The winner of Minnesota’s annual trout and salmon stamp contest is a retired dentist and self-taught painter who remains heavily involved in fly fishing at age 80.
Richard Goodkind’s acrylic painting of an idle brook trout submerged under a fallen tree won out over nine submissions, making him a two-time winner among judges at the Department of Natural Resources. His art will be featured on the 2019 stamp after previously winning in 2010.
Originally from the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., Goodkind and his wife, Sondra — also from Flatbush — moved to the Twin Cities about 50 years ago. He has worked both in private practice in downtown Minneapolis and as a dentistry professor at the University of Minnesota.
Goodkind, of St. Louis Park, was in the Montana wilderness Tuesday and unavailable for a phone interview. His achievement was announced recently by the DNR.
“It’s his annual trip. You won’t be able to reach him,” Sondra Goodkind said. “He’s wading in rivers.”
She said her husband has been hooked on fishing since his grandparents put a twig and line in his hands during a summer trip to the Catskill Mountains when he was 9 or 10 years old. Grandparents also got him started in freehand drawing.
During retirement, he’s been able to fish as often as once a week on the Kinnickinnic River and other streams. He also fishes on Minnesota lakes with spinning gear.
His annual fly-fishing trip to Montana always ends on the Bighorn River.
“He’s amazed he can still do it, and he’s going to keep it up as long as he can,” Sondra said.
She said her husband has taken art classes but mostly taught himself when it came to painting fish. His studio is in the basement of the same home where they raised a daughter and a son.
The couple met when Sondra, who is a couple of years younger, was entering her senior year in public high school in Brooklyn. She said Richard studied at Columbia University in New York City, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston and in graduate school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
They moved to the Twin Cities after Richard served in the military.
The DNR said the runner-up in this year’s contest was Stuart Nelson of Cloquet. The DNR offers no prizes for the stamp contest winner, but the winning artist retains the right to reproduce the work. Revenue from stamp sales is dedicated to trout and salmon management and habitat work.