Jeff Bower is a third generation woodworker. He has been around tools his entire life because his father and grandfather owned a construction business.
One of the first Christmas presents Bower remembers was pile of wood, a hammer, and some nails he received from his grandpa. “After that I was hooked,” Bower said.
Bower will exhibit his wood art at the Lee Dam Center for Fine Art, Marysville, throughout the month of June.
The exhibit, “After The Tree,” opens with a reception to meet the artist Thursday, June 7, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. The exhibit closes Saturday, June 30.
The art center is open Thursdays from 4-6 p.m.; Saturdays from 10-4 p.m.; Sundays from 1-4 p.m.
Bower will display bowls, vases, and wooden sculptures, some of which are turned and some of which are carved. He will also have prints made from the end grain of logs.
Bower enjoys all forms of woodworking, but he finds woodturning and wood art more appealing.
“When making a table, cabinet or shelf, there is a lot of planning, preparing wood, assembly, and finishing,” he said. “I like doing that, but my attention span is pretty small. Woodturning is different because you can take a log, chainsaw it in half, mount it on the lathe, turn it, and have a finished project in a few hours. I do most of my work in the evenings or weekend mornings so that works perfect within my time constraints.”
Bower gets inspiration for his art through the natural shape of the wood or the grain of the wood. He gets inspiration from other artists, too; not just those that work with wood, but those that work with metal art, ceramics, and painting.
Although Bower says wood art is a hobby, it also keeps his mind off everything else going on in his life and the world. “In other words,” he said, “it keeps me sane and my family appreciates that.”
Bower grew up in Marysville; he is the son of Wayne and Mary Ann Bower.
“The neighborhood I grew up in was packed full of kids,” he said. “If it was nice out, we would be out until it was dark or our parents called us home.”
Bower graduated from Marysville High School in 1990. After graduation he went to Hutchinson Community College where he played golf for two years. He then moved to Lawrence and attended the University of Kansas. He currently live in Des Moines, Iowa with his wife, Paige, and daughter, Sophia.
“Coming home to Marysville is always something I look forward to,” Bower said. “Although I don’t have any immediate family that lives there anymore, it will always be home to me.”
The exhibition is sponsored by the Marshall County Arts Cooperative. For more information visit the arts cooperative’s website marshallcountyarts.org.