Woodturner Show Comes to Fruition

Opening Night at the Gmeiner Art Gallery with TC Woodland Owners Association

by Melissa Bravo – February 22, 2017

The idea of having a woodturner’s show began with a collective rattling of creative brains two years ago; and out through the windpipes and into the wind, emerged the idea of bringing artists who work with wood together. Woodturners and wood builders are sculptors of wood and artisans in every sense of the word. Walnut, Cherry, Ash, Red Oak, Locust, Hard Maple, Box Alder, Butternut, Pine, Sycamore, Ironwood, Stag-horn Sumac, and exotics are just a few of the mediums of choice for these talented individuals. Some use hand tools to create their craft. Other’s use the saw, the blade, metal, glass and photography to accent their individualized signature pieces. Some are furniture builders while others make bowls. Some make sculptures while others make music boxes. Some make decorative trinkets and knickknacks while others remake and reuse.

For those who are familiar with the Tioga County Woodland Owner’s logo, created by myself and drawn by local artist and member Alicia Blunk, it is easy to see how the memberships interests in wood blend together.

In fact, from the moment I met Marwin Cummings and Joe Serratore in 2013 at a meeting of the Tioga County Woodland Owner’s Association, I knew they and their fellow members – and beyond our small group; had a talent beyond promoting forest stewardship, that the community would love to see. It’s that like minded love of art, nature, and stewardship that seems to bring folks like these together up here in this area of Pennsylvania. Our forests provide us with so many resources again and again. It is just amazing to see how these artisans can find just one more way to show their appreciation and admiration for Mother Nature and our need for these fabulous trees in the handcrafted wood creations they make.

Every meeting or so we’d talk about, how could we host an event dedicated to exhibiting our friends and their friends hand crafts….

Envisioning all of these pieces in one showing became a reality last year when Marwin Cummings, Woodland Owner President, spoke to the director of the Gmeiner:

“I first talked to Anna Wales Rogers, last year and she wondered if I knew of enough woodworkers who could put together a show at the Gmeiner,” said Cummings. in just the past two months, Rogers worked with Cummings to set up the twenty plus artisan show that opened on Friday, February 10th. She is also one of the newest members of the Woodland Owner’s Association, and we are proud to have her. Our membership is an eclectic mix of forest owners, loggers, managers, educators, visitors, and folks who just want to learn more about appreciating the natural resources of woodlots.

Marwin shared with me how he came up with generating a list of names for Anna for the show. “For the last year, If I ran into a fellow woodworker, I’d ask him two questions: 1) Do you make anything you’d be willing to sell; and 2) Do you know anyone else who does?” Cummings then gave Rogers a list of twenty some artisans. “She took it from there, and what a job!”

The results of their collaborative effort: Twenty-one artists from throughout the county, or who have ties to the area, have their work on display through March 12. Some are members of the Woodland Owners Association, but many are just local artists, and friends of friends, who have the gift to create these works of art. And a successful night it was, with more than four pages of signatures in the guest book, it’s easy to suggest perhaps 200 people came and went Friday night. “It was shoulder to shoulder standing room only,” said Kathy Cummings, whose art work is on display the Gmeiner every Dickens of a Christmas.

To see snapshots of all of the artists at the opening show social, click the video feature above.

Features at opening night were:

Carvers: Melvin Stafford, Middlebury Center, PA; Ross Shourds, Mainesburg, PA

Steel and Stone Works: Tim Arnold, Millerton, PA; Anne Lugg Alexander, Nelson, PA

Furniture: Gary Roof, Columbia Crossroads, PA; Joe Serratore, HillsCreek, PA; Elmer Huels, Lindley, NY; Pete McLelland, Mansfield, PA; Marwin Cummings, Tioga, PA; Clay Bailey, Mansfield, PA; Jonathan Stager, Mansfield, PA;

Turnings: Paul Webster, Wellsboro, PA; Paul Benner, Morris, PA; Eric Packard, Mansfield PA; Kevin Card, Millerton, PA; Kevin Rice, Knoxville, PA; George Hiddeman, Virginia; David Milano, Stanley Tokarz, Wellsboro, PA; George Morris, Troy, PA;

Bandsaw boxes: Steve Tracy, Lawrenceville, PA

The Tioga County Woodland Owners Association would like to thank their members and everyone who helped bring this event to fruition, especially Anna for her dedication to making this collective idea become a reality.

If you would like to become involved in the Woodland Owner’s stewardship activities contact Melissa Bravo, Event Coordinator 814-574-4067 or Marwin Cummings, President 570-418-1499 for information on planned stewardship tours, weed and native plant walks, sawmill events, and workshops for 2017. Visit their Facebook page here.

To find out how you can become involved in a future Gmeiner exhibit, contact Anna Wales Rogers at the gmeinerartscenter@gmail.com.

Idea/Concept: Melissa Bravo
Videography: Erin O’Shea
Video Editing: Erin O’Shea
Writing: Melissa Bravo
Anchor: Dave Cox
Correspondent: Sara Vogt

Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by Matthews Motor Company

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