Artist Joe Woodford brings ceramics to Gathering at the Great Divide Art Festival in Breckenridge
August 30, 2013
If you go
What: Gathering at the Great Divide Art Festival
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday
Where: N. Main St. at Wellington, Breckenridge
Cost: Admission is free
More information: Visit http://www.mountainartfestivals.com
For ceramist Joe Woodford, it started at an early age.
"I took my first ceramics class in high school when I was 16," he said.
And it continues — he's back in Breckenridge for the Gathering at the Great Divide this weekend. Woodford finds himself among 117 juried artists exhibiting their works at the 38th annual art festival, today through Monday. This event is the longest-standing art show in the region.
"I have always enjoyed doing shows in Colorado, and it's very nice to be back in the Rockies," Woodford said. "The Breckenridge shows in particular are always well-attended. I will take Colorado summers over Arizona's any day.
"Currently, I am doing six festivals per year and the Celebration of Fine Arts in Scottsdale, which runs for 10 weeks."
Woodford has been creating and selling one-of-a-kind ceramics in art shows and galleries across the country since 1993. He has won numerous awards and has earned four "Best in Show" designations.
In 2002, he was a featured artist of HGTV's "Modern Masters." His unique approach to and mastery of the specialty of Raku firing has put him in high demand for teaching workshops throughout the U.S.
"The ability to express my creativity in such a process-driven art form has made ceramics a lifelong passion for me," Woodford said. "Each stage of this process has its own equally important part in creating a successful piece of art. Using the wheel as a primary tool, my work tends to show subtle suggestions of various cultural backgrounds in monumental size."
His most recent works include modular wall hangings sculpted from various molds and reaching sizes as large as 144 inches by 60 inches. He also has been collaborating with artist Kevin Powers on hanging totemic forms using a mixed-media approach of glass and ceramics.
Woodford resides in Chandler, Ariz., with his wife and children. He approaches his artwork development process and raising four children with wife, Beth, in a similar fashion.
"I take each day one at a time and try to teach the kids to improve one day at a time," he said. "Success has never been something I consider because of this approach to life. I have the awards to show my career in the arts, but if you ask me about success, I don't know. There's just the next step in my evolution as an artist."
Woodford has two stepsons, Colin, a linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals football team, and Cedric, who attends the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The two other kids are Grace, 11, and Miles, 9. See Woodford's website for more information, http://www.josephwoodford.com.
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