From cave paintings to video, trout have been an inspirational subject to humans over thousands of years. Name any potential medium, and it is likely that trout have been featured there. In fact, trout sculpture, wood carvings, and other renderings have been practiced for centuries. As technology has rapidly expanded the artistic opportunities to feature trout, so have the places where trout have appeared. Early renderings of trout in cave paintings in Europe transitioned to trout on painted canvas and pen and ink renderings. From realists to expressionists, trout have been featured in a variety of ways on the painted canvas. In the 19th Century, the emergence of photographic techniques gave artists a new way to capture images of trout and trout scenes in nature.
By the time the 20th Century rolled around, a whole new array of tools was available to the trout artist including movies, new printing techniques, advanced photo technologies; a whole new set of artistic expressions emerged.
New video tools and editing techniques that emerged in the latter part of the century and early into the 21st century have prompted renewed interest from the both amateur and professional film makers. The ground-breaking film “A River Runs Through It” prompted renewed interest in trout and fly fishing and is partially responsible for the surge in people’s interest. At the same time new technologies and tools have emerged that allow us to explore trout in a medium that was largely unavailable before—the underwater view. New housings for still and video cameras have allowed artists and scientist to view trout and learn about their habitats in ways that were hard to imagine before. Likewise, the emergence of personal cameras with options for video or still photos both in and out of the water has created a whole new group of amateurs who are emerging trout artists.
The World of Trout will explore many art forms and highlight them in our Trade Show/Exposition. We plan to hold several competitions for young artists, amateurs, and professionals in all categories and feature them in post-conference media. An open competition for a 5 minute video entitled “Why Trout?” will be a feature of the meeting and these videos and others will be shown as part of a film festival during one evening of The World of Trout Judges will include members of the film school at Montana State University, professional film-makers, and attendees! We’ll have similar competitions for best photos and art.
Finally, part of The World of Trout features the role of trout and how the art forms have emerged to capture trout. We’ll engage artists, photographers, videographers, and art historians to reflect on what trout mean to them and connect them to others that are interested in exploring these media.