Home - Breaking News, Events, Things-To-Do, Dining, Nightlife


Sean Starwars: Woodcut Artist Opens Exhibit at Mississippi State University through February

On a February afternoon in 1985, teenaged skateboarding enthusiast Sean Stewart sat in the cafeteria at Grape Bridge High School in Chesapeake, Va., as he would on any other weekday. On this particular day, however, his friend Kenny Pegram approached him at the cafeteria table with a copy of Thrasher magazine in hand.

The magazine, which San Francisco natives Eric Swenson and Fausto Vitello established in 1981, often featured prominent skateboarders and the latest boards on the cover. When Stewart took the latest issue from Pegram, his eyes fell upon a photo of Whittier, Calif., native Neil Blender. Stewart recognized the work of the professional skateboarder and artist, having seen it decorating boards in skate shops and in magazines like Thrasher and Transworld.

On this particular cover, though, Blender was not displaying a skateboard graphic, but rather a handmade felt doll with features drawn in marker. Stewart had already been a fan of Blender’s graphics, but the Thrasher cover led him to discovering that Blender created other kinds of artwork as well, with articles dedicated to it.

“What stood out most about Neil Blender back then was that he was one of the first professional skateboarders who designed and drew his own graphics for his boards,” Stewart says. “While that practice may be common now, in the ’80s Blender was a major pioneer for it. What really drew me to his work was how accessible it was. It didn’t look like the kind of thing designed by some in-house graphic designer, but more like something your older brother might make.”

This cover of Thrasher magazine features professional skateboarder and artist Neil Blender holding a handmade felt doll. The issue, alongside the discovery of artist Chris Miller, inspired Sean Stewart to dabble into woodcut graphics, a field in which he established a decades-spanning career as “Sean Starwars.” Cover courtesy Thrasher

After seeing that Thrasher issue, Stewart also discovered another artist who worked with Blender named Chris Miller and learned about woodcut graphics, a skill at which Miller specialized.

Fascinated, Stewart began researching woodcut art, a process that involves using knives and

Read original article by clicking here.

Local Dining Stream

Things To Do

Related articles