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  • Writer's pictureNielsen Studios Inc

American Faces #62 - A different kind of artist

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

The small town of Rockford, MN is where I first met Shawn Hackworth. The setting, I suppose you could say, was the early 1980’s in middle school. I was the Air Supply kind of guy and he was the AC/DC kind of guy. That’s what probably defined us during our formative middle and high school years. But underneath our differences was a similarity waiting to be discovered. We were both artists yet to unlock our latent talents. Since the late 1980’s I have devoted myself to the craft of commercial photography and he, to the incredible art of taxidermy.

What started as a hobby and a way to express his artistic side during his years in the construction industry has become a full-time profession. One can see what his years of working at the intricate details on a fish or the area around the eyes of a deer have done to hone his art to the highest level. It is simply amazing to watch Shawn as he meticulously molds the lips of fish or adds structure to the face and bodies of mammals, fish, and fowl. Shawn’s art gives the gift of a life-like lasting memory of a hunting or fishing trip with a loved one or some crazy adventurous trip with friends or family.

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Life has a funny way of reminding us we are not all that different. While the two Shawns from Rockford, MN were two different people growing up, we now can look at our similarities and laugh. We are two artists in our early fifties with a love for the outdoors. Take time to get to know people from your past, you might be surprised what you have in common. And meet new people; you will likely realize that you have many similarities if you give them a chance.

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