Art Competition

2018 Wildlife Art Competition
Best of Show


All entries must have main subject matter to include some form of wild mammal, wildfish, wild bird or wild reptile.

Levels of Competition – DIVISIONS

Open: All Artists may enter and anyone that has won two Ribbons in the Intermediate level must advance to this level. Suggested: Artists that are considered Professional sell work as an income or teach techniques for a wage.

Intermediate: Open to Artists who have not received two ribbons in the intermediate level or won a First, Second or Third Best of Show as an Intermediate. Suggested: Artists that have completed or sell their artwork for profit should enter at this level or higher.

Novice: Open to Artists who have not received two ribbons in the novice level or won a First, Second or Third Best of Show as a Novice. An Artist new to competing with little or no formal training.

Junior: Artist 17 years of age or under. The intention is to have beginning competitors start at the novice level and work up to open. However, you may advance yourself at any time without winning in a lower category but once you win in a higher category you may not go back down a level.


Photography: Black and White, Color, Sepia, Hand Tinted Other Photographs may be printed on matte, semi-gloss or glossy paper

Paintings: Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Other

Drawings: Graphite, Ink, Charcoal, Chalk Pastels, Oil Pastels, Colored Pencil, Other

Alternative Mediums: Etchings, Printing, Collage, Mixed Medium, Other

3D: Three dimensional, Sculpture

Carving: Mammal, Bird, Fish, Amphibians- Invertebrates- Reptile, Decorative Life-size (wood fish carvings), Natural Finish Realistic Fish (wood fish carving), Mixed Group


The following criteria will be used for all levels of competition and, unless specifically restricted elsewhere, in all divisions. All four criteria are important because they overlap andbuild on each other. In order for a piece to reach its fullest potential, it must succeed in all four areas simultaneously.

A. Craftsmanship refers to the technical skills involved in drawing, painting and/or finishing techniques. Good craftsmanship should be consistent throughout the entire piece.

B. Accuracy involves the correctness of a piece from a scientific perspective. Size, shape, proportions, value, color, etc., are the concepts important here.

C. Essence of the Species involves capturing the “gist” or “gestalt” of a species. It involves a thorough knowledge of one’s subject and the ability to capture an attitude in art. Capturing the essence of your subject and giving it the spark that brings it alive.

D. Artistry of a piece refers to its design and composition. This is where presentation, innovation, and creativity all come into play. There should be beauty in the concept apart from the beauty of the artwork itself. Line, form, content, color, mass, and movement should all be working together to create an integrated whole.


A. Each division will award a First, Second, and Third place award ribbon to each category that has entries. Divisions have single ribbon awards.

B. The best in state wildlife artwork will be selected from all entries in the competition. All first place pieces from each division will be grouped together and a single entry will be selected as the Best in State. There will be a First, Second & Third Place Best of Show.

C. Ed Walicki Memorial Award: Chosen by the members as the “People’s Choice” award in the Fish Carving area

State Champion Best of Show  1st: $200

2nd: $100

3rd: $50

*Other sponsored Awards may become available

Ed Walicki Memorial Fish Carving Categories
Decorative Life-size
a. The entry will be judged using the live fish as a model.
b. Any fish that may be too large to carve may be carved at a reduced scale. For example, a 12-foot, 600 pound marlin or a 6-foot, 80-pound Chinook salmon would be carved at an appropriate reduced scale so that the minimum size is 18 inches with no maximum size. The reduced scale carvings compete as life- size and reflect the mature anatomy of the life-sized fish.
c. All carvings must support the total wood-carving concept. Those entries composed solely of wood, or those that contain as little non-wood materials as possible, will have an advantage over those entries that contain authorized substitute materials listed below.
d. No resin or plastic water is acceptable.
e. The use of resins, silicones, or plastics in any form is limited to the construction of artificial teeth, eye sculpturing, joint construction, and inserting fins and tail only.
f. Allowable items include: artificial eyes, fishing line, fish hooks, and metal for strength and support.
g. Items not allowed include: plastic, silk, or manufactured plants; cast objects such as rocks, wood, bugs, plants, fins, and gills; real rocks, sand, or manufactured lures. Gravel made with wood/plumber’s putty is allowed up through the intermediate level.
h. Commercial blanks and rough-outs are allowed in the novice and junior levels.
i. Judges will place strong emphasis in their evaluations when all elements are carved of wood, however, the following is allowed: (a) in the novice level, found, real driftwood may be used. (b) In all levels, re-worked found, real driftwood may be used.
j. All components used to create the environment for decorative entries must be made by the carver from wood (or metal where allowed when required for strength and support.)
k. Carved habitat may be coated with paint or paint additives for texturing. Any carving found to contain non-approved materials will not be eligible for ribbons or awards.
l. Any method used to emboss, burn, engrave, or carve scales in wood is permitted. Glass cases or domes must be removed for judging.
m. The carving must contain the carver’s name and date marked on the carving. (The name will be covered with tape at registration.)

Natural Finish Realistic Fish
a. In addition to specific qualifications listed below, judges will evaluate entries using criteria listed in Judging Criteria
b. These entries are natural finish carvings that closely resemble recognizable fish and contain more details. The entries can be single or multiple carvings, and composed in an artistic setting. The carver may use separate pieces of wood for fins, grass, etc., but all finishes must be natural.
c. Only transparent stains and clear finishes may be used.
d. No opaque paints will be allowed with the exception of eyes, where opaque paints may be used in place of glass eyes.
e. The wood grain must be visible through the finish.
f. Carved eyes are preferred, however, glass eyes will be allowed in junior, novice and intermediate levels only.
g. Natural finish fish carvings are to be composed as to enhance the natural beauty of the wood being used.
h. The carver will be allowed to decide which category best suits the piece. I. Bases may be painted or stained.

Entry Conditions for Artwork:
Note: We will not allow any 2-D artists to submit work that has been previously shown in an MTA event.

Framed 2-D Artwork:
• All wall-hung work must be properly matted and/or framed, with wire for hanging at least 2″ from the top edge of the frame. Gallery wrapped canvasses are permitted.
• NO smudged mats, wet canvasses, clip or poster frames, or damaged frames are allowed.
• A label made by the artist must be put on the back of the work to include: artist name, three letter initials,
medium and division.
• Check-in includes a quality check of each artist’s work.
• Table top and floor easels are encouraged

Unframed 2-D Artwork:
• All unframed 2-D work will be displayed on a show curtain or appropriate means.
• Each piece must be properly matted, and should be wrapped neatly in shrink-wrap, acetate, clear plastic, or plastic print sleeves. Saran wrap or Ziploc type bags will not be accepted.
• A label made by the artist must be affixed to the back of the packaging with: artist name, three letter initials, medium, and division.
• All reproductions (prints or color copies) of your work must be labeled as such.
• Only one image of each work may be displayed in the show at a time.
• Only two pieces of work by an artist will be shown at any one time.
•  Table top and floor easels are encouraged


Selling of Work

At the show, items may be placed up for sale to the general public. The MTA would be paid ten percent (10%) of the selling price.

Michigan Taxidermist Association
Wildlife Art Packet 2018

Please fill out this document & mail or email this form to:
Kathy Proctor
11784 Winfield Rd.
Jonesville, Michigan 49250
*Show Registration fee is $50.00 if you are attending any seminars or entering the supplier’s area you must be registered for the show.

*Membership to the MTA also includes admission to the Sports Show.

Download Membership Application