Woodworking At The Lee Dam Center For Fine Art

The July exhibit at Marysville’s Lee Dam Center for Fine Art offers visitors the opportunity to see how local and guest wood workers have used this familiar organic product to create objects both utilitarian and beautiful. Many pieces are for sale, with a 10% commission dedicated to furthering MCAC and the Center.

Turned bowls are exhibited by both Victor Schwarz of Marysville, Tim Pedigo of Hanover, and Jonah Feldshausen of Topeka. Each artist’s work is distinctive for its inclusion of multiple woods and its turnings.

Schwarz, a retired minister and frequent contributor to the Advocate’s Opinion page, has placed some forty pieces on display. Woods include Ipe, Purple Heart, Walnut, Ash, Oak, Osage, Pine, and even plywood, combined and turned to create intricate bowls and vases. Schwarz has been working in wood since childhood. Since retirement from the ministry Schwarz has shown and sold his work at numerous craft fairs, assisted by his wife Dolores until recently.

Pedigo is a transplant to Kansas from Pennsylvania and has been working with wood since he was twelve. Working with any wood and any project in which wood is a key element is his passion, but crafting beautifully pieced bowls is his specialty. A salad set is displayed in this show and is for sale.

Feldhausen credits his grandfather Ring for his love of woodworking and woodturning. His studio is located in Topeka but his ties clearly are with Marysville and its community. Feldhausen now jokes about his school shop teacher’s comment: “Jonah, you’d better learn computers ‘cause you’re not good working with your hands.”

Toys and furniture are provided by Jim and Mary Nordhus, both native to Marshall County. Married fifty-three years, the Nordhus couple worked on projects with their children, teaching them the craft. Jim does the construction, and Mary the finishing.

Kent Obermeyer became interested in furniture and woodworking projects when he was in high school. Several of his pieces date from over a half-century ago and were made – and still used – in the Obermeyer home. A pillar of the Evangelical United Church of Christ, Obermeyer is well-known in the Community for his love and sponsorship of local history. A special collection of family woodworking tools also graces the Obermeyer exhibit.

Bob Scott, Marysville Municipal Judge, took up fine furniture making since moving here eight years ago. Two of his pieces include a chest of tray tables and an entertainment storage closet. He especially enjoys oriental design. A redesigned adjustable rocker also is included.

Sculptress Erna Beach currently is president of the Association of Nebraska Art Clubs. A multi-talented artist, Beach is a master silversmith and painter who began carving after the death of her husband 17 years ago. One of Beach’s pieces recently was selected to be part of the ANAC traveling exhibit.

Loren Wassenberg of Blue Rapids inherited a passion for woodworking from his father, a passion that has been passed down to his three daughters. A number of pieces the family has executed are on display.

This interesting and unusual exhibit, on display through the month of July at the Lee Dam Center for Fine Art, has been organized with the help of MCAC Board member Mary Klein. A special reception will be held Sunday afternoon, July 19th. Several of the woodworkers will be demonstrating turning and high-speed carving during the reception from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. giving visitors the opportunity to meet the artists and watch them at work. Gallery hours at the Center are: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Saturdays, and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Sundays.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communication. After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations. In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 70 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing.