‘White Lightning’ Strikes on ICAST

Kayak Pro Z-Man® and Artist Jody Queen to Display Colossal ChatterBait® Folk Art

Picture old oak liquor barrels, rustic tractor seats, Pontiac hubcaps and ChatterBait® bladed hooks.

Wait . . . that? As in, what exactly do these contrasting elements have in common? Why even raise such an absurd question? And what does all this have to do with ICAST?

Anyone curious or eccentric to know the answer is cordially invited to show up at the Z-Man® booth (#4808) during this week’s ICAST show.

An unconventional but down-to-earth departure from the usual barrage of shiny new rigs, bewildering electronics and neon-lit displays, Z-Man is ready to reveal a truly unique masterpiece: a conversation starter and a unforgettable work of art. certainly headlining the company’s ICAST exhibition, July 12-14, 2023.

Created by kayak professional Z-Man and talented Appalachian artist Jody Queen, the unique, larger-than-life piece of folk art depicts a certain iconic Z-Man lure like you’ve never seen it before. A celebration of artistic innovation and angling, Queen’s must-see Giant ChatterBait®—codename White lighting—Will be on display during the three days of the next sport-fishing fair.

The official presentation will take place at 10 am on Wednesday, July 12. Queen and Z-Man staff will be on hand to introduce the piece to the ICAST audience and answer their burning questions, including. . . Because?! Attending media, tackle reps, and all fishing industry attendees are welcome to pose for photos, videos, etc. It is said that the giant leaf template will also surprise people with a certain, shall we say, action.

Angler/artist Jody Queen working on another project, between kayak tournaments.

During and after the official unveiling, Z-Man will launch a ChatterBait giveaway, open for display to attendees and the public. To commemorate his new his, fresh off the press ChatterBait Elite EVO™, Z-Man will be awarding a full set of lures through his social media channels. #chatterbaitART

A native of picturesque Bluefield, West Virginia, Jody Queen was born for two things: fishing and creating amazing, thought-provoking works of art. Since she first hopped on a kayak at age 50, Queen has become one of the most admired and recognized names in the sport of competitive kayak fishing, winning numerous national tournaments on the Hobie BOS and KBF trails. .

Somehow, in the midst of a 200-day-a-year fishing schedule, Queen finds time to create thought-provoking, truly authentic folk art, many of the themes fusing her love of fish and nature with her local community. Recent Queen artistic commissions include Bass, a 9-foot-tall creature who fuses various elements of Queen’s hometown with her passion for fishing. (Ask him about the spooky Appalachian legend of the ‘squatch.) So when Queen sat down to ponder the idea of ​​a larger-than-life replica of a legendary lure, the Z-Man ChatterBait, he knew where the inspiration would flow. .

“From the first day I discussed this idea with my Z-Man friends, I knew that the elements to create a unique piece were all around me,” explained Queen, whose hometown is located in the heart of the impressive Appalachian mountain range. . “Our quiet little community has a rich history of craftsmanship, industry and a spirit of innovation. I think when you see the piece, those elements will shine through.

“But one of my other goals with White Lightning was to draw attention to the concept of a truly original lure, something that isn’t as common in fishing these days, but that Z-Man looks for in all of his designs. It’s one of the reasons why I and so many other kayak anglers remain loyal fans. Z-Man thrives, in part, because a great group of people from the salt of the earth do things the right way.”

The value of the free-thinking creative process, Queen adds, cannot be overstated. “Neither is the value of encouraging local artists, giving them a unique place to create that encourages and inspires the free flow of ideas,” she says. A pillar of the Bluefield community and the foundation of Queen’s artistic endeavors, Gary Bowling’s House of Art offers a captivating, bohemian arts venue and art museum open to the public, housed in a century-old brick schoolhouse. antiquity.

“The House of Art really gives local, young and up-and-coming artists a place to network, exchange ideas and showcase their work through a variety of exhibitions and events,” Queen explains. “This incredibly special venue also provides a lot of space and resources for artists to complete their pieces.

“When we first moved in many years ago,” he continues, “the building required a lot of care and renovation. Every time it rained, for example, we would take 30-gallon bags of water outside because the roof was practically shot. My wife Vicki was instrumental in writing a grant that ultimately helped fund much of the restoration of our building.”

Over the convening years, Queen says the Gary Bowling House of Art has hosted numerous art schools and public exhibitions. The building’s remarkable history also includes visits from seven former US Presidents, the Vienna Boys’ Choir, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. As a publicly funded venture, Queen hopes to shed light on the historic site and appeal to the good nature of her friends in the fishing community. The objective, sustain and support your workplace.

“The next phase of our restoration project is to bring all the floors up to date. Once we’ve secured the funding and finished the renovation, we can begin offering studios and classes to local artists. After that, we hope to get our musicians’ auditorium, community theater, and other speaking engagements up and running. As a self-funded project between Gary (Bowling), Vicki, and myself, we knew that we would eventually need additional funding beyond our initial grant to make the dream a reality.”

To help support Queen’s work and fully restore the Gary Bowling House of Art, a GoFundMe page has been set up. If you’d like to support the House of Art, its community programs, and its mission to showcase Appalachian artists like Jody Queen, just click the GoFundMe link. (GBHOA is a 501C3 non-profit organization; all donations are tax deductible.)

Reflecting elements of fishing, nostalgia and an Americana vision of Appalachia, Queen’s White Lightning, which headlines Z-Man’s ICAST exhibit, provides a welcome respite from the business and frenzy of ICAST.

“When you stop to look at the piece, you’ll recognize a variety of items, such as an old ‘mash whiskey barrel’ and the condenser ‘worm’ itself, representing the lure head and trailer keeper,” Queen notes. “Time-worn Pontiac hubcaps form the eyes of the decoy, reflecting the migration of local workers who once left their jobs in our coal mines to migrate north to the auto factories.

“You will also recognize many other small details, as well as a surprise that you have to be here to see, or rather, to experience,” he laughs.

“Z-Man’s mantra, The science and art of fishing it really resonates with the angling and arts communities,” says Queen. “’Science’ is all about appreciating special aquatic environments, learning all we can about fish and their behavior. While ‘art’ speaks to the creative process, drawing inspiration from their surroundings and experiences to create truly original works, whether it be a painting, sculpture or innovative lure.”

Whether she’s on the water or in the studio, Queen claims, “It’s all a labor of love.”

About Z-Man Fishing Products: A dynamic company based in Charleston, South Carolina, Z-Man Fishing Products has been fusing cutting-edge fishing tackle with technology for nearly three decades. Z-Man has long been one of the industry’s largest suppliers of silicone skirt material used in jigs, spinnerbaits, and other lures. Creator of the original ChatterBait®, Z-Man is also the renowned innovator of 10X Tough ElaZtech® soft baits, among the most sought after baits in freshwater and saltwater. Z-Man is one of the fastest growing lure brands in the world.