By Jaime Studd/Recorder Staff
Wood carvers from throughout the Capital Region gathered at the Horace J. Inman Senior Center Saturday afternoon for the annual Mohawk Valley Art and Wood Carving Association Wood Carving Exhibit and Show.
Nearly two dozen artisans brought with them hundreds of intricately carved and finely crafted pieces for both display and sale.
Proceeds from the event will go to benefit both the association and the center.
“It’s a yearly affair,” said wood carving association member and show chairman Carl Borst. “It’s probably one of the best kept secrets around.”
“It’s one of the best shows in the whole Northeast,” Borst added.
Inman Senior Center Director Jeannette Stevens-Daury said the group has been an integral part of the center since its founding, holding its weekly wood carving sessions there, as well as monthly meetings of its membership.
“They’ve been a part of this center for many years now,” said Steven’s Daury. “This is one of our big fundraisers for the year.”
“They do this annually,” she added. “It’s amazing work.”
Association member Mike Bloomquist makes the trip from his home in Rome nearly every other month to attend the meetings.
He said he first became met members of the association at a show held at Fulton-Montgomery Community College in 1994.
“I was just starting out,” said Bloomquist. “It never occurred to me to be in the group.”
Bloomquist said he was so impressed by the talent of the group’s members, that he eventually found himself wanting to become part of it.
“I’ve been to other wood carving shows, but this one had more variety than anything I’d seen,” Bloomquist said.
Bloomquist said he very quickly became inspired to immerse himself further into the hobby.
“It was starting anyway, but it started to get to an addictive level after that show,” said Bloomquist. “It wasn’t enough to carve anymore, I had to become a member.”
“It’s a great club,” he added.
The group meets at the Inman Center every Thursday to ply their trade and learn from each other’s experiences. New members are always welcome.
Saturday’s event also featured a live auction where attendees could bid on pieces donated by the carvers, the proceeds from which will help fund the club’s activities.
The event also featured food, beverages, baked goods and raffles, the sale of which helped to raise funds for the center itself.