Sculptor Chad Haspels at Art in the Garden Festival

Sculptor Chad Haspels will be demonstrating his hand-tool woodcarving technique at the second annual Art in the Garden Festival. Chad has been living in Pagosa Springs for the past five years, but began his artistic journey growing up in Cortez, Colo. His family nurtured this interest, and he began taking art classes in high school.

This training continued on as he worked on a fine arts degree, graduating in 2000, from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont. His interest had mainly been two-dimensional art, but in his junior year, perhaps influenced by the classical sculptors studied in his art history class, his interest expanded to three-dimensional work. During this time he had the opportunity to spend four months in Ghana to study carving under a master woodcarver.

Chad occasionally sculpts in stone, finding local river rock or sandstone as his mediums. But he is best known for his beautiful wooden animal sculptures. He is currently working with the Pagosa Mountain Hospital to carve three tree sculptures situated in front of the hospital at heights of four feet, twenty-two feet, and twelve feet. He has two commissions for private collectors in progress: an eagle over six feet tall, and a stylized figure. The growth of his reputation over the past seven years has led to his work becoming a part of public, private, and corporate collections across the country.

Chad’s sculpture is driven by nature. He hand selects fallen dead wood, usually ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, or juniper for his pieces. He says the energy of the material directs his inspiration. Working in an outdoor environment in all seasons keeps him in touch with that inspiration. In his creative process, the emotions of time and place transmit through the finished sculpture. As he carves, he strives to portray a nature that is both fragile and resilient.

Along with Art in the Garden, Chad will also be appearing at art festivals in Aspen and Boulder this summer. His work will be featured at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery in July and August, and he will participate in the Artist’s Studio Tour in Pagosa Springs in September.

Chad will be demonstrating his technique, along with 14 other highly-gifted artists, at Art in the Garden Festival 2009, to be held Saturday, Aug. 15, from 3 to 7 p.m. at El Rancho Pinoso in the Upper Blanco Basin.

The public is invited to attend this occasion in a beautiful Archuleta County mountain ranch setting complete with gourmet food, talented musicians and wonderful art.

All proceeds support the Community United Methodist Church (CUMC) Community Assistance Fund that aids the needy of Archuleta County, regardless of religious affiliation.

There will be 15 artists displaying their work at Art in the Garden and art will be for sale by cash or check with 30 percent of art sales going to the CUMC Assistance Fund. Tickets are $30 and are on sale at Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Plaid Pony, and the Community United Methodist Church. For more information, go to our Web site: http//

Photo courtesy Chad Haspels
“Common Ground,” by Pagosa sculptor Chad Haspels, is 65 inches in height and was sculpted from ponderosa pine. Haspels’ work will be included in the Art in the Garden Festival 2009, Saturday, Aug. 15, from 3 to 7 p.m. at El Rancho Pinoso in the Upper Blanco Basin.

Photo courtesy Chad Haspels
This work, “Healing Waters” is part of a series by Pagosa sculptor Chad Haspels that centers on the theme of healing waters. Haspels is working on sculptures for the grounds at Pagosa Mountain Hospital that will also be part of the series. His work can be seen at the Art in the Garden Festival 2009, Saturday, Aug. 15, from 3 to 7 p.m. at El Rancho Pinoso in the Upper Blanco Basin.