Revive - A Quarterly Fly Fishing Journal - Page 115

For two weeks I worked eight hours a day preparing for a solo show that would end my time there. What was unique about it was that it was the first show that I had exhibited exclusively fly fishing related artwork. All the content of the work I created during my time derived from experiences thus far on my journey. On the night of the opening, paper/epoxy sculptures of rivers such as the Madison, North Fork of the Blackfoot, Metolius and Silver Creek hung from the walls alongside drawings of trout passing through illusionistic boxes. It was a body of work that I was happy with and that I knew I could build off of. Above all, it was the overwhelmingly positive response of those who came to my show that I was the most excited about. People who all shared a common passion for fly fishing who had never been challenged to view it in such an abstract way.

By no means do I think I am the first conceptually trained artist to attempt shattering the glass window of what fly fishing art has traditionally been. I am very aware of those who have been working in the industry longer than I and I’m grateful to them for helping open that door. If it wasn’t for the artwork of Derek DeYoung, I probably wouldn't have realized that it was possible for an artist who wasn't doing anatomical fish illustrations for an encyclopedia or plein air paintings of riverscapes to succeed at all. Since involving myself in the industry, I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie and artwork of fellow artists who are also striving to bring unique ideas to the table such as George Hill, Tyler Hackett and Nate Karnes.