Chuck Testa Presenting Taxidermy 101 at Museum of Ventura County
By Gazette Staff Writer — Monday, July 30th, 2012
Ojai Valley’s Chuck Testa attained unexpected cult status when an offbeat advertisement for his taxidermist business went viral on YouTube. The video with the catch line “Nope! Chuck Testa,” has had more than 12 million views in less than a year. On Thursday, August 16 at 6:00 p.m. at the Museum of Ventura County, Testa presents Taxidermy 101, explaining the process used for museum mounts of fur-bearing animals. Admission is $5 and includes entrance to all museum galleries until 8:00 p.m. For reservations, call 805-653-0323 x 7.
The talk sheds light on the Museum of Ventura County’s current exhibition “Featured Creatures,” which includes now rarely seen mounted animals and birds from their collection, some almost 100 years old.
Testa has mounted specimens for the Channel Islands Visitors Center, the Ojai Valley Museum, and the Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, as well as other locations, where they are used to educate visitors about local wildlife.
In his August 16 talk Testa will discuss innovations such as manufactured molds, as well as the importance of anatomical knowledge. He became interested in taxidermy in his mid-twenties and largely taught himself with the help of only a few mentors. He opened Ojai Valley Taxidermy in 1987. Testa notes that today more information is shared, with tutorials posted on line, including many by him.
The Museum of Ventura County is located at 100 East Main Street in downtown Ventura. Hours are 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission to the exhibitions is $4 adults, $3 seniors, $1 children 6-17, members and children under 6 are free. The first Sundays of every month are free general admission for the public. For more museum information go to www.venturamuseum.org or call 805-653-0323.