Wood art show raises funds for woodworking veterans

Event will be held Saturday and Sunday at Hawkeye Downs

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Discover the Art in Intarsia, a wood art show to raise money for the establishment of a woodworking shop for veterans, will be held Saturday and Sunday at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids.

“Our mission is to build clubs for intarsia carvers around the United States,” said Joannie West of Cedar Rapids, president and co-founder with her husband, Jim, of the National Intarsia Carvers Association. “These clubs would then, in turn, build woodworking shops for veterans in their areas.”

The show runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 per day or $7 for both days.

In addition to demonstrations and displays, the show features a seminar by Judy Gale Roberts, a nationally known award-winning artist from Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The seminar is $55, which includes a materials packet, and must be reserved ahead of time by calling (319) 551-3126.

Intarsia (in tar’ see a), West says, is a style of relief wood carving where the artist incorporates grains, colors and textures of wood into the finished piece that is assembled like a puzzle. The pictures are created without using paints or stains.

West founded the organization last summer after being inspired a year earlier during a show in Dubuque. At that time she learned that the Freedom Center in Dubuque had created a woodworking shop for veterans that even drew them from the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital in Iowa City.

“They have found that woodworking has significant therapeutic benefits for veterans, particularly those with post-traumatic stress disorder,” West said. “We believe that making something with your hands is a highly satisfying activity which increases quality of life.”

For more information, see www.intarsiaassociation.com or contact West by email at DiscoverTheArtInIntarsia@yahoo.com or by phone at (319) 551-3126.

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