Easter Decoy & Art Festival Award Winners

The Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce Easter Decoy & Art Festival is celebrated as a rite of spring on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Fine art, carvings, jewelry, sculpture and other artisan crafts were showcased by exhibitors from Pennsylvania to Florida at the two day festival over Easter weekend. It is our honor to announce the 2022 winners with the Curtis Merritt Award of Excellence voted on by the exhibitors and Best Carver and Best Artist voted on by festival attendees. Best picture of Chincoteague or Assateague is voted on by a jury.


2022 Curtis Merritt Award of Excellence Winner

Bill Hickson

The Curtis Merritt Award of Excellence is awarded to an exhibitor demonstrating exemplary qualities as an artist or carver as chosen by a jury of their peers. The 2022 recipient is Bill Hickson, another legend of the show. Mr. Hickson was determined to come to this year’s show even though his health was failing. We were saddened to learn of his passing on April 22, 2022, just 6 days after the show. Bill Hickson was 94 years old and was a retired farmer from Cordova, Maryland. He began carving decorative wildfowl about 50 years ago and has exhibited his carvings at shows for well over 40 years. Click the link below if you would like to send condolences to the family or would like to attend his service. Bill Hickson Funeral Arrangements can be viewed at here.


2022 People’s Choice for Best Carver

Bill Veasey

People’s Choice Award for Best Carver was awarded to long time show exhibitor Bill Veasey from Elkton, Maryland. Veasey has been a major contributor to the field of contemporary, decorative decoy carving as a carver, teacher, and writer. He has published 14 books on carving and painting, was instrumental in the design of the Detail Master Burner, helped create the Jo Sonjas line of carvers colors, and has instructed literally thousands of students, many of whom have gone on to become significant contributors to the art.


2022 People’s Choice for Best Artist

Kevin McBride

People’s Choice Award for Best Artist was awarded to Kevin McBride, who began painting wildlife at an early age in his hometown of Emerson, New Jersey. McBride earned a degree in fine arts from the University of Rhode Island and a degree in art education from Montclair State University. He moved to Chincoteague Island over 40 years ago and opened the Osprey Nest Art Gallery on Main Street, where he sells his originals and prints capturing the charm and uniqueness of Chincoteague Island.


2022 Best Photograph of Chincoteague or Assateague

Bob Schamerhorn

Best Photograph of Chincoteague or Assateague was presented to Bob Schamerhorn from Richmond, Virginia. Schamerhorn’s fascination with nature began in his childhood. He studied Art and Design at Virginia Tech and has worked in various creative positions throughout his adulthood. Photography is Schamerhorn’s passion and his amazing wildlife photographs allow him to share his appreciation of nature with others. Several of his photographs have won recognitions and appeared in major publications. Find him at iPhotoBirds.