An Orland artist is going to be featured in a Sacramento art show this weekend that exhibits one of America’s oldest crafts – woodworking. The Pacific Flyway Wildlife Art Festival and Competition focuses mostly on the art of creating duck decoys, used as bait for hunting; but local artist Mike Buela will have a collection of woodcarvings depicting fish.
As America’s second oldest festival, the art show promises to showcase a great deal of variety. While most of the pieces on display are made in the spirit of hunting, event organizer Jim Burcio said it’s rare to find an artist that actually uses the carvings in the field; mostly because so much time and energy go into each one.
“Everything is pretty much decoration, there’s very few people carving for hunting,” Burcio said. “Painting is the biggest challenge; it’s more complex, and there’s more variables. It’s not like that perfect brown on a hen mallard is going to come out of a tube.”
Burcio said the art of creating animal decoys dates back to before Europeans settled North America. But it was these European settlers that incorporated woodworking into the ancient hunting tactic.
“They saw the Indians making decoys out of weeds; the Europeans were excellent wood workers,” Burcio said. “It’s the oldest American art form.”
The two-day event will also feature a live-bird exhibit and a kids’ area. The cost to attend the art show is $5 per person, but children ages 12 and under are admitted for free. But folks who get there early enough might get their tickets paid for if they can’t afford it.
“One of our members is putting up money to pay for any kid 18 and under and their parent if they need it,” Burcio said. “So, if somebody wants to drive the kids out, the first 100 that come in will be paid for.”
The Pacific Flyway festival takes place Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, 2001 Point West Way in Sacramento. Tickets can be purchased at the door. Parking at the hotel will be validated after buying an event ticket.