Sporting Arts


Our oldest, most primal contact with the natural world was through hunting - we depended on nature to sustain us, and in turn we needed to study and understand it in order to benefit from a fruitful relationship. The Leland Little Sporting Art Department specializes in the pieces that both facilitate time spent in the outdoors, as well as the art that celebrates the wonder that we find there. Often, such as in the case of a meticulously painted duck decoy or a bamboo fly rod, the tool and the art are one and the same.


Robbie Smith

Robbie Smith

Sporting Art Director

Robbie Smith, native North Carolinian and graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, grew up hunting and fishing with his dad and grandfather. Robbie is on the Board of Directors at The Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center. He also co-curated a decoy exhibit at the Ducks Unlimited Heritage Museum in Memphis, TN, and produced the documentary film, Core Values, about the decoys, oral history and folk art of Core Sound, in North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Explore Recent Stories


The Art of Life: Sporting Edition

"The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep." —Paul Strand


Sporting Art Fair 2024

A Celebration of Community, History, Art, and the Sporting Lifestyle


A Life's Work with Bill Ivey

"I have found that if you know where a piece is from, or if you know a little bit about it, then you almost have a relationship with it . . . it comes alive . . ." - Bill Ivey


Special Feature with Rob Golan

A Scholarly Collection of 19th Century American Military Longarms


The Sporting Life

An Inspired Afternoon with Artist Cameron McIntyre


A Conversation with Jack Dudley

Significant Makers and the Stories Behind the Decoys


Sporting Art Fair 2023

A celebration of history, community, art, and a love of the outdoors


Fall 2022 Sporting Art Auction Walkthrough

Couldn’t make it to Leland Little gallery to explore the decoys, fine art, and more of The Fall Sporting Art Auction? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered!


The Sporting Art Lifestyle

Our Sporting Art Director, Robbie Smith, has hit the road once again, this time exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Expect a full day of fly fishing with a very special reel, art history, good company, and, of course, beautiful scenery.


Special Feature: Howard Johnson on the Sporting Art Department

The President of the Carolina Decoy Association speaks about the Leland Little Sporting Art Department and the role it has played in fueling conversation within the Sporting Arts community.


How Craft, Community, and Lifestyle Elevate the Decoy

The Leland Little Sporting Art Department spent a fantastic day at the coast, gathering first impressions of Lee Dudley's rare Canvasback decoy while celebrating the Southeast's coastal sporting lifestyle.


Honoring the Legacy of Percy Carawan

Follow along with Sporting Art Director, Robbie Smith, as he travels east to Lake Mattamuskeet, NC. Listen to the recollections of Mark Carawan and Kroghie Andresen as they share their personal experiences with master decoy carver, Percy Carawan.


Sporting Art Fair 2022

Leland Little is delighted to host our second annual Sporting Art Fair (SAF) on Saturday, February 26th, 2022. Although hosted on the grounds and within the galleries of Leland Little, this is a community event brought forth by a group of partners who are personally and professionally invested in the world of sporting art. The Sporting Art Fair is for everyone.


Carving Heritage: A Decoy Story

A craft that defines a county's history.


From the Personal Collection of Kroghie Andresen

Kroghie Andresen and his wife made a deal. She could renovate their kitchen if he could build a decoy room. An entire room for decoys. Just decoys.


Follow the Road to Kroghie's House

LLA Decoy Director Robbie Smith describes his decoy collecting mentor Kroghie Andresen as the Wizard of Oz of decoys. So it's only fitting that when we visited Smith in his hometown, all roads led to Kroghie. And what did we find along the way? Puppies. Lots and lots of puppies.


Introducing the Leland Little Sporting Arts Department


The Chair Files with Robbie Smith