Chris Saunders & Suzie Skugstad

Wood Work and Painting

Collaborative Art Show

May 10 -12


Art & woodwork exhibit coming at PCA May 10-12

Wood artist Chris Saunders collaborates with artist Suzie Skugstad

Piedmont artist Susie Skugstad and Chris Saunders, a talented woodworker, will have an art exhibit, “Art for the Soul”, at the Piedmont Center for the Arts the weekend of May 10-12. An opening night reception on Friday, May 10, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. will be followed by gallery hours on Saturday and Sunday, May 11-12, from 12:00-3:00 p.m.

Chris Saunders

Chris Saunders wasn’t always hanging out in his garage-based wood shop covered in sawdust creating imaginative wood art and chatting with passing neighbors. For 17 years, he worked as a street cop for the Oakland Police Department and saw far more than he would have liked during those years. His last day on the job was the day he found his good friend, a fellow cop, dead from a self-inflicted gun wound. 

What followed was a diagnosis of PTSD and a complete lifestyle change. The bright spot for Saunders during that difficult time was his discovery of wood.

He had always liked working on his house and fixing things, but during his recovery, he found that everything in his life slowed down. Suddenly, he had time to tend to the bird feeders, to be a more involved father to his two boys, and to scavenge for old wood. 

He taught himself via YouTube videos and trial and error, and began making things from the salvaged wood. He slowly expanded his power tool collection to accommodate his new hobby. His first pieces were birdhouses, boxes, and bowls, but he soon received commissions for looms, dollhouses, shelving, furniture, and framing for his neighbor, artist Suzie Skugstad. 

“I find wood beautiful,” said Saunders, “especially old wood. People throw away so much wood that I would love to use.”


Artist Suzie Skugstad

The May exhibit marks the first time Skugstad, a Piedmont artist and Wildwood after-school art teacher, has had an exhibit at the Piedmont Center for the Arts in six years. 

As one of original artists to have an exhibit at the Center in 2011, Skugstad has always loved the space. She has participated in several joint shows during its first few years, while continuing to teach, paint, and evolve in her painting styles.