As a military brat, Art Wolff had an opportunity to experience a diverse range of wildlife and ecosystems. During that time Art found solace in his connection with wildlife and nature wherever he happened to be at the time. Enamored by the joy of sharing his discoveries with family and friends, he would often return from the woods with his discoveries and stories about “things that spoke to him” during his adventures. Animals may not be able to speak, however they all have a story that leaves us amazed, inspired and reverent.
Art earned a degree in Biology from George Mason University in Virginia at which time he also worked at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, in the Division of Birds. Having the ability to work in one of the largest bird collections in the world cemented Art’s intrigue and appreciation of the diversity of birds. While eating lunch in the cafeteria, Art would often look for families with young children and offer to take them upstairs and behind the scenes for a tour of the collection of birds. “I’d ask the kids what bird they would like to see. When I opened the cabinets, the look on their faces made me realize what I wanted to do. Sharing the joys of nature had stayed within me from my childhood and I had to find a way to keep it alive.” Whether it is a carving or sculpting wax for a bronze piece, I strive to replicate the wide-eyed, open mouth smile of amazement that people get when they see the spirit and soul of a wild animal. If their excitement leaves them with the desire to share the experience with others, then I have been successful and more importantly our natural environment has a little more chance of being protected and preserved.
Art Wolff is self-taught by his effort to carve gifts for family members and friends. He read a lot and practiced when he could. After a long career with the American Cancer Society, Art returned to the Green Mountains of Vermont to get more serious about his artwork. Now as an emerging artist, he is finally getting a chance to do what he loves best… creating artwork that awakens the appreciation of wildlife in people who have forgotten the magical discoveries of their childhood.