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Gene is a perpetual student and life long learner. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1967 with a doctorate in zoology and continued on to teach and learn at Boise State University where, after 33 years, he retired in 2000. Realizing that he would require endeavors to fill the time normally devoted to the rigors of academia, he explored the world of woodcarving. Vic Otto provided an introduction to caricature carving through a class offered at Woodcraft in 1999 and, in the process, Gene was introduced to Cleve Taylor. After a second class from Vic, a series of classes and group carve ins with Cleve followed in close succession. From that point the Idaho Woodcarvers Jamboree and the Glacier Rendezvous provided opportunities for him to learn from Eldon Humphreys, Marv Kaisersatt, Dave Dunham, Pete Ortel, Phil and Vicki Bishop, and Michelle Carville and Dave Stetson. Although he has taken additional classes such as carving flowers in relief, bird carving, and portrait drawing he remains dedicated to caricatures. His carving style reflects a blend of techniques acquired from his mentors and a desire to embrace subtle expressions and poignant moments.
He joined the Idaho Woodcarvers Guild where he has served as newsletter editor, trustee, treasurer, vice president, and president, as well as IWG show chair in 2004 and 2005. In addition he is participating in the organization of the Idaho Woodcarvers Jamboree in Twin Falls, Idaho. He is also a member of the Pacific Northwest Caricature Carving Society and the National Wood Carvers Association and enjoys teaching free classes for guild members and an occasional class at the Woodcraft store.
Gene has a wife, Jackie, and twin boys, Brad, a dentist in Portland, Oregon, and Bret, a research psychologist at Oregon Health Sciences University, also in Portland. He currently lives in Boise but divides his time between there and McCall where he pursues a love of the outdoors such as hiking, fishing, cross country skiing, and being with friends.
He is available to teach classes as time permits and will take commission work.