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Nothing personal, Mickey: Taxidermy making resurgence

Witness — with horror, if you must — one of the mice a student created in Sue Jeiven’s taxidermy class at the Observatory art space in Gowanus this week.

Witness — with horror, if you must — one of the mice a student created in Sue Jeiven’s taxidermy class at the Observatory art space in Gowanus this week.

“I love doing taxidermy,” said Jeiven, 39, an art teacher and manager of East River Tattoo. “People were constantly offering me money to teach them.”

The macabre pasttime, however, may not be for the faint of heart. Jeiven’s students must gouge out the eyes of their mice and scrape out the insides before preserving them.

“There were some young professionals there, mostly women,” Jeiven said. “The crazier people looked, the more squeamish they were. And the more normal they looked, they were less freaked out by it. The women who were nondescript-looking dove right in.”

Taxidermy is becoming one of the city’s favorite new pastimes. “I definitely think there has been a resurgence of interest,” said Joanna Ebenstein, who curates the Observatory.

“The initial class we announced sold out within days, leaving us with a 40-plus-person wait list,” Ebenstein explained. “We are currently trying to plan future classes to cover the 20-plus-person wait list we now have.”

Jeiven’s next class will be in March. She plans on working with amphibians in the future.

 
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