Fellowships 2025

I am honored to share with you a lifetime dedicated to the art of bird carving – a journey spanning four decades, marked by an unwavering passion for the grace, eloquence and vibrant beauty found in flight, shapes, and colors of our avian friends. For me, designing, carving, and painting the wooded decoys is more than a craft, it is a profound connection to nature and the most original traditional artform in North America. The combination of Knife and paintbrush allows me to express the inexpressible, fostering creativity that is not only essential for personal growth but also as source of joy, therapy, and profound satisfaction. Through the artistic process, I believe I can convey anything that I see – a sentiment that extends beyond the tangible creation to a realm where the mind expands. Art, in all it’s forms, enriches every facet of life and has provided me with a great sense of worth and satisfaction for my own self. But over the years, teaching and sharing with other artist has been an extremely rewarding experience. It serves as a conduit for the self-expression, offing a therapeutic and rewarding means to produce something that is unique that instills a sense of achievement and worth. The act of carving and painting becomes a medium through which thoughts find tangible existence. In my view, artistic expression is the pallet of colors our world, promoting diversity, individual thoughts and fostering understanding and acceptance. Crafting with sustainable resources is also important to me that these creations will outlive my existence and passed down through future generations. The process of creating wooden sculptures, particularly in the realm of waterfowl carving, transcends the mundane and offers me a temporary escape form the face passed “Screen world” that is so ever present today. It is truly magical to see the work come alive, forging a connection that heightens focus, erases the passage of time, and materializes before your eyes. As a teach and mentor to many, witnessing growth of Traditional Arts Students has been deeply rewarding experience. These students, now advocates within both Art, Decoy Carving and Hunting Communities, carry forth the tradition of waterfowl carving. Exhibiting and teaching at every available opportunity, I strive to share my passion, expanding my legacy of this artform within the state of Idaho. Creativity feeds my soul, in my perspective, is part of my every day life thinking about how to become better, advance my palette and designs. Recently honored with the 2024 Living Legend award but the Ward Foundation Organization for lifetime achievements, passing on traditional art knowledge and over three decades of teaching are my greatest accomplishments. One of the most rewarding projects I had the pleasure of leading a carving and painting class for Military veterans with PTSD, which showcased how art can help individuals cope and overcome internal struggles.  Each carving is a journey – an exploration of places unknown and unlikely, pushing us to continue to improve, Without the act of carving and painting, we risk becoming hollow vessels, that is not part of my DNA. For me, creation is not a choice: it is an essential element that fills the void. I firmly believe that art and arts are essential contributors to the human experience. That act of creation fosters optimism, spreads messages of inspiration and propels individuals to achieve greatness in life. Out body of work, our stories, continue to enlighten and resonate with others. Carving and painting serve as the fuel for this enduring passion, and I am committed to passing it on to future generations. In the realm of creation, we find purpose and meaning and it my fervent belief that art is not just a reflection of life, but the force that shapes and defines it.

2024