Fishing for an Artistic Bicentennial

Huntersville Historical Traditions president Tim Wade and treasurer Linda Adams welcome Huntersville’s newly-arrived “bicentennial trout.” It’s one of eight trout sculptures which will be permanently installed in eight Pocahontas County communities as part of a public art project to celebrate the bicentennial of The Birthplace of Rivers. The Huntersville trout is being sponsored by Pendleton Community Bank and, like the others, will be creatively painted by a local artist. L.D. Bennett photo

Laura Dean Bennett
Staff Writer

Cara Rose, Executive Director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau and member of the Bicentennial Commission, introduced Huntersville Historical Traditions representatives Tim Wade and Linda Adams to Huntersville’s newly-arrived bicentennial trout last week.

The Huntersville trout sculpture is being sponsored by Pendleton Community Bank.

It is one of eight large trout sculptures which will be permanently placed around the county as part of the public art project celebrating the county’s bicentennial.

“The trout are basically blank canvasses at this stage,” Rose said. “Right now, we’re still looking for a few more artists who’d like to take part in this historic project.”

The trout are representational of Pocahontas County’s famous moniker – “Birthplace of Rivers.”

The bicentennial is still more than a year away, but, like many other plans for its celebration, the public art project is moving full-steam ahead.

The Huntersville trout will represent the Williams River.

The Pocahontas County Commission is sponsoring the Elk River trout, which will be placed at the courthouse.

The Marlinton trout will represent the Cranberry River and is being sponsored  by Russell Jesse and Cinnamon Mitchum in memory of their families.

The Shavers Fork will be represented by the Snowshoe trout which is being sponsored by the Snowshoe Foundation.

Cass will boast the Cranberry River trout, sponsored by the Southern States Cooperative. The Green Bank trout will represent the Greenbrier River and be sponsored by the Green Bank Observatory.

The installations for Durbin and Hillsboro are still available for sponsorships.

The cost of sponsoring one of the trout installations is $5,000.

Bicentennial events will commence during Huntersville Traditions Day in October 2021 and continue throughout the year, finally coming to a close in October 2022, again at the Huntersville festival.

Before they are installed in their permanent homes around the county, the trout sculptures are going to be painted by Pocahontas County artists.

“We’re looking for them to be painted, realistically, like a trout, but they should also somehow include a stylized, creative design representing their home community, as well,” Rose said.

“Whichever trout species is represented with each sculpture will be a group decision – it will depend on what the sponsor, the community and the artist decide.

“We have a few artists who have expressed an interest in painting a trout, and we obviously will need several more.
“It’s an exciting project.

“These painted trout sculptures will become permanent installations in each of their communities, so this is an opportunity for local artists to play a part in Pocahontas County history.

“I want to encourage anyone who’d like to be considered to be one of our trout artists, whether they consider themselves to be a professional artist or not, to come forward and put their name in the hat,” she said.

“If an artist is interested in a specific community, I can put them in touch with the right person,” she added.

Artists interested in painting a trout, or individuals or businesses interested in sponsoring one of the two remaining installations, should call Cara Rose at 304-799-4636.

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