$400 untitled (birch tree book) mixed media
Tucked in the woods, at the northern end of the peninsula, is the studio of sculptor Steven Woodward. A native Minnesotan, Woodward has been working in Door County for the past five years. His variety of pieces – featuring many different mediums – fill his studio space and span more than 30 years worth of work.
Woodward's artwork has been shown all over the United States, a majority in his home state of Minnesota. His sculptures are most often created out of wood, but he also uses bark, flags, rag rugs and even dictionaries.
Woodward's passion for art began early in life. He knew he wanted to be an artist since junior high, but didn't realize he wanted to be a sculptor until college. "I went through printmaking, silk screening, pottery and everything else. I did them all very studiously," he said. Woodward graduated from college with a double art major.
After working on such small pieces in his 3,000-foot studio, he began creating larger pieces that filled the space in which he was working. In 1988, Woodward built a sculpture that not only used much more of his studio space but also merged the architecture of an A-frame house and the hull of a ship.
Woodward was among 18 other artists commissioned by the Walker Art Museum to create pieces for the opening of their Sculpture Garden. Installation of the piece, titled 'Another Conundrum' was on the roof of the museum until 1996.
One medium Woodward has been working with recently is the bark of trees found in the woods surrounding his studio and home. He has also been working on a smaller scale, creating "Inside Out" pieces where he turns the wood and bark of trees, mostly birch, inside out.
The birch he first collected came with mushrooms on it, so he replicated the mushrooms with pages from dictionaries. Woodward chose to use dictionaries, as opposed to other books because, "dictionaries are the epitome of what we do; we name things. It's our language, literally A to Z," he explained.