WILD! Flies, Skins, and Skulls…
Creative Exhibition at the Courthouse Arts Gallery, Merritt Canada
Fishermen, Hunters, Photographers, Collectors, Artists…
Things to do in Merritt…A nature exhibition Nicola Valley style: taxidermy, fly ties, rods, skulls, pelts, eagle photography, moose airbrush painting. Collections of stuffed birds, birds’ nests, shells…lots to see!
Who’s showing their nature art and collections at the Gallery?
- Peter McVey, fly tier and fisherman extraordinaire.
- Willie Kiegerl, providing us with a variety of animal skulls to identify. And other wildlife.
- Dawn Shackelly’s eagle photography, and owls, big horn sheep, baby ducks…
- Jessie Rabbit with her bull calf and fireweed, her beautiful airbrush painting.
- Cindy Trent with collections: skulls, BC shells, sea stars, and bird’s nests
- Rory Hepner has provided beaver and coyote pelts, and animal skulls
- Artist Renee Hartwigs’ tri coloured owl and Joel Reid’s “find the bird” painting
- Mischelle and Bill Pierce have contributed both creatures and colourful fly ties
- Fran McMurchy created three small watercolour creeks for three fly ties in oak frames. Unique!
And Murphy Shewchuck, who put down his fly rod years ago. And picked up his camera…
A nature exhibition Nicola Valley style…
Our Nicola Valley, surrounding the town of Merritt Canada, is filled with hunters and fishermen and women. Lots of families in the area raise their children with skills to provide for their families from the land around. From berries to deer to lake trout. Children and adults alike celebrate bringing down their first deer, or catching their first salmon.
We are set in a grassland valley, filled with creeks and lakes, surrounded by rolling hills and mountain ranges. There are a lot of choices, many paths to take, and backroads to follow- to hunt, fish, gather. Lots of nature.
Our exhibition reflects this focus on nature in the area!
I have long been fascinated with the art of fly fishing and fly tying. As a child, my family just fished with rods that fit in our Rambler. We fished enough, and I enjoyed it enough, to make sure my own kids had rods and gear enough to catch Lake Trout at Monck Park, which we ate for supper on the camp fire.
But we had friends who were hooked on fly fishing, and I watched movies with fly fishing action (looks close to meditation). And I could see the charm of those long, supple rods flashing the line out over water. And the flies…
We have one of the most well-known fly tiers in our area displaying his flies, ties, and accoutrement. Peter McVey not only told stories at our WILD! Reception, but left his book so we could read more about his adventures…
We have vintage suitcases displaying flies that others have created. Works of art!
What if you wanted to get started on fly tying?
From Gear Junkie…
Catching your first fish on the fly will embed new levels of appreciation for all things fly fishing.
Most fly anglers hit a point in their fishing career when they think about tying their own flies…. There’s an entirely new level of satisfaction from catching a fish on a fly you tied yourself.
The path to tying amazing flies isn’t the easiest. And the reward is 10-fold compared to that of storebought flies.
Fly tying is an angling tool that can empower you to catch more fish. Tying flies enables an angler to not only replicate their favorite bug at the fly shop but also create their own custom patterns no one else has. The only limits you face at a tying vise are imagination and creativity.
Anglers construct flies to replicate the exact bugs found in streams.
Tying also offers the avenue to get in touch with the most artistic side of fly fishing. Fully dressed Atlantic salmon flies and modern articulated streamers can be just as artistic as painting, with the hook acting as your canvas.
Yes! That’s what I thought when, as art gallery director in our small community, we were brainstorming Art Exhibitions.
This area is filled with fishable lakes and streams. One of our oldest slogans is “A lake a day, as long as you stay!”
The Nicola Valley is a perfect place for a Fly Tie show!
And, my buddy said…taxidermy too! Well, sure!
Most of us have seen taxidermied creatures, in museums, at our uncle’s house… Taxidermy is an art in itself.
What does taxidermy mean? From answers.com
Taxi is Latin for move. Dermis is Latin for Skin. Taxidermist is a mover of skin. Taxidermy is what he does. A taxis is a division of classification especially when concerning animals. Dermous means skin, Dermy is an activity concerned with skin. So — Many types of animal skin activity.
In the Nicola Valley, we have several taxidermists. They do work for locals and also do spectacular mounts for clients outside our area. I’ve seen photos…
At the Gallery we have stuffed birds: ptarmigan, ruffed grouse, blue grouse (the smart ones), a beautiful owl… And a mounted fish.
We also have amazing carvings of birds and fish that look like the real thing…
And if you want a taste of the big critters, we have photographs of mountain sheep, bald eagles, an air brush painting of a moose calf. And real antlers of moose and deer, a buffalo hoof, a coyote and beaver pelt, two bear skulls…
Lots of skulls! Of all kinds! Coyote, beaver, raccoon, fish… Hummingbird skeleton! You can barely see it!
So here we are, in the middle of an exhibition showcasing the work of many people local to our area. Collectors, painters, fly tiers, taxidermists.
Things to Do in Merritt… Come and Visit & Get Involved!
From Oct 11-Nov 3, 2018, at the Courthouse Arts Gallery.
Got skulls? We are looking for donated animal skulls, bones, antlers, for a painting workshop!
This should be fun…. Want to join us?
Register for Saturday, Oct 27/18. 1-3pm at the Courthouse Arts Gallery in Merritt. $20. $10 if you bring your own skull…
Go to Nicola Valley Arts Council Facebook Page for more info!
And if you miss it, we’d love to collect skulls and antlers for more artwork, for another time. Call 250-378-6515 to donate.
Also fly tie expert and fisherman extraordinaire, Peter McVey, is telling stories, Friday Nov 3/18, 4-6pm at the Courthouse Arts Gallery, 1840 Nicola Avenue, Merritt, BC
Visit Nicola Valley Arts Council‘s site for more about the arts in the Nicola Valley.
Read my blog about Open Mic Nights in Merritt, held every Friday night at Kekuli cafe 7-9pm. Come on out!
Jano Howarth, promoting creativity in our community
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