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Artistry In Wood 2011

by Donald K. Mertz

The 2011 Artistry in Wood Show, Dayton, Ohio is now a distant memory.  Like all memories that stick in our minds, it is one to be revisited again and again.  The details of the memory may have faded because of being overwhelmed with 225 exhibitors filling over 300 display booths displaying wood carvings and wood working projects.  Visiting the 2012 Artistry in Wood Show November 10 and 11 will refresh the memory and make new memories.

Since 1981 AIW has grown into the nation’s premier showcase for art in wood, be it carving or woodworking. 4,800 visitors attended the 2011 show to be amazed and enthralled with the creativity epitomized in the great variety of wood sculpture and fine woodworking projects.  

AIW stays true to its mission of providing a venue for woodcarvers to showcase their creativity in an aesthetic and welcoming exhibition hall as well as having top notch carvings entered into competition. Some of the best carvings one will see during the year are showcased at Dayton by carvers of merit from 22 states and Canada.  Most carvings on display are also for sale to the collector and gift giver who are looking for that one of a kind work of art. Also at the venue are top quality vendors of carving supplies, tools, wood and books to meet every carver’s need.

Entries into competition in both the woodworking and woodcarving divisions were not only beautiful works of art but were of top quality.  The judges had their work cut out for them with multiple categories containing several classes in each category to evaluate with thorough aesthetic and technical scrutiny.  Judges in Woodworking division were Roger Hornung, Jim McCann and Lary Sanders. Woodcarving division judges were Vic Hood, Stu Martin and Wayne Shinlever.
Winners in the Best of Show in Woodcarving Division were:

  • Fred Zavadil (Windsor, Ontario, Canada), First
  • Terry Brasher (Petersburg, TN), Second
  • Sandy Czajka (Troy, OH), Third

In the Woodworking Division Best of Show winners were:

  • Jay Kinsinger (Cedarville, OH), First
  • Jim Dupler (Indianapolis, IN), Second
  • Richard Reese (Centerville, OH), Third

Free Demonstrations occurred both Saturday and Sunday to provide instructional information beneficial to carvers and woodworkers.  Demonstrations were presented by Cheryl Gustatson, Jack Miller, Floyd Rhadigan, Dave Arndt and Scott Phillips (longtime friend and supporter of AIW).

Woodcarving Illustrated hosted in their Spit-N-Whittle booth a number of one hour demonstrations by Tom Hindes, Floyd Rhadigan, Rick Jensen, Jim Willis, Jan Oegema, Bruce Nicholas, Vic Hood, Terry Brasher, Bruce Henn, Bob Stadtlander, Don Worley, Bob Biermann, Desiree Hajny and Don Mert.

As important as the carving aspect is for the show, even of greater importance is a charitable donation of $5,000 to United Rehabilitation Services, which to date after thirty shows totals $120,000. Added this year was a $500 gift to Partners Against Crime.  

Next in importance seems to be recognition one carver each year with the Ron Ryan Award, announced during the Saturday night banque.  The 2011 recipient was Lynn Doughty of Jay, Oklahoma. The Ron Ryan Award honors someone each year who embodies the encouragement and advancement of woodcarving as Ron Ryan did in his lifetime.  The banquet itself is like a family reunion of carving friends who gather after a fun-filled day of meeting thousands of visitors to enjoy a meal, share in a raffle of choice donated gifts, and every banquet participant receives a donated door prize.

Western Ohio Woodworkers hosted a children’s hands-on workshop in which 260 children made over 450 projects from kits supplied by the WOW membership. Smiles were on children’s faces as they carried home a wood project they put together with the help of WOW members.  More importantly, each child created in their hearts of memory that will hopefully launch each child into a lifelong passion for making things with their own hands. During AIW’s two day show, members of WOW were also making toys for kids who are patients at Children’s Hospital.  This “Smile a Minute” activity assembled 287 toys that put smiles on children in the hospital.

The Special Exhibit of high end wooden trucks, tractors and heavy equipment was created by Scott Hamilton who graciously shared his astounding display to the amazement of exhibition visitors.

Revisit the AIW memory by visiting the homepage which contains a video about the 2011 Show produced by webmaster Carole Williams. There is another two part video presented by Woodcraft that can be found on the “Artistry in Wood” Page.  Scott Phillips of The American Woodshop PBS program and longtime supporter and friend of AIW narrated the video provided by Woodcraft.  Woodcraft also donated a generous raffle prize at the banquet.

Copyright 2012, All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission.