By: Haylie Smart | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: August 2023
In the early 1970s, a few woodcarvers got together with the idea of forming a group to preserve the art of woodworking. Thus, in ‘76, Eastern Oklahoma Woodcarvers Association was formed.
“The club grew and grew, and we got up to one hundred members at one time,” said longtime member Bill Payne.
But when the COVID pandemic hit, a lot of woodcarvers scattered to the wind and the group struggled to find a reliable and affordable location for their group meetings.
“I’m really proud of my church,” Payne said about St. Stephen’s United Methodist in Broken Arrow. “They stepped up and said we could come there for our meetings. They saved us.”
At no cost to the group, members of EOWA hosts “Monday Carve-In,” which is a simple meet and greet every Monday at 6:30 p.m. for woodcarvers to bring pieces to whittle on or show off. Their official monthly meetings are every second Wednesday at 7 p.m.
“Our numbers are growing again,” Payne said. “And we have several new carvers coming in, which is good.” Visitors are welcome, but if you’re interested in joining, annual dues are only $30. For more info, visit www.eowa.us
One thing EOWA looks forward to every year is their Woodcarving and Arts Festival, which will be Aug. 11-12 at Central Park Community Center in Broken Arrow. The free-to-attend event used to only feature wood carvings, but five years ago it opened its arms to other art forms as well, such as stained glass, jewelry, leatherwork, and woodburning.
“The rule is though if [a vendor] attends it must be made by them,” Payne said. “This is a craft show. Not a trade show. There’s no reselling.”
Show Chairman Blake Werner is still accepting vendor applications. “It’s $55 for an 8 foot by 10 foot space,” he said. “If you’re traveling in and don’t want to lug a table we charge $15 for an 8 foot table.” But vendors are welcome to bring their own tables. Chairs are not provided at the show. For booths with electricity it’s an additional $10. Applications are due no later than Aug. 1 and can be accessed by calling Blake at 918-629-8007 or emailing him at eat1@eau1eav1eaw1. First-time show applicants will need to submit photos of their work with their application. The show will be held at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Friday, Aug. 11 and Saturday, Aug. 12 at Central Park Community Center, located at 1500 S Main St. in Broken Arrow.
682 Meadowood Dr | Broken Arrow, OK 74011
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