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World-renowned woodcarver joins Peoria Art Guild teaching staff

Art Guild working on exciting woodcarving classes!
Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 3:29 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News) - The Peoria Art Guild has welcomed an addition to their teaching staff, world-famous woodcarver, Jim Arnold.

Arnold began carving chess sets over a decade ago and ever since he says he has been busy seven days a week.

He teaches relief and 3-D woodcarving at The Guild and he believes his classes are for anyone, regardless of skill level.

“What they don’t have to know is how to carve I’ll take complete novices and take them as far as they want to go including selling their work professionally online and doing art shows as they do here at the guild as well.” Said Arnold.

Up to eight students are in each class and they start at $125 for the first class. The price covers a carving set and the wood needed for the class. Subsequent classes are $100. The small class size, Jim Arnold tells us, is to make sure he has a chance to be one-on-one with each student.

The Peoria Art Guild is working on an exciting addition to their classes that Jim Arnold will also teach, chainsaw carving.

“We’re kind of just in the planning stages for that but there is a lot of excitement here at the Peoria art guild for it it’s something new unlike anything that we’ve done and unlike anything that a lot of places have ever done.” Said Nikki Wheeler, Director of Education at the Peoria Art Guild.

Arnold recently made the transition from making chess sets to doing chainsaw carving, believing the noise and motion of creating is easier on him than sitting at a workbench.

Many look at the chainsaw as a very destructive tool and using it to create is not lost on him. “It is destructive, the chainsaw, so like guys that have had years of experience with chainsaws. When I say: ‘Have you ever carved with them’ they like give me an evil eye kind of like what are you talking about? And then I’ll explain like now you can do stuff with your chainsaw besides just cut logs in half and they love it.” Said Arnold.

The Peoria Art Guild is still working on developing the chainsaw carving classes and will announce when they are ready for enrollment. Jim Arnold enjoys working with the Guild because of how much support they offer to members.

“We like to support our artists in a lot of different ways we welcome them to come work here as instructors and teach their skills to the community.” Said Nikki Wheeler.

The Peoria Art Guild will host the Fine Art Fair in late September, this year is the 60th Art Fair, and will feature artists from across the Country.

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