Michelle Holzapfel (born 1951) has been carving and turning wood since 1977. In addition to having her work exhibited throughout the United States, she has shown internationally in Australia and in Europe. Recent solo shows include an exhibition at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts (2014). She exhibited with the Peter Joseph Gallery in New York during the 1990s. Group shows include a recent exhibition at Yale University Art Galley (2013) and other leading museums such as the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco; and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Besides creating sculptural objects in wood, Holzapfel has published writings in numerous craft and turning magazines. She has lectured and taught nationally at craft-related events. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Center for Art in Wood, Philadelphia; the Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut; the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Museum of Art and Design, New York among many others.
Largely self-taught, Holzapfel learned to use tools from her machinist father and seamstress mother. She first practiced carving in her high-school art teacher’s wood-block printing class. Today, in the Vermont studio she shares with her furniture-maker husband, David Holzapfel, she focuses her attention on the hardwoods native to her surroundings, often calling forth her sculptures from single blocks and expressing various themes such as the vessel form, pattern and decoration, illusionism, and space.