With Abiding Reverence for Wood

About The Artist

Jerry Ward
Jerry Ward – Artist/Sculptor


In an effort that spans almost 50 years, I have worked to present my inspirations and fantasies through a variety of mediums.  Throughout this period wood has been the media of choice for the majority of my work.   Most of these pieces have been accomplished through the subtractive method carving pieces from an inch in height up to 14ft.  The vast majority of these have been free-standing sculptures.  More recently I have downsized due to physical limitations and begun to work in less physical elements that do not require the strength of a lumberjack to accomplish. This included downsizing my studio as well.   This current direction in my work has thrust me into the exploration of the graphic image using digital media as my vehicle to that end.  This will actually be a return of sorts to the roots of my art study in my first classes in art education at Central Michigan University where I obtained my degree.  After teaching  Secondary schools for seven years, I decided that teaching was not my forte and I began to produce artwork in quantities that would allow me to break away from that occupation and become a full-time artist.  The quest to become the best that I can be at what I do continues to challenge me and instill within me an edge to life that absorbs me to the point of near obsession.  Though pleased with the results of each sculpture I complete, I can’t help but feel I could attain greater heights.  Excellence has always been and elusive goal, but therein is the inherent challenge and it remains as it always my driving force.  It’s what keeps me going, and it’s what keeps me coming back to each new creative adventure.

I began my journey as a professional artist when I made that decision in 1975 while still teaching High School.  At that time it was a decision based more in fantasy than reality.  I had no plan, just determination.   I still had to provide an income to pay bills and it would be years before I would be able to be able to provide that with my artwork.  The struggle was long and hard and many nights after my day job were spent building on my skill and developing my aesthetic.   Much time was spent as well learning and studying art.  I collected books on the subjects I was interested in both technical and in theoretical.  In short picking up where college left off.

My work by purpose alternates between coarsely textured pieces to the very sleekly undulating forms seen on this site.  Both styles reflect  the “nature” that the tree represents from its own struggle to survive, as epitomized in the contrast of the coarseness of its bark to the beautiful swirling patterns exhibited by its growth rings when the wood is opened for carving. 

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