Hand Carved Wooden Decoys
By Contemporary Artist Kevin Thor Williams
View and Purchase Bill Heart Commemorative Sale
 
"Pintail by Jimmie Vizier"

Stunning Pintail by Jimmie Vizier, a classic piece. purchase $3,500

 
Jimmie Antoine Vizier (1933-2010) Cut Off, LA

Southwest of New Orleans, along the Bayou LaFourche in Louisiana’s delta region, is Galliano, home to one of the most prominent families of
Louisiana carvers. It was here that Jimmie Vizier, growing up in a crowded houseboat, first learned about decoys by watching his father carve
them by the dozens.


Vizier was a man with strong ties to the water. At the age of twelve he dropped out of school to work on his father’s fishing boat, and he spent
much of his life working on shrimp and tug boats in the Gulf of Mexico, co-owning a boat with his brother Tommie at one point. From 1953-1956
Jimmie proudly served in the Marines and completed a tour in Korea. In 1957 Jimmie married Marion Cheramie and together they had three
daughters, Myra, Jessica, and Mitzi. In the mid-1960s the Vizier brothers, along with their families, moved to England to work on a boat in the
North Sea, returning to the bayous in the late 1970s.

The delta region of Louisiana is the vortex for the Mississippi and Central Flyways; the combination of marshland and waterfowl presence during
migration helps facilitate a unique hunting and decoy carving culture. The Vizier family has a legacy of carving and, as a third-generation carver
Jimmie learned the skills mastered by his father and grandfather at a young age.

Jimmie was best known for his duck carvings, specifically his pintails. In the early 1970s he began travelling to the Eastern Shore of Maryland to
attend the Easton Waterfowl Festival and the Ward World Championships in Ocean City. Jimmie lived each year in anticipation of these events and
rarely missed a show regardless of how far away he was living for work. He contributed many carvings to the World Championship’s annual auction
and was proud when he drew the highest bid. Jimmie’s working decoys won several Best in Show awards at the World Championships, and for 29
years he offered his expertise as a judge at the tanks. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, Jimmie often provided insight and instruction to
fellow carvers.

All will fondly remember the sparkle in his eyes as he told his stories about life as a Marine, waterman, and decoy maker. He was a proud man who
embraced life, loved his country, the carving community, and his family. Given Jimmie’s contributions as a tradition bearer, competitor, carver
judge and friend to the carving community, his place as one of the premier North American carvers in history cannot be denied. He will be sorely
missed.

At the 40th Ward World Championship, the Ward Museum was proud to commemorate Jimmie’s legacy by the naming of the World Shootin’ Rig
division as the Jimmie Vizier Memorial Award.

 
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