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Sunnylands
Art Experience: Woodblock Carving
Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 10:00AM

Sunnylands Center & Gardens
37977 Bob Hope Drive
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Between Gerald Ford Drive and Frank Sinatra Drive


This is a two-day workshop occurring 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. on both February 22 & 23. Participants must attend both days for full experience. Inspired by the new exhibition Reach for the Sky: Tradition + Inspiration, this workshop will introduce participants to the artistic traditions of the peoples of the Northwest Coast. From totem poles to boxes, masks, sculptures and utensils, tribes have distinct cultural traditions and stylistic differences, but some artistic conventions are shared. In this two-day workshop, participants will have the opportunity to learn about the elements of Northwest Coast artistic traditions and create an original carving inspired by these traditions. Day 1: Artist David Svenson will share his experience as a woodcarver working with native Northwest Coast artists and shed light on some of their shared design principles. He will provide a demonstration of some of the tools and types of wood that are traditionally used by carvers. He will then guide participants in creating their own formline animal design on paper. Day 2: Participants will learn the basics of woodblock carving and will print the design they created in the previous session. All materials will be provided. Instructor: Sculptor David Svenson works across a broad range of media from neon, glass blowing and casting. Beginning in his teenage years, he had the opportunity to work at Alaska Indian Arts, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of traditional native craft and culture. Throughout the years, he continued working in Alaska and established a relationship with the Tlingit community. The son of renowned sculptor John Edward Svenson, David had a talent for carving and was invited to participate in totem carving projects by the Tlingit artists. Over the years, he has participated on many team totemic projects throughout the world ranging from 12’ to over 100’ in length and countless individual works. He is not Tlingit by blood and only carves in the totemic tradition when asked, out of respect for the culture. Learning, teaching, sharing skills and knowledge about glass, neon, art and Pacific Rim cultures are important aspects of his life today. David has taught classes at the Academy of Art University, SF, Pilchuck Glass School, WA, Corning Museum of Glass, NY, Urban Glass, NY, and has given workshops internationally. He is an active board member of the Museum of Neon Art and works periodically with a team of Alaska Native totem carvers on large commissions.