Arts and Entertainment

Marysville woodworking artist showcased in Seattle

Travis Petrie, a Marysville-Pilchuck High School Class of 2005 graduate, creates wooden sculptures, illustrating quotes from pop culture figures. - Courtesy photo.
Travis Petrie, a Marysville-Pilchuck High School Class of 2005 graduate, creates wooden sculptures, illustrating quotes from pop culture figures.
— image credit: Courtesy photo.

MARYSVILLE — A Marysville-Pilchuck High School Class of 2005 graduate is receiving a broader spotlight for his unique wood sculpture artwork in Seattle.

Travis Petrie credits both his father Ted, and Mike Fitzpatrick, his former shop teacher at Marysville Junior High School, with fostering the woodworking skills that have been able to blossom within the past couple of years, thanks to some inherited woodworking tools, but it was Travis’ younger brother Cody who first inspired the series that Travis has come to call his “quote busts.”

“Cody wanted a tattoo of a quote by John Lennon for his 18th birthday, but he didn’t just want it be words,” Travis Petrie said. “So I made a design of Lennon’s face that incorporated the quote into the visual image.”

Look closely at Petrie’s head-and-shoulders busts of pop culture figures, ranging from civil rights leaders to influential musicians, and you’ll see words hidden in the lines of their heads and faces.

“I’ve done everything from Pokemon to Jesus,” said Petrie, whose roughly 30 pieces to date began as small 6-inch pieces made out of recycled material, and have since expanded into sturdy wooden pieces as tall as 4 feet. “Most of my first pieces were for family members.”

A number of Petrie’s quote busts are currently displayed at the Have a Heart medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, with whom he became involved out of respect for their work on behalf of the community.

“They’re donated a lot to families suffering from medical ailments, and they’re really into supporting area artists,” said Travis Petrie, who’s also mapping out his options for having his work displayed in gallery space in Lake City, just north of Northgate. “What I’ve liked about doing these quote busts is that what these people have to say is motivating and inspiring. The right words can stick with you and change your whole life.”

“I’m just astonished by what he’s achieved,” Ted Petrie said of his son. “I’ve seen his skills advance, as he’s become more fluent in rendering facial architecture. The eyes of his pieces are like the Mona Lisa; they’ll follow you around the room. He’s a social activist who’s doing something he’s passionate about.”

“You should take pride in what you do, because everything matters,” said Travis Petrie, who cited his 19-month-old daughter Hazel Moon as another inspiration for his work. “Everything.”

To see more of Travis Petrie’s artwork, log onto www.artbytravis.wordpress.com.

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