Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI 96718
EXHIBIT: Collaborations With Wood by John Mydock and Les Pedersen
On display February 20th through March 28, 2021, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Dail
“The beauty of collaboration is that the total sum is greater than its individual parts.” These are the words of Les Pedersen who is one of the artists featured in Collaborations with Wood on display at the Volcano Art Center gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The show opens to the public on Saturday, February 20th and continues through March 28th, 9 am – 5pm daily. While admission is free, park entrance fees apply.
Collaborations With Wood features fine art creations by Les Pedersen and John Mydock. A variety of works on display includes hand turned vessels, pyrography and “pearlizing”. The majority of the works on display are true collaboration pieces, created by both artists. In most cases the wooden vessels are hand tuned by Les Pedersen then highly decorated with the masterful illustrations of John Mydock. Viewers can easily get lost amongst these encircling illustrations, discovering intricate details and scenes which most minds can’t even imagine! Both Mydock and Pedersen also contributed individual works including turned vessels, some embellished and others not, pearlized pieces as well as oil and acrylic paintings.
John Mydock, the legendary wood lathe artist, studied under master woodturners including Elmer Adams, David Marks, Mike Mahoney, Jimmy Clewes, Graeme Priddle and Jacques Vesery who provided the skills necessary for turning exquisite vessels. Traditionally, after turning a vessel on a lathe an artist will soak it in a custom oil-based finish that is then buffed and waxed. However, Mydock is best known for his highly advanced process of embellishing lathe turned wooden vessels with either pyrography or pearlizing. Pyrography is the technique of burning images into wood. John’s pyrography pushes the boundary of this technique from simple patterns to intricate images. John states his images “metaphorically shape-shift into birds, fish, tribal designs and vines representing the interconnectedness of all life here in Hawaiʻi.” The second and more complex process John borrows from his past experiences as a motocycle and hotrod painter. Pearlizing entails airbrushing multiple layers of high quality catalyzed polyurethane, often gold leaf and fine pinstripping are embedded within more layers. Endless hours of sanding and buffing provide depth and a liquid, glass-like surface to these unique works.
During the 2018 Kilauea eruption activity Mydock and his family evacuated their home and studio near Kahena, Hawaiʻi Island and offered a prized professional lathe to fellow Big Island Woodturner Les Pedersen who became the proud owner. Pedersen who spent a long career in construction managment, has always appreciated art but didn’t consider himself an artist until others began calling him one, much to his surprize. At a following Big Island Woodturners meeting Les Pedersen recalls Mydock bringing a variety of roughed out turnings with the offer “if anyone wants to complete them, I’ll embellish them with my pyrography, and we’ll have a collaboration.” That was an opportunity that Pedersen could not pass up. “Thirty some odd collaborations later, we are proud to share our art here at the Volcano Art Center,” states Pedersen.
Don’t miss this exquisite collobration between two incredibly talented men, who’s art work has been elevated by their cooperation with each other. The entire collection will be available for viewing and purchase at www.volcanoartcenter.org as well as in person under social distancing and Covid-19 safely protocol. For more information contact VAC Gallery Manager Emily C. Weiss at (808) 967-8222 or email@example.com.