Home Local News Harry Whitehorse International Wood Sculpture Festival announces 12 artists-in-residence for inaugural sculpting...

Harry Whitehorse International Wood Sculpture Festival announces 12 artists-in-residence for inaugural sculpting event

Harry Whitehorse (Photo supplied.)

The Harry Whitehorse International Wood Sculpture Festival has announced the 12 artists that will honor the legacy of the late Harry Whitehorse for the inaugural international wood sculpture festival at San Damiano Monona from June 14-22.

This unique event, the first invitational international festival dedicated to an indigenous person, brings together world-renowned sculptors for a weeklong artist-in-residence, immersing the community in the rich tradition of contemporary and traditional wood sculpting.

“We are thrilled to launch this groundbreaking festival, which commemorates the artistic legacy of my mentor Harry Whitehorse and celebrates the diverse traditions and innovations within the artistry of wood sculpting,” said Gene Delcourt, sculptor and founder of the Harry Whitehorse International Wood Sculpture Festival, in a press release. “Through this immersive experience, we aim to foster dialogue, inspire creativity and forge lasting connections across borders and cultures through our works of art.” 

The Harry Whitehorse International Wood Sculpture Festival pays homage to Whitehorse, showcasing the artistry of wood sculpting through a weeklong artist-in-residence program. With participation from 12 world-renowned sculptors, the festival draws inspiration from international sculpture symposiums and aims to cultivate connections between diverse local communities, Indigenous artists and global talents.

The 12 artists-in-residence will include:
  • Carlos Olivera Aguirre (Cusco, Peru) made his first exhibition of miniatures in plasticine at the age of 10 and has since made 21 individual exhibitions and participated in multiple collective projects, including a monumental sculpture in the city of Lima, a sculpture on the campus of the Andina del Cusco University and a steel and bronze sculpture installed on the Barranco boardwalk.

    Carlos Olivera Aguirre
    (Photo supplied.)
  • Eugene Alfred (Pelly Crossing, Yukon Territory, Canada) is a carver of Northern Tutchone and Tlingit ancestry and belongs to the Crow Clan of Selkirk, First Nation. Through his unique style and expertise, Eugene works in the Tlingit style and uses Northern Tutchone stories carved in realistic imagery, including masks, bowls, rattles and sculpture panels, in birch, alder and cedar wood.
  • Mert Kaan Burnaz (Eskisehir, Turkey) is a versatile artist and educator. Graduating from Anadolu Fine Arts High School and Anadolu University, he holds expertise in painting, sculpture, and pedagogy. With a mastery of various traditional and digital mediums, he continually evolves his design-thinking skills, currently focusing on translating his craft into the realm of 3D digital modeling.
  • Gene Delcourt (Madison, Wisconsin) is a wood sculptor, who during his MFA studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison sought the guidance of Ho-Chunk artist Harry Whitehorse to further his education. During this time, Harry convinced Gene to attend wood carving symposiums abroad – leading Gene to participate in six European events. Honoring his mentor, Gene is a founder of the Harry Whitehorse International Wood Sculpture Festival.
  • Annegret Kalvelage (Gernsbach, Germany) is a freelance sculptor working with wood, stone and ceramics. She holds a master’s degree in art history and is a member of the District Association of Visual Artists. Annegret has extensive experience participating in international exhibitions and symposiums, as well as creating works for public spaces.
  • Simone Carole Levy (Herrliberg, Switzerland) has used sculpting since her childhood to express herself and values and believes sculpting is an instrument of self-discovery. Her work has won numerous awards for art in public venues and has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Europe, Canada, South America and the United States.
  • Linda Lou Metoxen (Montello, Wisconsin) grew up on the Diné Reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Linda’s artwork reflects on objects and beings, such as animals or deities, that are connected to her Native American upbringing.

    Gadadhar Ojha
    (Photo supplied.)
  • Gadadhar Ojha (Orissa, India) is an artist-driven by introspection and cultural observation. His creations mirror the boundless flow of thought and are inspired by his spirituality. Gadadhar’s sculptures embody the essence of enlightenment, symbolized by the opening eye – a testament to awakening and the evolution of consciousness.
  • Oldrich Pliska (Halenkovice, Czech Republic) started wood sculpting in 2020 during the COVID-19 quarantine, giving him time to practice and hone his skills in the art form. In 2021, Oldrich left his job to pursue wood carving full-time.
  • Lidia Rosińska (Zakopane, Poland) is a sculptor known for her profound artistic journey. Graduating from the Antoni Kenar State High School of Fine Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, she obtained her MA degree in 1994. With 17 solo exhibitions and nearly 49 collective showcases, her work spans across diverse mediums and landscapes, including participation in 60 international sculpture symposiums worldwide.
  • Thorsten Schütt (Horsten, Germany) creates through constant communication with his material. His goal is to bring sensations to his sculptures to create “space tension” that viewers can both see and feel through wood, stone, iron, ice and other materials.
  • Ihor Tkachivsky (Komariv, Ukraine) is well-versed in sculpture, graphic design and painting, as well as easel and monumental sculpture works that create installations in bronze, wood, stone, metal, snow and ice. His work is filled with philosophical content that provides a look into the future.
For more information about the Harry Whitehorse International Wood Sculpture Festival and featured artists, visit www.harrywhitehorse.com/festival.