By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Some of the best wildlife art in the state can be seen in Pinedale this weekend as Wyoming’s top taxidermy artists put their work on display as part of their annual meeting.
Taxidermy displays from around Wyoming will be open for the public’s viewing at the Sublette County Ice Arena as part of the annual meeting of the Wyoming Association of Taxidermy Artists.
While some may not think of taxidermy as art, there is a considerable amount of artistic thinking that goes into each piece, said Susan Orcutt, secretary of the WATA.
“You’ve got to know how to paint, how to blend colors,” said Orcutt, who runs High Country Taxidermy in Pinedale. “When you do a habitat scene, you’ve got to have a little bit of artistic ability, you can’t just slap it together.”
Orcutt said about 60 taxidermy artists from around the state, along with some from Utah and other states, are expected to attend the annual meeting, which begins Thursday with the set up of the display of entries for the WATA contest.
The display will then be closed to allow for judging and will be reopened Friday night after WATA’s banquet.
During Friday, members will take part in their annual business meeting, attend seminars and share taxidermy tips.
“I’ve been doing taxidermy for 20 years and I learn something new every year,” Orcutt said. “Normally taxidermists don’t give you a lot of information, but when you go to the shows, they do.”
The display will open for public viewing at 8 a.m. Saturday, with a $5 admission fee for adults. Proceeds will be used to help pay for next year’s meeting.
Entry is free for children age 12 and under.
The public will see a special kind of taxidermy when they visit the display, Ocrutt said.
“These are all spiffed up,” she said. “When you go into competition, there are certain things you have that you don’t normally worry about so much in a normal everyday consumer piece. These competition pieces, people spend days and days, weeks and weeks on them.”
The show will be particularly educational for anyone interested in having taxidermy work done in the future, she added.
“When you start looking at things, you start realizing there is a difference between a good mount and a bad mount,” she said.
Other events scheduled for the weekend around the state include include:
The Cody Country Horse Sale, an annual sale that takes place in front of Cody’s Irma Hotel. Begins at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Mother’s Day Tea at the Historic Governor’s Mansion in Cheyenne on Saturday.
The Rough Stock Rodeo School at the Central Wyoming Fairgrounds in Casper. Friday through Sunday.
The Spring Bazaar at Gillette’s Cam-Plex on Saturday.
The Up in Arms Gun Show at the Central Wyoming Fairgrounds in Casper, Friday through Sunday.
Forever West XTreme Bull Riding, Johnson County Fairgrounds in Buffalo on Saturday.
A “Taco Fest” at David Street Station in Casper on Saturday.