By: Christy Means-Stephens | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: May 2022
Bob Block and Bill Payne
The art and utilitarian skill of wood carving is one of the oldest, most time-honored crafts in the world. It is an ability that has numerous benefits – producing an object for use, creating beautiful works of art, and having a marketable skill. Wood crafting also has many mind and spirit benefits; it is a calming, stress reducing activity, harnesses creativity, provides a meditative state, and connects the artisan to nature.
In August, the 2022 Woodcarving and Arts Festival returns for its 47th year, taking place at the Broken Arrow Rose District’s Central Park Community Center. The event is hosted by Eastern Oklahoma Woodcarvers Association with a variety of craft vendors to visit, buy and learn from.
“We hope to have 40 to 50 carvers and folk craft vendors,” states Bob Block, Event Coordinator. “In addition to the wood carvings, other art forms to be featured are stained glass, embroidery, metal arts, painting, yarn items and more!” Wood turning, weaving, mosaics, jewelry, ceramics, basketmaking, quilting, beading, leather working and blacksmithing are all artisan disciplines that will be on display and available for interactive information.
Block, a pediatric physician, has been involved in woodcarving for four decades.
“I began by carving a few lettered signs, and then stumbled upon a class to learn carving about 40 years ago – the rest is history!” Block exclaims.
The festival is a wonderful opportunity to individuals of all ages who have always had an interest in learning new crafts. During the shutdowns of the previous year, many people filled their time by exploring new projects and skills; and the art of woodcarving has attracted new carvers, young and old, experienced and new, according to Block.
“Highlights of the event include a carving contest and a beginner’s class in carving, as well as several raffle items and all the vendor’s displays – all with free admission!” says Block. “Although, honestly, it is hard to spotlight only a few; everything is unique, and it is always fun to chat with the vendors.”
Individuals 13 years of age and over may take part in the seminars and attend demonstrations of the myriad woodworking art forms. Attending the festival is a wonderful opportunity to see and explore one of the oldest known art and utility forms of humankind; attendance will also help the Eastern Oklahoma Woodcarvers Association, the sponsors of this event.
The 2022 Woodcarving and Arts Festival takes place Aug. 12-13, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., located at the Central Park Community Center at 1500 S. Main in Broken Arrow. For more information, contact Bob Block at 918- 693-2418 or email eat0@eau0eav0eaw0; Bill Payne at 918-251-8734 or email eat1@eau1eav1eaw1; or visit the website, www.eowa.us.
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