The work of Pennsylvania-based woodcarver Karl Yankey (above) is spotlighted…and the decoys, shorebirds and wildlife art takes center stage…when the annual Two Rivers Exhibition returns to Rumson’s Forrestdale School on Saturday.
To fans of a certain “niche” sort of hobby, it’s an event worth traveling hundreds of miles for — while to the more casual enthusiast, it’s a best-kept-secret, right-in-our-backyard bit of local color that, well, beats getting up before dawn and shivering the morning away in some damp and lonesome duck blind.
It’s the Two Rivers Exhibition of Sporting Collectible Art, a happening that comes to Forrestdale School (60 Forrest Avenue in Rumson) for its fourth annual edition this Saturday, March 11. Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the school’s all-purpose room becomes a gallery space in which some of the region’s finest woodcarvers and wildlife artists get their ducks in a row, in a day hosted by the New Jersey Waterfowl Carvers Association in association with the Monmouth County chapter of Ducks Unlimited.
Karl Yankey, a Hummeltown, PA native who’s been carving and displaying decoys and shorebirds for over 30 years, is the featured artist for the 2017 event, in which exhibitors from five states will display both contemporary and antique-style woodcrafting as they vie for Best in Show honors (entries to be judged on anatomy, originality, likeness to species, and proper flotation).
Also offered will be wildlife-themed art in a variety of media (watercolor, acrylic, oils, photographs, metal, pottery and more), plus artist demos, antique decoy appraisals, and more. The Wetlands Institute will honor the New Jersey Junior Duck Stamp winners, and representatives from Tuckerton Seaport and other area organizations will maintain educational displays on the history, craft and commerce of decoy making in our regional waterways.
It’s just $5 for grownups to get in, with all proceeds from the event help the nonprofit Ducks Unlimited organization’s ongoing efforts to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. Scott Paterson and staff from the Monmouth chapter will be available throughout the day to answer questions about the organization’s activities.
Kids are welcome at the event too, with free admission for attendees under 12 when accompanied by adult — and additional info can be had by checking in on the exhibition’s Facebook page, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.