Rick K. Stewart
(b.1960) lives in Kodak in Sevier County
white oak and cedar tub, 16 inches, 2003.5.2
Sixth generation cooper Rick Stewart learned from his grandfather Alex Stewart’s master crafting and artistry skills. In 1983 Alex Stewart received the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, America’s highest honor for traditional artists Grandchildren Rick and Renée Stewart have endeavored to follow in his footsteps. Rick Stewart assisted his grandfather at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC, in 1983. After Alex’s death, Rick returned to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to be part of the Tennessee program in 1986. Since then, Rick has continued perfecting the art of coopering, the process of making churns, buckets and other staved wooden vessels. In 1988 he participated in a six month residency in Sato, Japan visiting Japanese coopers and sharing skills. He and his woodcarving sister Renee are both featured in Cogswell’s book Tradition: Tennessee Lives and Legacies.