If you are an Artisan winner and would like to have your picture added - please email the picture to Jeff Whitlock at firstname.lastname@example.org or Craig Lewis at email@example.com.
Why do we compete in taxidermy? We do it to see where we stand with our skills.
We do it because we have an opportunity to learn from judges who are more experienced. They critique our work so that we can get better and better at what we do. We do it because we like to get together with other taxidermists - other people who share the belief that nature's beauty inspires us in so many ways. We do it for fun. We do it for bragging rights. We do it because we are driven to reach past the confines of simple taxidermy and into the art of re-creating a moment in time that you can see, walk around and get lost in.
Anyone who has competed in taxidermy at any level would love to come home with a trophy or a ribbon because it reaffirms his or her hard work with recognition. Someone, usually a competent judge with countless hours of experience took time to review your work and give you a "job well done" that you can hang in your showroom or home to remind yourself you can do it again. For the professional taxidermist a ribbon or trophy is an advertizing tool as well.
The Artisan Award is chosen by taxidermists - not judges. That's what makes this award so coveted. If you are given an award by other people competing in the same room you are, you know you have put together something truly amazing. That's what makes the Artisan Award the "True Taxidermist's Prize".