Dan Burgette

Olympus Digital Camera

Dan Burgette (b. 1947) began carving 40 years ago while working at George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Indiana. Part of his duties was to dress as a frontiersman and whittle while he talked about the Revolutionary War. During this time a new supervisor came from Redwoods National Park with a chainsaw-carved decoy. Inspired, Burgette found a tulip tree limb and carved his first duck with an historically accurate tomahawk. Over the next many years, while Burgette was a park ranger and mountain rescue coordinator in Grand Teton National Park, he gained a great deal of inspiration for his carvings, and later sculpture, which would fare well in competitions. Dan first came to Ocean City, MD to compete at the World Championship in 1989. After initially winning second in the novice division, Dan worked all the way up to Best in World Interpretive Wood Sculpture in 2001. He has since won many other ribbons for interpretive and bronze work, including Best in World in the Interpretive category again in 2011, and Best in Show Wildlife Sculpture in 2018. Dan is a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists and Artists for Conservation and he is an elected member of the National Sculpture Society. Since retiring from ranger duty, Dan gets inspiration for new work by canoeing in the arctic; and he passes on his love of carving and sculpture through classes, workshops, and talks benefitting the next generation.