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Chainsaw carvers to demonstrate artistic skills

Master chainsaw artists will have quick carve demonstrations Friday and Saturday. Finished carvings will be auctioned to the highest bidder. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)1 / 6
Blair Smith2 / 6
Chris Kuehn3 / 6
Lisa Foster4 / 6
Paul Albright5 / 6
Perry Carlson6 / 6

Chainsaw carvers will create north woods masterpieces during several demonstrations at Legends and Logging Days Aug. 10-11.

Chainsaw masterpiece carvings will be done from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. "Quick carves" will be demonstrated from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3:30 to 5 p.m. Friday.

Carvers will finish their chainsaw masterpieces from 7 to 9 a.m. Saturday morning. Chainsaw bench quick carves will be demonstrated from 9:30-11 a.m. Saturday.

All finished carvings will be auctioned off to the highest bidders Saturday, starting at noon.

Here are some brief bios of carvers who will be in Park Rapids for this weekend's events.

Chris Kuehn

Chris Kuehn, of Hackensack, has spent his life immersed in the world of art. Schooled as an illustrator his published wildlife paintings show his love of the outdoors. A fulltime artist since the age of 10, it's only been five years that Chris Kuehn has used a chainsaw to create art. Applying a lifetime of experience to his carving, especially painting, Kuehn has created his own unique niche in the carving world.

Chris is an incredibly talented and masterful painter. New to chainsaw, he is an artistic force to be reckoned with.

He believes that this life of experience in many mediums and styles made his transition into chainsaw art an easy one.

Blair Smith

Blair Smith lives on a farm in northwest Iowa. His wife, Robin, has been a large part of his carving career. He has been carving for about nine years and got stated by watching AJ Luter carve at the county fair for several years.

He carves at some of the biggest fairs, town celebrations and arts events in the parts in the upper Midwest. He also interacts with the crowd and is more than happy to talk to kids and try to put some good advice out there to them.

Lisa Foster

Lisa Foster, of Walker, has been interested in sculpting, painting, any form of art since a child. Eleven years ago she was admiring a wood sculpted bench and wanted to make one herself. To her surprise it was made with a chainsaw. She spoke with the artist and he gave me a few lessons. She has not put the saw down since.

She is a member of the Chainsaw Chix, an all female international team that competes and makes performance art at a high rate of speed. They like to call it "Fullthrottle."

Perry Carlson

Perry Carlson has been traveling the country carving art in wood, using Stihl chainsaws since 1987. He traveled to Italy in 2005 to study stone sculpting, carving in marble. He is an award winning ice carver as well.

Paul Albright

Paul Albright, of Akeley, is a master woodcarver. Paul's methodical approach to sculpting is truly inspiring. His complex compositions and extreme textures make for some of the premier wood sculptures in the world! Known for his great detail and spot on proportion, Paul's works sell in the many thousands of dollars. Paul works out of his Akeley Studio and takes commission work year round.

Jim Hamilton

Jim Hamilton, of Hackensack, has been carving locally for a few years now. He is involved in many local carving events and has a unique carving style. Inspired by his northern surrounding's, he thought chainsaw carving was something he'd like to try. Now eight years later, Jim likes to keep his carving a "hobby" so that the "fun" stays the driving factor in his work.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561