Stephen Clausen | Woodwerks (an exhibit of sculptural furniture)

October 2, 2020 - January 8, 2021

Visual Arts Center | Shultz Gallery 

Artist Statement:

I like to say that structural engineering is in my Clausen family DNA. It is a common thread in all my careers, including photographer, artist, woodworker, carpenter, furniture maker and chiropractor.

I was born in Redwood Falls, MN and moved in 1957 to Sioux Falls, SD with my mom and sister. By the time I graduated from Washington Senior High School, I had already developed interests in sketching, drafting, architecture and design.

Following a couple of academic years in schools of Architecture, I began pursuing a degree in art at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA, focusing on photography. But I became enamored with the woodworking classroom -- woodworkers’ benches, a central table saw, planer, joiner, band saw and intriguing original furniture designs undergoing construction. I soon joined in. I realized that I loved to work with my hands AND my “design mind”. A few furniture pieces later, I graduated with a BA degree in studio arts.

I returned to Sioux Falls in the mid-1970s to work at EROS as a photographic technician, ‘briefly’ in a cabinet shop and worked a stint at Morell’s but was drawn back to woodworking. I returned to Washington state and received Central’s first master’s degree in Wood Design. For the next ten years, I made a career designing, engineering, and constructing furniture and professional artists’ equipment. I have sold many of my pieces and shown my work in juried shows throughout the years. This exhibit contains some of my work that I brought with me when I returned to Sioux Falls in 2018.  

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