Combining the love of hunting and a high school art project might be unusual, but not for Mimi Sams, a senior at Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas.
The Art Studio class project required creating a collection of art with a theme, so a hunting theme seemed suitable for the daughter of Lone Star Outdoor News founder David J. Sams.
“I wanted it to be something that reflected my life, and to do something different from paintings or clay sculptures,” Mimi said. “And I wanted something that related to my lifestyle and hunting experiences.”
The first step was to research ideas and gather materials. She asked her father to find her some antler sheds. Jason Sekula of the Shiner Ranch in Pearsall had plenty of sheds and gladly contributed them to the effort.
Mimi said she didn’t have a clear vision of what she would do until she had the sheds. Then the pieces of art came together.
A skull mount came to life through the use of moss and dried flowers.
“I wanted to use elements of nature to go along with the skulls and antlers,” Mimi said. “I used real moss and old dried flowers that her mother didn’t use in her interior design business.”
And moss was scattered throughout the different pieces. A shadow box included moss and vintage photos of African safaris in the background.
“I used the safari theme because we’re going to Africa this summer (her graduation gift),” she said.
A small pig, a toy from her childhood, was added “for a little playfulness.”
She made a set of rattling horns by wrapping antlers in old copies of Lone Star Outdoor News and then wrapped in wire.
“The written words tell stories of hunting,” Mimi said. “The wire was to show the hardness of the antlers and I hung them like you would a set of antlers that went together. I tried to make something artificial out of something that is real.”
Antlers attached to a head made of rope were another creation.
“The head turned out to look more like a pig,” Mimi said. “It turned out to look like a pig and spike crossbreed, playing off the idea of the jackalope.”
Another European mount included antlers wrapped in clippings from fashion magazines — strange to some but not to those who know that Mimi also works as a fashion model.
“It brings out the beauty of the naturalness of the deer’s head,” she said. “And to display the fashion world, which is so much about looks, on a dead animal.”
A final piece, “the bust,” is a moose made from foam board with magazine collage, rope, moss and a brown backboard like those used to display mounts, and was the first piece she created for the project.
It’s put together like a puzzle and I wanted it to have a lot of color and make a statement,” Mimi said. “I love puzzles.”
Did Mimi make an ‘A’ on the project?
“I think so, but the grades haven’t been posted yet,” she said.
She didn’t really seem to care. She graduates on Sunday.
All photos by David J. Sams, LSON. Jump to page 2 and beyond to see all of the artwork.
Title: Trophy 1
Materials: Deer skull, moss, dried flowers
Title: Wired shed
Materials: Wire, LSON newspapers, cord
Materials: Rope, foam board, moss, antlers, dried flowers
Title: Trophy 2
Materials: Deer skull, magazine clippings
Materials: Foam board, paint, magazine clippings, rope
Title: African Shadow
Materials: Magazine clippings, moss, antler sheds, wooden elephant, dried flowers