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Local artist recognized in nation-wide COVID-19 art contest

Allen Hendrickson was chosen as runner up for his intarsia wood art honoring medical personnel during COVID-19 Pandemic

Pictured is the intarsia wood art created by Allen Hendrickson which he plans to donate to the Clarke County Hospital.
Pictured is the intarsia wood art created by Allen Hendrickson which he plans to donate to the Clarke County Hospital.

When a call for artists was put out by American Craft Week Allen Hendrickson decided to enter the intarsia wood art that he created to donate to Clarke County Hospital.

The piece will be donated when it is safer for groups to gather and Hendrickson can present his artwork to hospital faculty and staff.

“This has been something that affects everyone in the hospital really so I thought this would be a nice thing to do for them and dedicate it to everybody at the hospital,” said Hendrickson.

While he waited to donate his art he ended up winning runner up to the grand prize winner in the American Craft Week’s annual artists’ contest; this year’s theme was Art Therapy in the Time of COVID-19.

The National ACW Committee looked for impressive craftsmanship and design excellence in the pieces, quality photographs, and an artist’s statement that solidly related their work to the COVID-19 theme.

Having been chosen as a winner in the ACW art contest, Hendrickson’s piece will also be submitted to Handmade Business Magazine.

“I saw a clip art image of that and thought ‘man, that’d be cool to do in wood’,” said Hendrickson. “I just lessened up the background to bring the focus onto the healthcare worker.”

Hendrickson created this piece in about a week. Crafting each feather in the wings individually. He usually doesn’t stain the wood in his intarsia pieces but he knew that to get the full message across the healthcare worker in his piece need to stand out in the blue scrubs.

Hendrickson gets his supplies from the Woodsmith Store in Des Moines. They have had to restrict their business just like most others but they did stay open by providing curb side orders.

“I had a fellow woodworker that makes furniture and he gave me a bunch of his scraps so I’ve had plenty of wood to work with,” said Hendrickson.

Hendrickson has continued to take small order requests for intarsia pieces but has had more time lately to focus on all the details for some of his larger pieces.

“It didn’t cost anything to enter so I thought ‘what the heck, I’ll go ahead and enter’ since it was a COVID piece,” said Hendrickson.

Hendrickson’s on a whim entrance into the contest worked in his favor. He now has national recognition for his art. He had an offer from a New York hospital to purchase a copy of the piece, which he declined.

“I want this to be a one of a kind,” said Hendrickson.

The piece is 29 inches tall and 31 inches wide. Six different kinds of wood were used to make this piece. The wings and clouds on the globe are Aspen, the stained wood on the healthcare worker is Red Oak, Birch, Cherry, a black wood Wedge and an Asian wood Chechen.

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