With a command of techniques rivaled only by his diverse interests, Dan Chudzinski’s quest to improve his artistic skillset has led to a host of unusual adventures. Throughout various chapters of his life, he has worked as a zoo taxidermist, apprenticed under master marble carvers in the mountains of Northern Italy, made functional artillery pieces for film and television, and created totem poles with Tlingit master carvers in Alaska.
Born and raised in Fremont, OH, Dan received a B.F.A. in Sculpture and a B.A. in History from Miami University. He received an M.F.A. in Three Dimensional studies from Bowling Green State University. In 2015, Dan was named Curator of the University of Findlay’s Mazza Museum, which houses the world’s first and largest collection of original illustrations from picture books. The Museum serves as host to the annual Enchanted Brush Exhibition, an event that Dan founded and curates to showcase the works of his friends in the Imaginative Realism genre.
Dan’s most recent projects include full-size creature designs for the exhibition Ohio: An Unnatural History, hosted by the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Museum, a life-size polar bear commission for Greg Manchess’ Above the Timberline exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum, and continued work as a consultant and designer for several forthcoming books, gallery exhibitions, and films.
His adventures can be followed at “Dan Chudzinski Studio” on Facebook and Instagram
15” x 21” x 31,” Taxidermy and mixed media sculpture, NFS
Sir William Wayward, famed explorer and adventurer, was the pride of the Museum of Natural History. His excursions through darkest jungles, across uncharted oceans, and beyond the edges of the map led to the most impressive collection of curiosities that the civilized world had ever seen. The news of his disappearance during the 1901 Congo Expedition sent shockwaves across the continent. As the Museum reeled from the loss of its beloved benefactor, a final shipment of posthumous packages arrived under Sir Wayward’s name. As the staff began to unpack the largest crate, a most unusual creature gazed back through unflinching glass eyes. Sir William Wayward’s most spectacular specimen was accompanied by a written description composed of only two words: “The Vifflegriffe.”
9” x 22” x 27,” Mixed Media sculpture, NFS
“The Huffalox began as a subtractive sculpture demonstration while visiting the studio of Colin and Kristine Poole. After thoroughly trashing their workspace, the contours of a whimsical sea creature had emerged from a block of laminated foam. Legend has it that pieces of the Huffalox still haunt the Poole residence to this day.”
“18” x 23” 26,” Mixed media sculpture, NFS
“A spontaneous sketch of a Samurai riding a giant toad lived in my sketchbook for six years before I finally felt compelled to revisit the concept as a sculpture. Based loosely on the legends of the Yokai, a class of supernatural spirits and monsters in Japanese folkore, the idea continued to haunt my subconscious until I brought it to live in dimensional form. “