Local artist with unusual talent turning bark into sculptures

Callie Hermanson
Lakeside Leader

Local artist Mary Kupsch has shared her unique wooden sculptures with the community of Slave Lake now for many years.

Kupsch says the carvings started out as a three-day course at Northern Lakes College a number of years ago.

Kupsch explains that she wanted to try something different and be out with different people.

“I said to my husband I think it looks interesting and he says to me do you not have enough to do?” says Kupsch “I looked at him and thought well that’s a stupid question to ask a woman you’ve been married to for years.”

The following day Kupsch says she had registered and paid her fees to take the course.

“The rest is kind of history.”

Kupsch says she has been carving for 10 years and is also part of the carving club in town.

She mentions that she sells her carvings at the farmer’s markets in town and that she meets a lot of wonderful people at the market; people that come from all over the place.

People from eastern Canada and some from as far away as Japan. Adding it is interesting to show her art to them.

Kupsch says right now people seem to be interested in the animals she carves and has even done many different animals upon request.

“I carve beavers now, because someone requested one,” says Kupsch. “to them, it jumped out and screamed Canada.”

Some of the smaller items, such as little crosses, are also popular notes Kupsch, because they are easy for a tourist to pack.

“I really enjoy it; the variety I can do.”

This year Kupsch was back again teaching carving to the children at the Young @ Art camp. She says that the kids really look forward to the carving every summer.

Mary Kupsch displaying her carvings at the Downtown Friday’s Farmers Market at the Slave Lake Brick parking lot.

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