A new exhibition called “Journeys with Wood” opens today (Friday) in the Chessman Gallery at the Lincoln City Cultural Center. Renowned wood and fiber artist and longtime instructor at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Monica Setziol-Phillips, is exhibiting her work alongside that of seven of her former students. An opening reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with a talk by Setziol-Phillips at 6 p.m. A virtual gallery tour will be available on the cultural center’s Facebook page beginning Saturday, Oct. 9.
This exciting and skilled lineup will demonstrate the compelling qualities of art with wood. In addition to Setziol-Phillips, exhibiting artists include Ian Gelbrich, Edward Running, Jeff Lorence, Hilary Pfeifer, Whitney Vogel, Milt Ritter and Jim Gryte.
Setziol-Phillips is a well known Northwest fiber artist and wood carver and the daughter of LeRoy Setziol, affectionately known as the father of Northwest Woodcarving. She invited many of her long-time students to join her for this exhibit, many of which have gone on to become prominent artists themselves. Each one has used the skill that Setziol-Phillips passed on to enhance their own unique styles of woodworking.
Setziol-Phillips, who lives in Sheridan, began her career as a weaver, studying with Solange Kowert. She gradually began to combine weaving with woodcarving, striving to get each to relate to the other. In woodcarving, the artist takes away from the medium, while in weaving, the artist adds to it. In weaving, the artist works with color; wood also offers color, but is less flexible.
“For me, it’s a kind of completion of the circle,” Setziol-Phillips said. “Weaving involves building a work through the addition of warp to weft. Woodcarving, on the other hand, involves building a work through the subtraction of material. Putting the two together is always precarious, for it is only in that moment that it becomes clear that the two belong together.”
The character and feel of the wood continue to excite her. Developing the relationship between tool, wood and imagination informs the work. She looks forward to sharing what she has learned with her students and feels she learns from them as well. Her own work is mostly abstract, as she understands that approach best and finds it most meaningful.
Setziol-Phillips has been teaching her highly popular woodworking workshop during the summer season at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology since 2012. She seeks to enable students to learn from the wood and the tools. Each wood has its own character, its own beauty and difficulty. Students explore these connections and focus on learning techniques to bring wood, tools and skills together. Focus is also on nourishing and developing each student’s unique creative spirit.
Learn more about opportunities available through the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology at www.sitkacenter.org.
Recently, Setziol-Phillips created a large sculpture that stands near the lodge of the Salishan Resort in Gleneden Beach, a resort where 15 of LeRoy Setziol’s teak carvings are showcased.
The Chessman Gallery is located inside the Lincoln City Cultural Center at 540 NE Highway 101. The cultural center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Monday. Masks and social distancing are required in the building.
For more information, call 541-994-9994, head to lincolncity-culturalcenter.org, or become a friend on Facebook.