There’ll be a hot time in the old town on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 13 and 14, when the Coastal Carvers present the 26th annual “Artistry in Wood” show at Lincoln City’s Chinook Winds Casino Resort. Fans of wood art will be stoked for this year’s show theme, “Fired Up.”
“People always love when there are things wood burning related at the show,” said Coastal Carvers member John Larsell. “There will be more than usual at this one.”
Admission to the event is free, including workshops and demonstrations, but if money is burning a hole in your pocket there will be vendors on site and some artists will have works for sale.
Artists who specialize in intarsia, caricature, relief and more,will also be sharing their expertise and leading workshops.
“Every year we have people that didn’t know we have classes,” Larsell said. “So I always bring extra tools and they always get used.”
On Saturday, there will be a non-juried show with public voting on entries including the Fired Up theme and a beginners category. The People’s Choice carving categories include
Gallery, Beginner (carving for less than two years), and Youth (14 years of age and under).
1st- to 3rd-place ribbons will be awarded to all categories, along with the Mayors Award and Chinook Winds Casino Award.
A new award is being present this year in the beginners category.
“It’s actually an open theme,” Larsell said. “It’s general on purpose because people can be very creative and we want to encourage that.”
This year’s show also features a new contest.
“Contestants will have an hour or two to turn a piece of wood into something that looks good.” Larsell said. “At this time we are planning it to be Saturday at 1 pm.”
In keeping with this year’s theme, the show’s featured artist is fire painter Cynthia Longhat-Adams, who uses different burning tools to etch pictures in wood that are so precise they are sometimes mistaken for photographs.
“My style is called photo-realistic and many times people don’t know they are burns,” she said. “It blows people away when they find out.”
The multi-talented artist discovered her skills early, inspired by a mom who, she said, could do just about anything that took creativity or problem solving, including overhauling an automobile. Early on, she learned from her mother the principles of shading.
“I wasn’t the average coloring book colorer,” she said.
Another incident helped cement her path as an artist.
“When I was six years old my Mom showed me something she painted using a brush she made by chewing on the tip of a toothpick,” she said. “That taught me that you can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it, and I have.”
Longhat-Adams has enjoyed and excelled at drawing, oil painting and even carving on antlers and fossilized tusks (scrimshaw), but wood burning is the medium about which she is the most passionate.
“This is the first art I’ve been this excited to watch come alive,” she said.
“I tried wood burning many years ago with the old-style tools that didn’t have temperature control and I gave up because I got tired of having blisters all the time. Then about 12 years ago someone introduced me to new and improved wood burning tools and I fell in love immediately. After about six years, I developed my style of photo realism, and that has become my signature. People ask me all the time to teach, which is not something I have the time or the desire to do, but I’m always happy to talk about it and explain my techniques; that’s why I love doing these shows.”
Though Longhat-Adams will not have any formal workshops or lectures at the event, you will be able to find her easily.
“One of the benefits of being the featured artist is they give you a great spot at the show,” she said. “I love getting to talk to people, especially because I’m so excited about what I do that the energy really flows. And being a featured artist is quite an honor because I’ve seen over the years that the featured artists they choose are the cream of the crop.”
So let yourself get fired up at the Artistry in Wood show — there just might something there to inspire a new direction in life, the way Longhat-Adams was inspired by a chewed-up toothpick.
“It’s cool the way a little thing can change your world,” she said. “It certainly did mine.”
Artistry in Wood will be held Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 13 and 14, at the Chinook Winds Convention Center, 1777 NW 44th Street in Lincoln City on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.
Admission, including all classes and presentations, is free for all ages. For a schedule and full list of classes, go to home.teleport.com/~coastalcarvers.