Creativity Through Art and Music | Ryan Olsen

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Creativity Through Art and Music | Ryan Olsen

June 10 - June 15

View the intricate wood carvings of Idaho’s Ryan Olsen from June 10-15, 2024 at Maquoketa Art Experience. Be sure to join Ryan on June 12th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm for an artist’s reception.

Admission is always free and open-to-the-public.



About Ryan Olsen:

Ryan first became interested in carving when he was very young. When he was only seven, he had his very own pocket knife that he had found in the dirt and kept hidden from his parents. Ryan and the neighbor kids would sit in the shade during long summer days and carve bark that they pried off of the family pine tree. He began carving seriously while he was earning his master’s degree in opera at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.  Ryan carved on his own for the first five years or so.  His best tools were snap-off razor blades because “they always had a sharp point.”  After too many snap-off accidents, he upgraded to Xacto knives and ground-off steak knives.  

One of Ryan’s greatest experiences in carving was his first carving class at the Idaho Woodcarver’s rendezvous with one of his heroes and fellow CCA carver, Cleve Taylor.  After studying with Cleve, he caught on fire and his carving began to improve.  Since then, he has studied with Dave Stetson, Dave Dunham, Phil and Vicki Bishop, Pete Leclair, Chris Hammack, and repeatedly with Marv Kaisersatt.  Since then, Ryan has won a number of competitions.  He has become known for his innovative,  clean style and his ability to capture female subjects in wood.

One of Ryan’s greatest joys in woodcarving is participating in the Caricature Carvers of America. He loves meeting with fellow caricature carvers each year at different destinations around the country. Ryan serves as  the Chairman over the annual CCA Caricature Carving Competition in Converse, Indiana. 

He stays busy running a high school choir program in Kuna, Idaho.  Whenever he is able, he travels the country to teach woodcarving seminars and attend woodcarving shows. His favorite venue to teach wood carving has become the International Wood Carver’s congress in Maquoketa, Iowa. Ryan, his wife, and their four children, live in Melba, Idaho.

His philosophy on carving is “Good carving is just like good singing.  You have to work at it a little every day and you might as well learn from the best.


June 10
June 15
Event Category:


Maquoketa Art Experience
124 S Main St
Maquoketa, IA 52060
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Maquoketa Art Experience & Layers of Maquoketa
View Organizer Website