Kishwaukee Valley Art League meeting to feature wood project demonstration

How much wood could a woodchuck carve if a woodchuck could carve wood?

That question might be answered by wood carver Bill Mitchell at the general meeting of the Kishwaukee Valley Art League on May 6. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at Gallery On State, 322 W. State St. in Sycamore. The public is invited to attend the meeting and COVID-19 restrictions will be followed.

Mitchell, whose colorful work was recently displayed in the front window of Gallery On State, will demonstrate his wood projects at the meeting.

“Wood is more easily shaped than stone and more quickly also,” Mitchell said in a news release. “I will generally use these four tools: chain saw, band saw, sonic vibration cutter, and rotary tools.”

In his demonstration, Mitchell will use found wood such as logs, lumber and cut offs from contractor work. Mitchell says that logs are his favorite because raw wood always has surprises such as knots, grain waves, and colors inside.

“I don’t start with a sketch or drawing, but rather, I let the wood suggest to me the possibilities,” he said in the release. Additions of paint in primary industrial colors puts the finishing touch to his wood projects.

Mary Von Zellen is the current KVAL artist of the month and her work is on display in the front window of Gallery On State. In her art, Von Zellen likes to try many different mediums and experiment with them.

KVAL will participate in the Give DeKalb County fundraising event on May 6. This 24-hour event helps build the community, encourage philanthropy, connect donors to organizations and raise awareness of how nonprofits are serving DeKalb County. Donations to KVAL will help expand gallery programs. Funds will help bring new talent to lead gallery classes and demonstrations. Mail-in donations will be accepted from April 22 to May 6. With the donations from this event, KVAL’s Art of Giving program rewards outstanding art students with monetary gifts, helps the league donate art supplies to local charities, and host children’s art activities.

The third art class offered by Gallery On State will be a paint pouring class held from 9 to 11 a.m. May 8. The class will be taught by KVAL member Pam Bradford. Cost for the class is $45 and registration forms can be picked up at the gallery.

The next art rotation for Gallery on State will be on May 3 and 4. The current art on exhibit will be taken down and new art work will be hung. The new exhibit will be available for viewing on May 5.

KVAL board members have been actively planning the 50th annual Northern Illinois Art Show, scheduled for June 5 and 6. The league is awaiting approval and permits from the City of Sycamore to hold the event which was canceled last year due to COVID-19. Board members hope to proceed with this year’s show as it is a favorite community event which both vendors and guests look forward to attending.

Artwork by Mary Von Zellen, featured artist of the month, can be seen at Gallery on State, 322 W. State St. in Sycamore.