Special to The HDN

The Grassroots Art Center in Lucas is hosting a new exhibit, "Carved Critters." Jim and Barbara Popp, partners in marriage and creating art, will have their carvings on exhibit through April 15.

After Jim Popp retired from farming approximately 29 years ago, he began to carve in all types of wood. Some of those included cottonwood, cedar, ash, hedge and many more exotic types of wood not found on the Kansas prairie such as ebony and iron wood.

Popp admits his artistic ability is linked to his mother, but his father also did some woodworking. He has lived beside a stream all of his life and enjoyed discovering all types of Kansas trees and woods.

While he said his work looked primitive when he began, he's since bought and made some of his own wood-sculpture tools in order to create more detail in his sculptures.

Now living in Quinter, the Popps traveled to Wyoming and saw and liked a grizzly bear holding a welcome sign. This sculpture piqued Jim's interest, and soon he decided he should try using a 20-inch chain saw to create sculptures.

Now, not only bears, but eagles, beavers, coyotes, bulldogs and squirrel sculptures have all evolved at the hands of the Popps. Jim Popp carves the sculptures, while Barbara Popp paints them.

Hours at the center in October are 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

Hours from November through March are 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.