Bryon Wilson shows off carvings at Kimball Arts Festival
With multiple World Cup podiums and an Olympic bronze medal on his resume, there’s no denying that Bryon Wilson is a talented mogul skier.
This weekend, Wilson will have the opportunity to showcase another talent, wood carving, when he makes his artistic debut at the annual Kimball Arts Festival Aug. 12-14 in Park City.
Wilson’s interest in art began at a young age. Drawing is big in his family and, during weekends up at his grandfather’s cabin, he would draw while his parents were out fishing. Wilson got into carving when he was 16 years old thanks to Al Beavis, a family friend and chainsaw carver in Butte, Montana. He spent every day after school up in Al’s garage, learning the tricks of the trade.
When Wilson moved to Utah to pursue his skiing career full time, he worked with local Salt Lake City carver Reese Almond to develop his abilities, specifically carving realistic trout.
“Every carving I’ve done since my time with Al and Reese has been a learning process,” said Wilson. “I’ve honed my skill set over the past 10 years and now I’m at a point where I’m happy with my work and willing to put it out there.”
Wilson’s showcase at this year’s festival will feature a combination of realistic and stylized trout carvings. Composed of tupelo wood, each carving takes about two weeks to complete. Hours of wood working and painting is required to capture every aspect of the fish, down to the individual scales.
“I’ve looked and looked and looked at fish,” laughed Wilson. “I’ve probably analyzed fish more than any person in the world. There’s a bunch of little details that you have to capture.”
The level of success Wilson has achieved in his mogul skiing stems from his patience, dedication and love for the sport. Those same traits are exhibited in his carvings. But creating a beautiful piece of art is a welcome change of pace from trying to nail the perfect mogul run.
“Art has been a great creative outlet for me during my career,” said Wilson. “It’s relaxing and rewarding. You put in a ton of work and at first it looks so plain; it’s just a block of wood. But once you go through the process and put it all together it’s really cool. It’s something for me to be passionate about outside of my sport.”
Now in its 47th year, the Kimball Arts Festival features more than 200 artists from around the country, as well as local talent like Wilson, who are the most talented artists in their fields. Wilson’s carvings will be displayed at booth 562. This will be the first time his art has been featured at a major festival, and it means a lot to have it showcased in Park City.
“The Park City community has helped me throughout my whole skiing career, and it’s cool to share a different side of myself,” said Wilson. “There’s more to the athlete than meets the eye. I’ve always been impressed with the amount of work put into and the quality of pieces at the show, so I’m really excited to be a part of it.”
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