The Midwest Carvers Museum in Tinley Park, Illinois is a hidden gem that both tourists and locals often overlook. The museum, tucked away in a quiet corner of town, displays the work of some of the region’s most skilled woodcarvers. The museum, which houses over 500 exhibits, provides an intriguing glimpse into the world of woodcarving and the Midwest’s rich artistic heritage.
The museum was founded in 1995 by a group of woodcarvers who wanted to create a space where their art could be appreciated by the general public. The founders were members of the Midwest Woodcarvers Association, a regional organization that has been promoting and preserving the art of woodcarving since 1967. The museum is a result of their efforts and dedication.
The variety of exhibits on display is one of the things that distinguishes the Midwest Carvers Museum. Visitors can view intricate wildlife carvings, delicate figurines, and even functional items such as furniture and utensils. The exhibits highlight the versatility and adaptability of this art form by showcasing a wide range of carving styles and techniques, from traditional to contemporary.
The collection of birds carved by William Veasey, a renowned woodcarver who lived in Tinley Park for many years, is one of the museum’s most impressive displays. Veasey’s birds are so detailed and lifelike that it’s difficult to believe they’re made entirely of wood. Over 100 of his birds, ranging from tiny hummingbirds to majestic eagles, are on display, and it is a must-see for anyone interested in woodcarving.
A collection of carousel horses and other carousel animals is also on display. These intricately carved creatures were once a mainstay of amusement parks and fairs, and the museum’s collection contains some of the best examples of this art form. Visitors can see horses, lions, tigers, and other animals, each with their own distinct personality. The exhibit is a throwback to a bygone era and a testament to these beloved creatures’ enduring appeal.
Throughout the year, the Midwest Carvers Museum also hosts a variety of events and workshops. These gatherings are a great way to learn more about woodcarving and meet other enthusiasts. Workshops are led by experienced carvers and cover a wide range of topics, including basic carving techniques as well as advanced skills such as chip carving and relief carving. In addition, the museum hosts an annual woodcarving show and competition, where carvers from all over the country come to show off their work and compete for prizes.
The museum’s gift shop is an excellent place to begin if you are new to woodcarving. The shop sells carving tools and supplies, as well as books and instructional materials. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and they are always willing to offer advice and guidance to newcomers.
Finally, the Midwest Carvers Museum is a one-of-a-kind and fascinating stop for anyone interested in the art of woodcarving. The exhibits at the museum highlight the incredible skill and creativity of the Midwest’s woodcarvers, and its events and workshops provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about this timeless art form. Whether you’re an experienced carver or just getting started, the Midwest Carvers Museum is a must-see destination that will both inspire and delight you. So, if you’re ever in the Tinley Park area, make sure to stop by and see for yourself the beauty and craftsmanship of the Midwest’s woodcarvers.