chad awalt

Chad sculpts figures out of wood, life-size figures he creates after making body casts of live models. The results are unique and stunning. He hasn’t always created fine art, but he didn’t exactly fall back into it, either.

“I’d done classical carving,” he says. “I’d done furniture design and architectural woodwork for quite a few years, but I’d been thinking about doing something that was more artistic.”

He did a project for a friend who had an art gallery and told him what he’d been considering. They decided to do a show, and Chad produced a handful of work. A lot of it sold.

“I looked at my friend and said, ‘So, I should do this again, huh?’ I’ve been doing them ever since. I rarely do architecture or furniture work anymore, unless someone talks me into a project.”

Chad came by his affinity for wood naturally. When he was a child, Chad spent a lot of time in his grandfather’s basement watching him “whittle.”

“His stuff was technically called whittling, but at a phenomenal level. And he was very prolific. I thought everyone’s grandpa carved in the basement. I thought it was normal,” Chad says. “My dad was a carpenter, and had a workshop at home, so I grew up around tools and wood.”

He wasn’t an art major while he attended the University of Colorado, instead of studying anatomy and physiology. His art education came after when he says he pieced together an apprenticeship on his own.