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Chad Haspels and Donna Merchant-Crooks at Art in the Garden 2011

Three dimensional artists Chad Haspels and Donna Merchant-Crooks will participate again at the fourth Art in the Garden Festival.

Art in the Garden will be held on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 3 to 7 p.m., in Chris Mountain Ranches.

Chad Haspels is a talented sculptor of wood. His beautiful pieces can be seen at the front of the Pagosa Mountain Hospital, and he is well known for his wooden animal sculptures.

Chad grew up in Cortez, Colo., and received his fine arts training at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont. His work is inspired by the classical sculptors from his art history background, and he was able to spend time in Ghana study carving under a master woodcarver.

Chad’s subjects are driven by nature. He hand selects fallen juniper, ponderosa pine or Douglas fir. The energy he senses in a piece of wood directs his inspiration. He participates in art festivals in Colorado, and his carvings are commissioned by private collectors. Chad will be demonstrating his technique at Art in the Garden.

Donna Merchant-Crooks has been on an artistic journey from painting to woodcarving to bronze sculpture. She feels anything is possible as long as it is broken down and done in step-by-step increments.

Donna grew up in a large family in the country, outside of Shelly, Idaho. She took art classes in high school, but is more self-taught than formally trained. She worked as an art therapist and drug and alcohol counselor in Idaho, worked as a carpenter when she came to Pagosa Springs, and later owned a small construction company.

Working with wood inspired her to try carving. She began with doors and now also does desktops, mantels, wall hangings and chairs. Donna also sculpts in bronze. She enjoys the challenge of stretching her ability to reach her full potential. She will also be demonstrating at Art in the Garden.

Tickets for Art in the Garden will go on sale in July for $40 each.

Art in the Garden is a fund-raising event that features fine art, gourmet food and live music.

The proceeds from the event support the Community Assistance Fund, which helps those in need in Archuleta County.

The theme this year is “Memories of the Old West,” and a house tour is included.

For more information go to the website: www.pagosaartinthegarden.com.

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