volunteer, local gardeners. It was the first use of the Park for an arts event and it was a perfect setting. The enthusiastic smiles and great visitor participation made all the day’s preparation worth the effort.
We had a great group of artists whose passions for hunting and fishing extends to creative pursuits.
- John Martinson (Minot, ND) shared his beautiful hand made bows and flint knapping skills
- Rick Whittier (Lidgerwood, ND) wowed the crowd with his swimming, darkhouse ice fishing decoys.
- Sandy Barnes (Jamestown, ND) displayed and demonstrated his bamboo fly rods
- Carroll Wentland (Jamestown, ND) presented his bird decoys in various stages of completion
- Drex Young (Jamestown, ND) impressed all with exquisite scrimshaw art
- Jason Bivens (Jamestown, ND) shared taxidermy mounts and handmade hunting accessories
See the Action – Rick Whittier Decoys
Notice that five of the demonstrators live in Jamestown. We only highlighted a few of the talented artists/sportsmen present in our community–I’m guessing the large amount of hunting/fishing related arts is directly related to the fact the fish and game getting is part of rural ND life. Its a lifestyle, a family pastime, a tradition, these sportsmen have just taken the hunt further, using the products of the hunt to make artwork or making the tools of the hunt prized pieces worthy enough to be handed down from generation to generation. Some of these skills are being lost and the Arts Center is dedicated to keeping them alive by displaying them and supporting the artists. I can’t wait to include others in next year’s event.
In addition to the demonstrating artists, both adults and kids had great fun jigging the ice fishing decoys, making fish prints (with “real” Northern Pikes, courtesy of Ritchie Jacobson, avid fisherman and Gackle, ND’s mayor), making cattail decoys (mine looked like a Lock Ness monster and I was supposed to be the “teacher”). We also had kids and adults alike shooting “pretend” bows at decoys provided by the local deputy sheriff. Amazingly these pvc pipes and homemade arrows shot pretty straight.
Finally I made a complete fool of myself blowing into a plastic straw making mutant duck calls much to the delight of youthful onlookers and coworkers. I imagine you can find “the clip” on YouTube if you really look hard–I’m not posting this one… My dogs however loved the “sick” quacking–young golden retriever brothers destined to be hunting dogs–I certainly hope they learn what a real duck sounds like or we’re in big trouble!