“Masters at Work”: Woodturning Competition & Exhibit

BROKEN BOW -  The Forest Heritage Center Museum and Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, will kick-off the annual fall exhibit, “Masters at Work” with a competitive flair. The turning competition will be held Sept. 7 - 8 in the courtyard of the museum in the heart of Beavers Bend State Park. Artists will arrive with a piece of wood, their lathe and tools and let their creativity take over as they turn the wood into a beautiful work of art.

“The Forest Heritage Center Museum has been working diligently towards increasing awareness of woodturning as an art form,” said Doug Zook, FHC museum director. “By implementing a competitive twist and showcasing the work of premier woodturners from across the region, we hope to bring the art form to an even greater level.”

After the intensive application process that drew clubs from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Tennessee and Missouri, representatives from five woodturning clubs have been chosen to compete including:

  • Richard Duval of Texoma Woodturners, Mead, Okla.
  • Donald Barfield of Ark-La-Tex Woodturners, New Boston, Texas
  • Marion McDaniel of Southeast Oklahoma Woodturners, Dallas
  • Wayne Furr of Central Oklahoma Woodturners, Norman, Okla.
  • Hayes Copeland of River Valley Woodturners, Sallisaw, Okla.

Competitors will participate in three different “turn-offs” for $3,500 in cash prizes starting with the “Turner’s Choice” Competition on Friday. On Saturday from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., turners will compete in the “Open Bowl” Challenge and a “Closed Vessel” Challenge from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

“Wood shavings will fly as the competitors create their masterpieces right before the audience,” said Zook. “This is an excellent opportunity for the public to gain first-hand knowledge about woodturning as some of the region’s most talented artists share their own turning techniques and tricks of the trade.”

In addition to the main competition, mini competitions featuring other club members will take place at 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. These provide an opportunity for guests to witness a diverse array of woodturning talents.

All this will take place as gallery visitors have the opportunity to interact with the artists as they compete. When the bell tolls, signaling the competition is over, judges will evaluate the techniques, artistry and craftsmanship to award the prestigious blue ribbon to the winning artists on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m. during the opening reception. The turnings created during the competition will be added to the Forest Heritage Center’s permanent wood art collection and be on display until Oct. 14 in the Wood Art Gallery.

“As the ‘Wood Art Capital of Oklahoma’, the Forest Heritage Center Museum makes a perfect venue for this type of art experience," stated Zook. “The woodturning competition also coincides with an art retreat and outdoor painting workshop, Capturing Nature's Beauty, giving visitors and participants the chance to watch some serious lathe wrangling in between brush strokes.”

Gallery hours are Wednesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. For more information visit: www.forestry.ok.gov/masters-at-work-woodturning-competition or call (580) 494-6497.

This exhibit is made possible in part by Oklahoma Forestry Services, Oklahoma Arts Council, Idabel Regional Arts Council and the Forest Heritage Center Advisory Board and staff.