The Alliance Art Gallery in Hannibal, Missouri, will feature the woodworking of guest artist Chris Shotton during the month of March. Shotton's original creations result in functional furniture and decorative items created from combining a variety of woods in a manner that highlights the beauty and individual characteristics of each.
Shotton's original pieces are crafted from Missouri hardwoods that come from trees on and near the family farm in Pike County Missouri. Shotton creates handmade rocking chairs, benches, tables and bowls that focus on the natural inclusions of each piece of wood. He prefers to take advantage of the splits, knots, burns and holes in the wood, allowing him to craft a piece honoring the integrity of grain, color of each wood, and a bit of the history from the original tree. Shotton does not use any stains on his pieces stating that naturally dried wood allows the natural beauty to remain in the planks as they cure and dry. Passionate about his work, he finds joy in crafting beautiful, functional, original designs that can be cherished for generations.
A Hannibal native and graduate of Hannibal High School, Shotton's love of wood and joy of creating handcrafted rocking chairs began as a hobby when he made a birthday gift for an aunt. From there Shotton WoodWorks, located near Omaha, in Papillion, Nebraska was created. Over 40 pieces of Shotton's work, mostly tables and chairs, have been donated over the years to benefit auctions for Children's Hospital, Siteman Cancer Center and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and several other nonprofit organizations. One of his rocking chairs was auctioned off to the Missouri Governor's Office and sits in the State Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri.
An exhibit of his work will be available at the Alliance Art Gallery beginning Saturday, March 14, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will continue through April 10.