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Art by local woodworkers on display at Howard Young

October 08, 2019 by Delaney FitzPatrick

Howard Young Medical Center recently installed several brand new display cases next to its gift shop as a showcase for local artists. The first exhibition was put in last week and features woodwork from the Musky Area Woodcarvers (MAW) and Northwood Turners. The pieces will be on display until Dec. 31.

Musky Area Woodcarvers

Items from the Woodcarvers are for show and for sale, offering a wide variety of genres including relief carving, wood burning, and chip carving. Prices range from $50 for antique golf club head carvings up to $1,800 for Jim Vinci’s “Fighting Rams” sculpture. Carvings from Frank Klamik, Harry Redmond, Ed Hunter and more are also for sale. 

Though there are a number of caricature and relief pieces on display, many items are naturalistic sculptures of wildlife, including turtles, birds and fish. Group member Dan Sullivan spoke highly about the talent of his fellow carvers, saying, 

“Some of these woodcarvers are just incredibly good naturalists,” he said. “I mean they’ll tell you how many strands into a tail feather; they’ll tell you the diameter of a certain bird’s eye.”

The Musky Area Woodcarvers have been in the area for over two decades, boasting around 40 active members. The group meets from 9 to 11:30 a.m. every Thursday, excluding Thanksgiving, at the Arbor Vitae Community center to discuss and practice woodcarving. 

“What’s kind of nice is that it’s a very informal group. We don’t have dues, we don’t have formal meetings, but people bring their projects each Thursday morning,” Sullivan said. 

The group is open to anyone interested in joining, regardless of experience.

The goal of MAW is to build a community around woodcarving and keep the tradition alive 

“Everybody has kind of a different style of carving, so they share ideas, some guys bring in books, patterns,” Sullivan said. “They share that kind of stuff.”

In addition to sharing tricks of the trade at weekly meetings, MAW hosts an annual, four-day workshop in Boulder Junction each August. This year, the workshop offered 11 classes taught by skilled instructors on various techniques.

For more information, simply stop by a MAW meeting, or check out http://


Northwood Turners

The second local group featured in the Howard Young exhibit is the Northwood Turners. Whereas wood carvers use knives and other tools to shape the wood, wood turning involves a lathe. This group has been in the area for over a decade and currently holds about 20 active members from Wausau up to the Upper Peninsula. 

All 65 items from the Northwood Turners on display are for sale. Prices range from $15 for a functional seam ripper to $250 for a decorative birch burl bowl. Featured turners include Bill Kingsbury, Randy Johnson, and Don Wiese, among others.

Like MAW, Northwood Turners is open to people of all skill levels, from novice to experienced. 

“Anybody that’s interested in wood turning, whether they’ve turned or not, we can help them or get them back to turning if they haven’t turned for a while,” said Dennis McGill, who currently has several pieces of his own on display at the hospital.

The Northwood Turners meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month at group member Breck Inman’s shop in Hazelhurst. 

For more information, contact McGill at [email protected]

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