Pete Ryan at work
Driving through the town of Hope recently I noticed a group of tourists (presumably) with their cameras pointed at one of the many chainsaw carvings scattered through this town of just over 6000 residents. Ranging from totem poles to life-like examples of local wildlife the carvings depict bears, cougars, mountain sheep, eagles and a fox family, to name just a few examples. Many of the art pieces are located in Memorial Park downtown but his 30 or so carvings have also migrated to other locations throughout the small, friendly town.
Hope is “on the map” so to speak, in terms of chainsaw art with resident carver Pete Ryan at the centre of this form of art. Pete has been perfecting his log carving craft for over thirty years. Formally educated at The Minneapolis School of Art, Pete makes his home in Hope, B.C. where he also has a retail gallery and is fortunate to make a living plying his woodcarving craft.
Hope is located in the most eastern part of the Fraser Valley, about 30 minutes by car from Chilliwack via Hwy 1, where the Fraser and Coquihalla rivers meet. Be sure to plan a stop in Hope, on your way to or from Chilliwack, to take in the stunning mountain vistas, rushing rivers, large stands of cedar trees and Pete Ryan’s chainsaw carvings.
If a trip to Hope is not in your immediate plans, this you-tube video of Hope’s chainsaw carvings will give you a peek into Pete’s work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrAej1TCHHU