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Hollingsworth Art Gallery

Russell Lehman

April 2014 - Artist of the Month

(Extended Exhibit on display from March 21 to end of April)

The April exhibit features intarsia from Russell Lehman of Beltsville. You may wonder - "Intarsia? What's that?" Intarsia is a woodworking craft that assembles  cut pieces of different varieties of wood, chosen for grain and color, to create an image. Finish is applied to the completed work.

“Russ” Lehman states that though his method is inspired by intarsia, it’s not “true” intarsia. The Beltsville artist crafts his work from a single piece of wood. He cuts and shapes pieces, and then, adds wood stain or ink to each before he glues them back together on the “host piece.” Lehman writes that he had no prior experience in woodworking until his retirement in 2010. He then “reconnected” with a “hardly-ever used scroll saw” purchased 20 years earlier, and experimented with “simple” scroll patterns like puzzles, crosses and dragons.

His daughter-in-law had given him a piece of intarsia as a Christmas present. Intrigued, he set out to try his hand - and has hardly looked back! Many of his pieces were inspired by a love of nature fostered by summers in childhood on his grandparents’ farm near Annapolis. These works range in size from 4”x6” to 12”x16” and many were prepared for his Hollingsworth exhibit.

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