Awards and Recognition

Overboard Art’s vision is to produce American inspired and American made quality giftware and sculptures depicting wild birds and native habitat. Europe has been very successful in doing this, building on its long arts and crafts tradition. Don Briddell founded Overboard Art to attempt to establish a similar tradition in the American context.

The name Overboard Art came from the fact that decoys were once thrown overboard with no regard for their value as unique artifacts of the American experience. Decoys were invented by Native American Indians and in use for a thousand years before the colonists began using them, perfecting their utility and attractiveness. Over the years, the realism of the decoys ever more closely approximated the shape and color of wildfowl, gradually becoming recognized as collectable works of art. As the value of this new art form dawned on sportsmen and collectors, they began going “overboard” to get the decoys out of the water and on to the mantelpiece in their living rooms.

Competition, Judging, and Tours

Don Briddell’s work during his competition years ranked among the top carver/artists. He attended all the shows in the early days beginning in 1963. For years he was a judge at competitions around the country. Major shows included The Ward Foundation Show, Easton’s Waterfowl Festival, Charleston’s Southeastern Waterfowl Festival, Audubon Show, as well as numerous shows held in California, Minnesota, Michigan, Virginia, New England, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York and others. Don’s work was included in the first exhibition of bird carving from America to tour Japan and England. In the late 1990’s Don retired from competition in order to concentrate on Overboard Art, commissioned sculptures and his other work in Form and Structure Theory and writing. Most rewarding has been the experience of teaching more than one hundred people to carve and paint.

Don’s work:

  • Was chosen in the late 1950’s by the State of Maryland to give the one-millionth visitor to the state capital.
  • Appeared on Baltimore television demonstrating decoy carving at the age of 15 on the occasion of the Maryland State Fair.
  • Sold to major sporting art retailers The Crossroads of Sports and Abercrombie and Fitch, both of New York City at age 15.
  • Won a commission to do a 20' long 9' tall sculpture memorializing the Holocaust of WWII installed in the Jewish Community Center in York, PA.
  • Exhibited in more than 300 wildlife and gift shows nationwide.
  • Has had work sold by Sotheby's Auction Gallery, NYC
  • Sold throught Trailside Galleries in Scottsdale, AZ and Jackson Hole, WY.
  • Sold through Wadle Galleries, Santa Fe, NM.
  • Included in British Museum's Tate Gallery exhibition of American Bird Carving Sculptures and the Bicentennial Exhibition of American Crafts produced in multiples at Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC
  • Purchased by the Smithsonian Institution American Art Museum
  • A special Christmas Tree Ornament was designed and created for the permanent collection of the White House.