At the age of 35, Sean Conrad has a strong hold on his chosen career as an artist. After several explorations into other fields, he found himself always missing the satisfaction and pure enjoyment he felt when expressing himself artistically, and decided it was time to concentrate on art full time.
Born in Tuscola, IL in 1973, Conrad has been surrounded in art since childhood. His father built a successful career as a cartoonist and, wanting to follow in his footsteps, Sean began drawing characters everywhere, of everyone, often at times when his attention should have been elsewhere.
Conrad began his career in San Diego, CA with an education in graphic design and computer animation. After graduation, he worked in graphic design, excited with all the possibilities available to him, and was soon promoted into management and the corporate 8-5 lifestyle. Although he excelled in his new position, he knew something was missing. That something was discovered during a week-long trip to southern Colorado to visit his father. Painting plein air for the first time, he found himself entirely captivated with the natural beauty and relished in transcribing what he saw to canvas.
The corporate life was over and he moved to Trinidad, CO to continue fulfilling his newfound dream of becoming a professional artist. Doors opened, and he met, became friends with, and began to study informally with internationally known artist, Eric Michaels. His new mentor encouraged him, and Conrad soon moved into a studio in the A. R. Mitchell Museum and was invited to show his work there and in the Buffalo Nickel Gallery in Cimarron, NM.
Returning to San Diego to marry, Sean continued painting and developing the skills he had learned while in Trinidad. But his love for the mountains couldn’t keep him in the city for long and in the summer of 2002 Sean and his wife Christy moved to Longmont, CO where they resided until the beginning of 2005. Sean and his wife Christy now live in Sioux City, IA.
Now enjoying a satisfying and successful career in fine art, Sean Conrad has the advantage of age, early wisdom in regard to following one’s heart, and a supportive wife and friends. “My hope is to bring God glory and point people to the creator in every painting that I create. I’m so thankful that He’s blessed me the way He has and allowed me to make a living creating paintings that capture and express what He has created”.
Frank Denton - Automotive Accountant by trade my woodturning career began out of survival. I had been unemployed for a year and with all my resources exhausted I fell back on what I leaned in Jr. High and High School, woodturning. Something I had planned on getting back into for a hobby to into a life saver for me. Why wood turning? Having attended art shows around the country I was seeing and took special interest in turned wood items, always telling my wife, “I was doing that when I was 14 years old…” and so the seed was planted and The Great Dakota Bowl Company was born.
The majority of my turnings are made from recycled wood meaning it comes from burn piles, ditches, landfills and periodically a log or two just shows up in my driveway! That being said most of the wood is also local to the Southeast South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa. When on trips I’ll often come home with a piece or two from other areas as well. Wood thrown into scrap piles usually has not had the best of care nor been cut in my best interests so I have had to adapt and accept those challenges often with spectacular results (really I get lucky). If there’s an oddity with the wood I’ll give my best efforts to retain it whether it’s a knot, a void or a small burl they add great character to the finished piece. Cracked and split wood are the norm and various minerals including turquoise, malachite, lapis, to name a few, are used as inlay to fill the voids. Other recycled items include brass key filings; copper and colorful wood shavings from other projects. Some pieces stay as they are, cracked and split it just depends on what it adds to the character.
Creating about 300 individual pieces a year most are sold at art venues in South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska, a few sales on line, several commission pieces every year and a limited gallery presence. Some production turners’ make that many every month but these aren’t salad bowls and each is piece is truly unique in shape, size, finish, etc. Since I deal directly with my customers I’m lucky to know I’m represented in all 50 States and D.C. along with Russia, South Africa, Italy, Japan, Australia, Sweden, France and many others. I can remember when the first piece went to Europe; I bragged to my wife, we were international now!
In all I’m credited with having great talent and have helped many develop their turning efforts but in reality it’s a gift I’m lucky to have been blessed with and I hope you enjoy!