About a year ago Rob was contacted by a friend at the El Paso Zoo interested in purchasing his elf owl carving titled “Night Hunters” in order to incorporate the carving into an educational exhibit at the zoo. We just received these photos of the exhibit and carving and comments from Rick LoBello at the zoo who had this to say about it all: “I was reminded to take a picture of one of Rob’s great pieces of artwork. This elf owl, carved by Rob, lives in the El Paso Water Utilities Discovery Education Center at the El Paso Zoo where we are teaching little kids about water conservation and our Chihuahuan Desert.”
The carving captures a minute in the life of two hunters of the night….a tiny elf owl and a giant desert centipede. The elf owl prevailed and is enjoying his nightly meal. Rob says that “it is always gratifying to sell a carving to someone that appreciates it but it is something very special to have a carving incorporated into an educational exhibit that teaches little kids about life in the desert.”
Rob’s detailed and beautiful carving of a Costas Hummingbird pair in flight feeding at a Red Yucca bloom titled ‘Red Yucca Delight’ has been accepted by the prestigious Tohono Chul Park to be shown in its new exhibit,”Pollinators: The Art of Interdependence.” Opening on Memorial Day going through the end of August the exhibit presents paintings, photography and sculptures that focus on the importance of pollinators in the Sonoran Desert environment using art to educate the visitors that visit this famous Tucson nature park.
In November 2011 the Southwest Woodcarvers Association in Tucson hosted its annual Fall People’s Choice show at the Foothills Mall. Carvings were displayed and there were a variety of carving demonstrations. Rob’s humorous Santa in Hawaiian shirt with a beer in hand titled, “The Day After Christmas” won a People’s Choice Award, as did his other caricature “Jest Kidden”. At this show Rob demonstrated the carving of a Green Heron that later won awards in Mesa, Arizona.
Rob Arnberger showed 3 carvings in the prestigious Desert Woodcarving Show in Mesa, Arizona February 18 & 19, 2012. All three carvings received ribbons. Rob’s commissioned carving of a Green Heron in Mating Plumage titled “Water’s Edge” won a blue ribbon in the advanced Wading and Shore Birds Category. It also won First Place for all Advanced Bird Carvings. This beautiful bird was commissioned by a client in Virginia who wanted her “favorite bird” carved in a distinctive pose. Rob was able to capture the bird in beautiful plumage, one foot tucked up into the chest area, standing on the other lone leg with the head cocked to the side with a “grumpy old man” look. The bird certainly does have a personality. It is now in flight to its new home in Virginia. Look elsewhere for a slide show on the creation of this unique carving. Rob also received a ribbon for his cowboy caricature “Jest Kidden” where a ready smile, cigarette and a humorous winked eye greet the observer. Rob’s other entry “Flash of Blue”- collared Lizard also won a ribbon and was a distinctive entry in the show.
This past year was a successful year as Rob completed a variety of commissioned works. Of note, in the caricature class Rob completed a multi-figured, to scale, carving set of river runners and raft on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. The carving was commissioned by several family and friends of legendary river runner Gaylord Staveley who owns Canyoneers River Company and was presented to him at a special 80th Birthday Bash in Flagstaff, Arizona. (You can see a photo by clicking here.) Several Ranger caricatures were completed and a few new birds have been started. Interestingly, a client from Ireland purchased a caricature and a dentist from Israel commissioned another. The website continues to be active from all over the world.
Rob is working on a life size Red Tailed Hawk at the moment and intends on starting several other birds as the year passes. And, to keep things light he has a caricature or two in different stages.