The Oglebay Woodcarvers Guild has been fostering the art of woodcarving for over four decades. This non-profit club, based out of the Oglebay Institute has a dual mission – to promote the art of woodcarving and to support the communities where their members reside. At the heart of their mission is the annual woodcarving show, now in its 44th year.
The guild will host its annual woodcarvers show at the Pine Room at Oglebay on Saturday, Sept. 2 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is free. The show brings together more than 40 woodcarvers from across the country, showcasing talent that spans all levels of expertise, from beginners to seasoned experts.
One of the most exciting aspects of this event is the opportunity for attendees to witness the art of woodcarving in action. Demonstrations will be held throughout the day, providing a unique glimpse into the various forms of wood carving.
Club president Clark Adams explains, “There will be a little bit of everything. There are several styles represented, everything from chip carving to deep relief and chainsaw carvings.” He goes on to describe the masterful work of one member, Walt Thompson, whose duck carvings are “so lifelike that you’d need to touch them just to be sure they’re not real.”
What sets the Oglebay Woodcarvers Guild apart is not just their dedication to their craft but their commitment to giving back to the community. The group raises funds for art scholarships at the Oglebay Institute and supports various charities through their fundraising efforts.
Proceeds from the club's wood ornament sale helps support art scholarships at the Oglebay Institute, along with other local charities.
There's something for everyone at the Oglebay Woodcarver's Annual Show.
The annual woodcarver's show draws a crowd of woodcarvers and art lovers.
Two of their prominent fundraisers include the annual wood carving show happening this weekend and and Christmas tree raffle. The latter, featuring a 7-foot tree adorned with approximately 200 hand-carved ornaments, is a testament to their craftsmanship. The proceeds from this raffle benefit the Stifle Fine Arts Center’s youth programs, while all other proceeds are channeled towards helping 11 area food pantries and donating subscriptions to Chip Chats Magazine to local libraries.
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But the woodcarving show isn’t the only attraction at Oglebay Park during Labor Day weekend. Visitors can also partake in the Fort Henry Days event at the Levenson Shelter on Sept. 2-3 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Don’t miss period-correct battle re-enactments, blacksmithing demonstrations, 18th-century music and dancing, and much more.
For those who want to enjoy live music outdoors, the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra will take to the stage at the Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater for Music Under the Stars at 7:30 p.m. This special performance will take you on a journey through beloved James Bond hits. The weekend will culminate with a fireworks display on Sunday at dusk – a fitting end to a weekend of art and entertainment.
So, mark your calendars for Sept. 2 and 3, and make your way to the Oglebay Woodcarvers Guild’s Annual Show. Whether you’re an aspiring woodcarver or simply a lover of art and community, this event promises to be a celebration of talent, tradition, and the spirit of giving. Learn more about the Oglebay Woodcarvers Guild by following them on Facebook or visiting their website, oglebaywoodcarvers.org.
• Alex Panas is the Program Manager for Wheeling Heritage, where she works with artists, small business owners, and community stakeholders to provide technical assistance and create meaningful programs that enhance Wheeling. She also serves as the managing editor for Weelunk. Alex lives in St. Clairsville with her husband where they raise four cats and four spunky backyard chickens.