Biography and Artist Statement
Ancient man was utilitarian in his existence. Plant life provided food, shelter, tools, art and natural medicines. The African, as the earliest man, gave reverent homage to the cycle of creation. As part of the ecological evolution of life, after childbirth the African would pick a favorite tree and give back to the Plant-God of the Universe by burying the afterbirth under the roots of a tree. Honoring this tradition, I give back to that which sustains us through the humble production of my original art form - CUTZ. In simple terms, “I draw in wood with a saw, thus producing ‘fine art ensconced in wood’.”
Fred Gardner is African-American. He is a native Texan raised in Corsicana by parents who were educators. He is an Artist by profession, love and passion. Matriculating from an agrarian background, Fred’s love for the earth was nurtured in the center of East Texas soil where majestic oak and cedar trees cemented pastoral country visions. His grandfather felled trees and ran a fence business while Fred was a child. His father had a love for wood working but never pursued his passion; he instead maintained a ranch as a hobby where Fred worked constantly. These childhood memories placed an indelible mark on his soul which influenced his love for wood, art and beauty.
He is a founding member of The Afro American Players, Inc. (AAP), which is the oldest Black Theatre Company in Texas. It was established on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin during the Civil Rights Movement. He starred in a campus production his freshmen year and later founded the AAP. His thespian involvement , as an actor, singer and set designer during his undergraduate years, rekindled his love for wood.
His travels on stages around the world as an accomplished actor, developed a love of people that he skillfully scrolls with a saw in his visual art medium he simply calls, CUTZ. This divine inspiration came to him on his birthday, February 24, 1992 as he began to sketch pictures from his perception of the richness of worldwide cultures, cut them out of wood, paint them in vivid colors, mount them, and display them. Fred is an accomplished Scroll Saw and Airbrush Artist. His technique combines two art forms which result in one of a kind wall art. This rare and intensive format takes 13 steps to complete. Vibrant colors and a musical spiritual movement are a part of this visual story of ‘fine art ensconced in wood’.
Fred has won numerous awards for his distinctive art format.
BEST of SHOW
Lakewood Summer Arts Faire, 2004 Lakewood Summer Arts Faire, 2005
Dallas City Arts , 2007
Artfest, Featured Artist, 2008
Dallas City Arts, 2008 Jury Award
Frisco Fine Arts Festival, 2009
MusicArte, (Merit) Ft Worth Main Street, 2010
2D Professional Creative Arts Designer/Craftsman, Best of Texas 2010
Currently he performs multi-cultural plays for children with his writer, actor, producer wife Glo Dean every month through their cultural arts company, BaGar Productions. He also produces plays with the Afro-American Players in major theatres and venues all over the USA. Fred is a Director of the Eclectic Multicultural Arts Community (EMAC), an arts consortium which encompasses theatre, music, dance, culinary and visual arts in Richardson, Texas.
Fred and Glo Dean have one son, Tre` and two grandsons, Langston Jeremiah and Lincoln Nehemiah, who he proudly holds as his most precious pieces of art.