Folk Artist and Wood Sculptor
Museum, Open Studio, and Sculpture Garden
Colorado Highway 160 and Road 38
7763 Road 38, Mancos, CO 81328
artist’s statement? "Lighten up and Loosen up"
Better known as Dave Sipe, or he's Dave Sipe and he doesn't give a damn, began his artistic endeavors in fecal wall murals between the ages of two and three. Having been discouraged to work in this medium by his Elders, he continued in other more conventional media, but always questioning authority and pushing the limits. Having this attitude, he inevitably became mostly self taught through some correspondence with the School of Hard Knocks. He does give some credit to his public school and especially parochial school art classes where the materials were plentiful and his work became prolific.
Wood, paper, and back to basics trees became favorite media to work in as they were organic, biodegradable, renewable, and sustainable. Initially tools of choice were hammer, chisel, hatchet, hand saws and grinders which were adequate for simple forms with little detail where painting the piece became the method of defining the piece. The first piece, the wooden Indian with an attitude was a good example. Completion of this piece was impressive but it was obvious that this method of sculpting was too slow.
While using a chain saw for cutting down a dead tree for another sculptor, the idea hit him to remove a few pounds of wood before loading the log onto the truck. The next thing he knew, he was sculpting with the chainsaw.
Then came love, marriage, the baby carriage and he put all those woodworking tools to use as a carpenter for a dozen years until he got his walking papers. From then on the life of a woodsculptor has been his sole source of income, no inheritance or trust funds.
Starting in Minnesota, he became a traveling show, using chainsaw plus power tools to become more prolific and profitable. The snowbird idea was appealing, so from summers in Mn. to winters in the south he made his travels. There were shows and fairs and competitions throughout the US from Florida state fair and the Keys to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
He took 2nd place in the Tupper Lake NY chainsaw sculpture competition in 1989. He won the World Championship chainsaw competition in Minnesota. Having placed in the top 10 sculptor at various competitions for almost a decade, he is now retired from competing to take on the bigger challenge in the Four Corners. Dave was recognized in the Minnesota Arts Council Folk Art Directory in the late 1980s. Also during that period he showed in the permanent sculpture garden at the Wolinsky Art Gallery.
Public works include:
"Paul Bunyan and His Pals" at Hunter Park in Ramsey, MN.
"The Great Giant Paul Bunyan" at the Mall of America in Minnepolis, MN. 1989
"The Umpire, You're Out" at Lehman Field Park, Widby Island, Washington. 1990
"Woodland Critter" at the City Park in Ridgeway, Colorado. 1997
"The Memorial" at Kotarski Kids World Park in Dolores, Colorado. 2001.
"He Played his Heart Out" is a regularly featured piece at the annual Mancos Fiddle Contest, Mancos, Colorado.
"The Harley Havilena", awarded by the Sonoran Land Trust to the president of the Harley Davidson Company is on display at the Harley Davidson Headquarters. 1999 “Ruins under the Rim” and “Eagles Coming Home to Roost” are owned and displayed at Southwest Memorial Hospital.
Presently Dave shows mostly at his own studio/gallery on the corner of Rt. 160 and County Rd 38 between Mesa Verde and Mancos, Colorado. There he has whimsical wood sculpture both big and small for the floor or wall. Pieces feature native, western wood. Some are natural wood and others are colorfully stained or painted. Phone: 970/533-7518.
Other displays of Dave’s work:
Son Silver West Sedona, Arizona
The Underground Gallery in Telluride, CO
The Main Book Company in Cortez, CO
The Durango Arts Center in Durango, CO
The Cortez Cultural Center in Cortez, CO