From Apple Core Luncheonette to Zenbarn, there is no shortage of places in Waterbury to “tie one on.” But, for a different sort of tying this weekend, there is the Iron Fly competition at the Grange Hall Cultural Center.
The competition — Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m.— is part of an art exhibit titled “On the Fly,” which celebrates the intersection of art, nature and outdoor sports.
“I’ve been an avid fly fisherman and conservationist for most of my adult life, and back in the ’80s, I began to get attracted to wildlife art, and specifically art dealing with fishing and fly fishing,” said Clark Amadon, a Moretown resident and co-curator of the art show. “I began to collect and, as I looked around and saw what attracted other people to art and beauty, I thought it would be a great opportunity to put together a show.”
Amadon reached out to Monica Callan, president of Across Roads Center for the Arts.
“I talked with Monica and I wanted to put together a show of artists that are reasonably local,” Amadon said. “We are lucky to have a lot of really talented people around here, and I think we have a show that shows a lot of flair and originality.”
“Clark came to us, and I said, ‘I don’t know anything about fishing. Let’s do this,’” Callan said. “That’s what Across Roads Center for the Arts is all about — connecting different sectors to the arts and highlighting where the arts intersect with daily life and daily activity. This was a perfect opportunity to do that, and Clark had all of these great ideas, and we want to support those ideas that are out in the community. This aligns with our mission, and we are thrilled.”
The exhibit includes work from 20 local artists, such as anatomically exact representations of fish by artist-biologist Nick Mayer and the supersized fishing flies metal sculpture of Matt Hart.
“We are lucky to have a lot of really talented people around here, and I think we have a show that demonstrates a lot of flair and originality,” Amadon said.
At their very core, the artworks — ranging from pastels and photos to quilts and sculptures rendered from bottle caps — capture the essence of fish, and the anglers who who try to catch them.
And then, there’s the Iron Fly competition.
“It tends to be whimsical, but it can be very competitive,” Amadon said of the competition, which is modeled after the television program “Iron Chef,” in which competitors are given mystery ingredients and instructed to make a dish out of them.
In Iron Fly competition, participants will be given a seemingly random set of materials and will have to craft something a fish might like to bite down on.
So as to not ruin the surprise, organizers are keeping the materials list under wraps, but “it tends to be really funny, and people can can get competitive, but it’s also lighthearted,” Amadon said.
The event is free to enter, and spectators are welcome, including children who are accompanied by an adult.
Earlier in the day, Rachel Sargent will lead a group of people in a nature journaling exercise at Waterbury Reservoir. Participants will meet at the Grange Hall Cultural Center at 10 a.m. The workshop costs $15 for adults and $10 for children under age 12 years.
To register for the competition or the journaling workshop: grangehallcc.com.