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"Heritage" 2023 Seafood Festival Poster

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"Heritage" 2023 Seafood Festival Poster, by Brooke Lupton, Artist.

A Gaskill Family Legacy,

There is a certain calling that is felt when you are a child of the sea. It tugs at your heart and beckons you back to the shores of those who came before. It’s a gravitational pull that connects you from your heart to the tide. This painting is a portrait of that connection, the “heritage” that binds those from the past to those who carry those traditions into the future.

Pictured before the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, these two channel net boats hold power that is years in the making. Both of these vessels were built by boatbuilder Walter “Brother” Gaskill, one for his brother and fisherman, Manley Gaskill, a beloved “man of the sea” from Harkers Island. Manley was a cherished community member, hardworking commercial fisherman, husband and father who passed away after a tragedy at sea in December of 1996. His legacy was celebrated during the first Blessing of the Fleet in October of 1997.

Manley’s knowledge and love for working the water has continued through the lives of those who loved him most. Perhaps, the one that felt the greatest pull and connection to his heart and to the sea was his son, Manley Brent Gaskill.

Raised on the water, Brent’s passion for fishing was nurtured by family and friends. Like his father, uncles and grandfather, Brent has pursued a career on the sea and is the Captain of “The Builder’s Choice,” a well-recognized and tournament-winning sportfishing boat along North Carolina’s coast and beyond.

When he is not off-shore, you can find Brent doing what he loves most: working the commercial fishing seasons of Core Sound, pulling on a shrimp net, and enjoying time on the Island with his wife and their pup. Brent’s boat is the vessel pictured on the left, and while he has rebuilt parts of this family workboat, the boat remains an echo of his father’s heart.

In this painting, I hope you can feel the connection between a father and his son, and their family’s shared love of the sea that binds their hearts together as it pulses with the tide beneath the beam of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. This is a proud heritage that will continue on, forevermore.