ESSA hosts 2024 Woodworking Mentorship Residency

Eureka Springs School of the Arts (ESSA) proudly hosted its 2024 Woodworking Mentorship Residency, featuring esteemed master woodcrafter and Arkansas Living Treasure Award winner Doug Stowe, along with assistant mentor Larry Copas. The residency took place in the stateof- the-art ESSA Windgate Wood Studio and welcomed seven exceptionally talented woodworkers for an immersive, two-week program.

The selected participants for this year’s residency were Arden Carlson, Gordon Koops, Nicole Reidinger, John Rylko, Shannon Smith, Blake Werner and David Wimberley.

Residing on the ESSA campus, these woodworkers had the unique opportunity to work on their individual projects while benefiting from the expertise and guidance of Doug Stowe and Larry Copas.

To celebrate the culmination of this enriching experience, ESSA hosted a closing show and reception from noon to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29 at the ESSA Windgate Wood Studio. The event featured a pre-sale and art viewing from noon to 4 p.m., followed by an artist talk at 4:15 p.m.

Guests had the chance to mingle with the talented woodworkers and browse the exquisite pieces created during the residency, with many unique items available for purchase. One of the highlights of the reception was the artist talk, where Stowe shared his renowned wisdom with a captivated audience. Following Doug, Copas expressed heartfelt appreciation to ESSA, the mentees and the entire experience. The event turned emotional as the mentees took turns sharing their experiences, expressing gratitude for the craft, ESSA and the camaraderie they built.

As the evening concluded, attendees enjoyed complimentary beverages and snacks and collected the items they purchased earlier. Notably, 10 percent of the proceeds were dedicated to supporting ESSA’s future residency programs. The hope is that some of this year’s participants will return as future instructors, continuing the legacy of craftsmanship and community at ESSA.

For more information about ESSA and its programs, visit