An artist from the Comox Valley has been named a Living Legend by the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art at Salisbury University in Maryland.
Lynn Branson has been a carver for 40 years and specializes in portraying the natural world, especially birds, through her interpretive sculptures.
The distinction of Living Legend is presented annually to three nominees in recognition of their contributions and work to preserve wildfowl art. Branson is the first woman to receive this recognition.
“I was very thrilled to get it. It’s a lifetime of work and recognition and a lifelong love of what I do,” she said.
Branson was also presented with two additional Certificates of Recognition from the Office of the Governor of the State of Maryland and won third place in the People’s Choice award for her abstract piece entitled “Man and Bird.”
The intricate carving features the concerned face of a man with five smaller birds surrounding him.
“It allows the viewer to give thought and wonder as to what he is thinking,” she said. “This was especially meaningful as I like to be a voice for the wildlife that can’t speak for themselves.”
Branson says her artistic career started off with a passion for wood, stemming from whittling on camping trips as a teenager. From there, it blossomed into a four-decade long career.
Branson has exhibited her work internationally and earned many awards including four world titles for her interpretive carving at the Ward Museum’s World Championship Carving Competition. She remains the only woman to hold a world title in the competition’s 49 years and only one other carver has won more than four world titles in the competition’s history.
She has also won 10 other awards in the World and Masters divisions of the competition.
Branson currently has two galleries, one in Sidney, B.C. and one in New Jersey. She also crafted the awards for the past three Comox Valley Local Hero Awards.
For more information about Branson’s carving, visit rawearthcarvings.com