By David Rogers. April 7, 2019. BLOWING ROCK, NC — It was a beautiful and balmy opening day of trout fishing season on Saturday, but some participating in the 40th Annual Blowing Rock Trout Derby stayed indoors — and some started well before the weekend.
COVER IMAGE: Overall winner by Emma Minor, 2nd grade student in Lisa Shaw’s class at Hardin Park School. Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock School
A total of 87 entries were submitted for the 2019 Blowing Rock Trout Derby Art Contest, coming primarily from four different sources: Blowing Rock School, Hardin Park School, Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, and walk-ins.
With a Picasso-esque study of a jumping trout, Hardin Park second grade student Emma Minor captured the attention of judges to win placement on next year’s event T-shirt and promotional posters and other material. What impressed the judges the most was the high contrast that will show up well as graphic art, but also the imaginative High Country-type scenes the artist painted within the body of the fish.
“That was very clever,” said one judge. “And I like the soft outline around the fish that makes it standout, too.”
Blowing Rock 5th grade student Seger Zagst picked up 1st place recognition for artistic flair with a very detailed drawing of a trout against a blue whirlpool.
“This piece showed a lot of attention to detail,” said a judge, “and you can tell that the artist worked painstakingly hard on this.”
Lucy Warren, also a student in Lisa Shaw’s second grade class at Hardin Park, was named second place winner for her “Bigger than you think” drawing.
“This art piece was in the running for the overall T-shirt and event poster award,” noted one of the judges. “Beyond the fish itself, there could have been a double-meaning, that the Blowing Rock Trout Derby is a bigger event than it first appears. And to make the fish bigger than the girl fishing was also very clever.”
Third place went to Hardin Park 10-year-old Declan Guggenheimer.
“This was a very well done piece,” admitted one judge, “and its great contrast made it a candidate for the overall winner that will go on next year’s T-shirt. The only thing that really detracted from the work was the fish’s mouth, which had a monstrous quality to it that goes beyond being just angry that a fisherman might be invading his space! While we really liked its artistic qualities, we didn’t think it was ‘friendly’ enough to promote the Trout Derby next year.”
Three drawings got the judges’ attention for Honorable Mention this year for their creativity in really being different. Blowing Rock School 4th grader Sophie Parker had a really fun drawing of trout running across the bottom of a riverbed to a “finish line.”
“I really wish this one was higher contrast,” explained one of the judges, “because it would have been right up there for the T-shirt. “It was just too light and a lot of the detail would get lost on a t-shirt or poster as a graphic image. But the artist’s creativity and imagination were on full display, that’s for sure.”
Hardin Park’s Asia Galicia also gained Honorable Mention recognition. The second grader’s “Magic Water” artwork was seen as both colorful and creative.
“I have never seen this use of colors for Trout Derby before,” observed one longtime judge. “I really liked it.”
The third Honorable Mention recognition for creativity went to Hardin Park’s Ragan Gordon, also a second grader in Lisa Shaw’s class, with “Let’s Get Fishionable.”
“The theme of this artwork was exceptional,” one judge said of Gordon’s piece. “The play on ‘fashionable’ with the fish all dressed up was super clever and a great application of another aspect of life to the fishing experience, especially for the start of fishing season, which is what the ‘let’s get’ phrasing projects. If the drawing itself would have been a bit more polished and clear, this could very well have taken the top prize.”
Judges for the art contest included Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers; Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority Assistant Director Amanda Lugenbell; and Blowing Rock News Editor and Publisher, David Rogers. Throughout the day, the judges also solicited feedback from visitors to the Trout Derby headquarters.