Central to Anne Shutan’s work as an artist is always to remind her audience – and herself – to smile! This is so essential to survival in the modern world. Sculpting wood is how she explores the relationship between artist, art and audience. Nearly 40 years of woodwork has given Anne a deep understanding of this medium, an intimate relationship with this once-living material. “That’s what sets wood apart from other artistic media,” explains the sculptor. “It is organic, not manufactured. It is grown, not synthesized. Each piece of wood, each trunk, each branch is absolutely unique.” Art is about communication and connection with people, places, ideas and objects. Those relationships are vital to Anne’s creative work, as well as to her enjoyment of everyday life. Shutan lives and works at her lakeside home/studio outside of Boulder, Colorado with her husband, Scott.
In this culture that supports isolation it takes effort to follow your dreams. Here are some things that I’ve learned as a wood artist and as a woman, to face the obstacles that show up along the way.