Four states, one art

Submissions to the Great Northwest Wood Show and Sale close June 26



Woodwork on display at a past wood show at the Dahmen Barn.

GABRIELLE FELICIANO, Evergreen life editor

Woodworkers in Inland Washington have submitted their art to Artisans at the Dahmen Barn’s biannual wood shows for over a decade. This year, the Barn is opening submissions to not just woodworkers in Eastern Washington, but to woodworkers in Western Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

The first annual Great Northwest Wood Show and Sale will be from Aug. 6–Sept. 24 at the Barn in Uniontown. The Barn is accepting a variety of wood art, including furniture, sculptures, instruments, utensils, toys and more. The deadline to apply for the show is June 26.

“We want functional items, items that are just to look at, we want items that show new ideas. We wanna have people show items that can be used to teach people new techniques and skills and new approaches,” said Jim Christiansen, woodworker and show coordinator. “And I would say that we wanna be kind of a show that’s gonna just advance the public knowledge of the value of wood art because people have always separated the art from craft.”

Like the Barn’s other wood shows, the Great Northwest Wood Show and Sale is non-juried and open to both emerging and established woodworkers, said Julie Hartwig, show curator and Barn curator and manager. Some of the bigger shows in the region are hard to get into for woodworkers who have not displayed their art before, Hartwig said, so the Barn likes to give all woodworkers a chance to do so.

The Barn’s wood shows are some of their most successful and have gained a following since their first in 2009, Hartwig said. The Barn started hosting wood shows annually in 2020 and, starting this year, is extending them in length from one month to two after the success of their previous wood show.

Most of the woodworkers sell at least one or two works of art per show, said Ed Krumpe, woodworker and show coordinator. Some showgoers later commission the woodworkers.

“The purpose of this exhibit is to take the best work from people who are wanting to be serious woodworkers and give them a venue so people can see their work and purchase the work,” Christiansen said. “Exhibitions just help the field of woodworking expand and grow.”

Hartwig said that at the show, emerging woodworkers can get ideas and advice from other woodworkers.

About 20–30 woodworkers display work at the Barn’s shows, Krumpe said, some of whom are award-winning woodworkers like Christiansen, Kristin LeVier and Ben Carpenter. After years of shows featuring many of the same woodworkers, they asked if Hartwig could contact woodworkers outside of Inland Washington for this year’s show, eventually leading to the regional Great Northwest Wood Show and Sale, Hartwig said.

“We think that we’ll have … a greater variety of types of wood and styles by having people from other areas,” Krumpe said. “And I think because the whole show is wood, there are people that don’t consider themselves as leading artists, but they feel comfortable displaying with other wood artists or they’re encouraged by other wood artists to display.”

Woodworkers who are interested in applying for the show can email [email protected] for a prospectus and application.

There will also be an opening reception for the Great Northwest Wood Show and Sale from 1–3 p.m. Aug. 6 and a closing reception from 1–3 p.m. Sept. 24. Showgoers will have an opportunity to meet the woodworkers at the receptions and talk to them about their art, Hartwig said.

The Dahmen Barn’s hours are 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Thursdays–Sundays from April–December and 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Thursdays–Sundays from January–March.

“You may go somewhere and see one or two pieces that are attractive, but [at the Great Northwest Wood Show and Sale], there’ll be all kinds of things,” Krumpe said. “There’ll be a lot, and that makes it worth the trip. You’re not just coming to see some wooden vases or something, or bowls. You’re coming to see all kinds, collected in one place.”