By ABBEY KUNKLE
Special to the PRESS
As students entered their classroom, a ladyfish lay pinned on a piece of cardboard with Texas A&M AgriLife County Extension Agent Tony Reisinger standing above blow drying the scales. The fish was caught days before, and after being cleaned and frozen, was ready to be eternalized via a Japanese traditional art form called Gyotaku. Students of all ages attended the class to learn about the art of fish printing from Reisinger, an expert in the art.
According to Reisinger, fishermen worldwide have often stretched the account of their catch, and Gyotaku was developed as a way to document its true size. Literally meaning “fish rub,” for over 100 years the Japanese have used this technique to gain understanding of marine biology and its beauty. During his 33 years as marine extension agent, Reisinger has taught many students this art, as well as produced many fine pieces of art himself. Not only a teacher of Gyotaku, but also an artist, he painted the Ladyfish with the blues and purples seen in the sunrise of South Padre Island, adding the final touch of an eye to bring the painting to life.
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