Woodcarver Allah Ali is one of the original artists of the Village Gallery of Local Artists. His hand-carved native wood masks have shone with life and personality from the walls of the gallery for over 11 years. Ali will be the Featured Artist for the month of June 2021.
In his younger days, Ali spent 29 years as Teacher-Artist in the Philadelphia Schools and Parks & Recreation systems. In 1968 he met a humble street artist named Joe Savage. Joe introduced him to the concept of co-creation and Tree Folk Art, which posits that a tree spirit emerges during carving and serves as a unique living memorial to that tree.
Ali is a peaceful man who lives a life of simplicity and spirituality. He finds the wood he uses for his work as he walks his property near the creek. With an abundance of patience, Ali follows the wood’s grain, allowing his hand tools to uncover the face and sometimes body beneath the surface. Each of Ali’s carvings evokes emotion and a sense of connection with the psyche as they silently sing, whisper, and sigh.
In Ali’s words, “Trees don’t need us- we need the trees. I am so honored to serve through the Beautiful Trees.” For Ali, working with ‘Beautiful Trees’ is at once artistic and spiritual, taking what he considers a “divine gift from the Divine Source.”
A reception for Allah Ali will be held at the Village Gallery on Friday, June 4 from 5 – 8 PM. The event is free to the public. Refreshments will be served, and many member artists besides Ali will be joining the festivities.
The Village Gallery is a co-op-style gallery where local artists can sell their artwork and belong to an artistic community. Interacting with other artists can be inspiring and bring balance to the hours of solitude spent in the studio. The Village Gallery is always taking applications for new membership. For information, stop by the gallery which is located at 6512 State Route 179 in the Village of Oak Creek, call (928) 284-1033, or visit the website at https://sedonalocalartists.com.