The Kodiak Island Convention and Visitors Bureau hopes to hook contributors with a series of artistically decorated pink salmon.

The salmon will be the centerpiece of the visitor bureau’s fourth annual Chocolate Lovers’ Fling and Art Auction. Before they appear at the May event, however, the fish have to go through the hands of local artists, who are competing for the rights to receive one of the 14 fish that will appear in the event.

Though March 14, the convention and visitors bureau is accepting design mockups. So far, 22 artists have indicated they would like to try their hands at a humpy.

“It will truly be a juried competition this year, because at least eight people are going to be declined,” said Janet Buckingham, executive director of the KICVB. “There’s lots of excitement among the artists.”

Once the 14 artists are selected, they have until May 4 to complete their work and turn it in to the visitors bureau. The art auction takes place May 19, and the artists receive 30 percent of the proceeds, Buckingham said. The rest goes to maintain the event and help the visitors bureau.

“When we started it, the idea was more to have a community event, something that the community could enjoy,” Buckingham said. “I stole it shamelessly form Moab, Utah, where I came from. They had a chocolate lovers’ fling like we do it here … it seems to have worked.”

Until this year, the visitors bureau distributed halibut tail taxidermy molds. This is the first year for artists to decorate a humpy, which will add a challenge, Buckingham said.

Antoinette Walker, who has entered past KICVB events and will submit a proposal this year, said this year will be a challenging one.

“I think for everyone overall it will be a little different because the tail was two flat surfaces, basically,” she said. “This is a completely three-dimensional surface.”

Walker works with encaustics, a mixture of beeswax, pigment and varnish. Applying a heat gun to a mixture of wax and pigment causes the substances to fuse, creating a durable color. On a three-dimensional surface, it can be difficult to spread heat evenly, she said.

Still, she’s up to the challenge and can’t wait to see what the competition is.

“I’m just curious what everyone will do,” she said.

Contact Mirror James Brooks at

Get involved

Proposals in paint, mosaics, beading, scuplure, metalwork, fiber and all media are being accepted through March 14. Pick up a two-dimensional mockup for judging at the visitors bureau on Marine Way to sketch and submit your proposal.

More proposals are expected than there are fish available, so expect a round of judging before receiving a three-dimensional salmon mold. Contact Janet Buckingham at 486-2782 for more information.

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