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President's Message

President's Message November-December 2019

From the President.... 

Dear Sculptors,

We are now in the “tween” period for the organization. By the time you get this the holidays will be upon us and our post-holiday party will be approaching.  

Before I had a studio roof over my head, the carving season was over, called on account of rain and cold. Now I can keep at it all year, but I miss my stone buddies. Community is what makes this organization such an amazing group. Carl Nelson was in Eugene and he got lucky enough to coincide with a potluck with a bunch of our crew there. Up in the Seattle area we had a get-together at Dan Colvin’s studio to talk about using the natural rind of the stone to enhance the sculpture’s design. In early December we’ll have a get-together at my studio to talk about textures. Sure, I want to hear the cool stuff that others have done with texture, but I also relish the chance to be with my community. 

The energy we all feel at the symposia seems to reside in each of us, every day. 

If you have an idea for a fun get-together when the symposiums are not in session, drop me a line. 

Carve well, have fun, and wear a good respirator,

Ken Barnes

--- Ken

President's Message September-October 2019

From the President.... 

I’m sitting with the afterglow of wonderful events at both Pilgrim Firs and Suttle Lake. We had excellent participation, good guest artists, and our typical strongly supportive community. I take it for granted that everyone will be friendly, open, helpful and enjoyable. But then I remind myself that we have a unique community at NWSSA.

I recently dug out an older t-shirt from a prior symposium with the Stone Cycle emblazoned on the back. Igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. After this many years of carving I’ve come realize I have been moving through a Stoner Cycle. Ignorance, then metamorphosis as I matured in my art, now moving into senescence. May your stone cycle be blessed.
Ken Barnes

--- Ken

President's Message July-August 2019

From the President.... 

President’s Message

NWSSA and Pacific Northwest Sculptors will be sponsoring “Making Space", a joint sculpture show exhibit during the International Sculpture Center’s Portland conference this coming October 12-15.  Look for the call and consider submitting a piece for the show and attending the conference to see what’s going on in their world of sculpture. Check out

I have served on the board for eight years and as president for six years.  It is time for me to take a break and carve more.  I’m not going away, and I plan on continuing involvement with the web site, workshops, and other needs of the association. I’m a bit disappointed that I will not get to work with all of the new board members who are running (and will likely be elected by the time you read this.) They will be a strong addition to the board.

Words matter, and as a member of the NWSSA community, there are words that have grown for me in meaning, importance, and value over the years and have contributed greatly to my understanding, appreciation, and creation of sculpture.  When you say, “Think of sculpture,” you will consider its material and place, then likely its characteristics such as surface, edge, texture, color. Maybe you will move on to its physicality, such as mass or center of gravity, or beyond that to volume and space or something less solid like movement or light. All these words exist in our context of past experience and memory. The sharing and openness of the NWSSA community helps give substance to these words. Thank you for being a part of this sculpture community. 

Carve Proud, Learn Much, and Share with Many...
... Carl