Tamara Staples was 23 years old when she attended her first poultry show with her Uncle Ron. “What really struck me was the personalities of the birds,” she remembers. “You’ve got some that are, shall we say cocky, and some that are shy.” Observing the birds’ characters paired with their colorful feathers and diverse body shapes, Staples was smitten from the minute she saw them.
In the late 80s, Staples began attending poultry shows, commonly held at county fairgrounds, to make portraits of the fowl. Over the years she’s attended about 40 competitions in at least 10 states. Her latest series, called “Cocky,” features oval cameos of the chickens against backdrops of various hues. Staples brings several dozen backdrops to each show and after a match is made with a bird, the backdrop is retired. People see their human relatives in the cameos, says Staples.
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