Kristin LeVier of Moscow, Idaho has won the 2020 Bob Stocksdale International Excellence in Wood Award from the Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia. The annual award recognizes work that unites quality of craftsmanship and respect for material, for which master woodturner Bob Stocksdale (1913–2003) was known.
“I’m incredibly honored to have been chosen for the Stocksdale Award and join the company of the talented and creative previous awardees. Bob Stocksdale’s minimalist work, which so beautifully honors and elevates wood grain, has taken my breath away since I first began to explore wood art,” says LeVier.
LeVier creates minimalist contemporary sculpture inspired by her fascination with the natural world. Having spent two decades as a research molecular biologist, her artistic mission is to tell a story through work at the intersection of art and science.
In commemoration of this year’s award, Jena Gilbert-Merrill, a current Lois F. McNeil Fellow in the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, presented a lecture on both LeVier and Stocksdale in April. The discussion focused on LeVier’s work in the context of Stocksdale’s impact and legacy, including his quality of craftsmanship, respect for materials, commitment to human rights, and artistic innovation in the material of wood.
“The excuse to step away from my solitary studio work and join together with others interested in wood art and fine craft for the Stocksdale Award presentation felt wonderful. I feel very lucky to be a part of this supportive community,” LeVier adds.
Previous winners are Jakob Weissflog, Dean Pulver, Ben Strear and Humira Abid.
The award is adjudicated by a committee that includes Christine Knoke, deputy director of the Mingei International Museum; Michael Monroe, director emeritus of Bellevue Arts Museum and the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Michael Puryear, artist, woodworker, and furniture maker; Kevin Wallace, executive director of the Beatrice Wood Foundation; and Jennifer-Navva Milliken, artistic director of the Center for Art in Wood.
For more, visit www.centerforartinwood.org.
This article was originally published in the June 2021 issue.