Thank you Jan Landis and
Richard Stamats for allowing us to use your photos in the above slide show. All photos without credit came from Art.

For an additional slide show of Art and his carvings go to and
See the show put together by Richard Stamats in Art's honor

Below are Comments sent to the Guest Book in Art's honor and
To say "Good-bye".

If you would like to make a comment to include on this page,
Sign the Guestbook and it will get included.

There will be a Celebration of Life Memorial for Art
 At the Presbyterian Church at 172 NE 32nd Ave in Hillsboro
On September 16th at 2pm.

Article about Art in Portland Oregonian August 12, 2007
Ex-Cop Whittled Troubles Down to Size


BOYCOTT Yahoo Search Engine and Mac Afee Virus Protection
 For Unfairly Labeling this and another Native American Web Site
as "UNSAFE".   Read Details...



Name: Robert E. Barton
Location: Burien; Washington; USA
Date: Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 17:33:15

Comments:  I lived neighbors to Art McKellips for nearly 10 years, (from 1974 to 1984). He was an outstanding person and wood carver. I recall him participating in the fourth of July parades as a Korean vet, one of the Frozen Chosen heroes of the Korean war. He was a great neighbor and great American. He will be greatly missed. I am now living and working in the Seattle area. Just heard that he passed away last July 26, 2007. He will be greatly missed.

Name: Lonnie McKellips
Location: Cottonwood, Arizona, USA
Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 21:52:41

Comments:  When serving in the Army at Ft. Lewis, at the local Mall I stopped by a wood carving exhibit and discovered the Artist was Art McKellips. I told him I also was a McKellips so we had some great talks and visits.
Got to see him for a short time out in Arizona when he came for the winters. Glad to have known him and will always be thankful for Art and his family taking in a "McKellips" soldier on lonely weekends in Washington.

Name: Tom (Toe Moss)Shipley
Location: Leavenworth, WA, USA
Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 21:57:12

Comments:  Mac was a life long and dear friend and I had the honor of being his best man when he and Joyce were married. We drank, fought, laughed and cried together over the years. He will be sorely missed, gone but never forgotten.

Name: Bea Close
Location: Gresham, Oregon, USA
Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 19:17:12
Comments:  My sympathies and prayers go out to Art's family. Semper Fi!

Name: pam collen
Location: Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
Date: Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 23:23:48

Comments:  I have known Art McKellip's since the 1960 being a friend of his son Kelly. He was a great person as well as a Very talented artist. I saw his Hank Aaron carving as he was working on it and it was amazing. I am sad to say I never got to see first hand the finished project, But what I saw was amazing. Bye Art you will be missed. Your family is in my prayers. Pam Collen

Name: Linda Sakai
Location: Portland, OR, USA
Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 18:27:22
Comments: I read about Mr McKellips' passing in today's Oregonian. The article was so impressive I had to visit the website. Such an accomplished man who gave so much to many. Thank you for sharing his carvings and story. My condolences to his family and friends.  LS

Name: Carl and Christine Moehring
Location:Bandon, Oregon, USA
Date: Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 11:38:35

Comments: In the early 1970's, we were invited into Art's home to view his work. We purchased "Sherlock" and "Watson", a pair of figures 22-24" tall, even though Art really didn't want to sell them. We were young and broke, but we loved these wonderful pieces and spent the rent money on them. They stand on the large roll-top desk in our den.

We send our condolences to Art's family and friends. His was a life well-lived, honorable and worthy.

Name: Tat'su`hwa`, nee Carol Ann Starr-Wilson
Location: Superstition Mountain, Apache Junction, AZ, USA
Date: Saturday, August 11, 2007 at 13:47:40

Comments: One of my Dearest Friends and Tribal Member Since we were join, 1995! For my doing his research, honored me with a couple of Hand Carved Bears, one is standing the other walking! His Carvings are Nationally known...My husband and i Loved him very much! He was a great friend and email compainion! May the Great Spirit Guide and Protect his family, for i know he is proteced in the great beyond...You are dearly loved Art!

Name: George and Sadie Liset
Location: Jacksonville, NC, USA
Date: Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 16:29:38

Comments: C11----You will be missed. Enjoyed your art and carvings over the years. The family is in our thoughts and prayers. Semper Fi. George and Sadie

Name: Dolores Holcomb
Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2007 at 08:13:44

Comments: What a wonderful friend and artist ! Art, you will be greatly missed by all of us !

Name: Frank R. Holcomb
Location: Paris; TN; USA
Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 at 08:16:42

Comments: I have been looking at Art's emails for years through mutual friends and relatives. Now I know who he is and what he has accomplished in his art work. His name and talent seem like they are no accident. I'm sure he is continuing his great works in heaven now and look forward to seeing him some day when I cross over.

Name: Tim 'Little Horse' Morin
Location: Tucson; AZ; US
Date: Thursday, July 26, 2007 at 20:58:31

Comments: 7/26 -- We'll miss ya Art! The world has lost a great man & artist! Bon Nuit, Mon Ami!



Sidelined By Injury, He Turned His Love Of Woodcarving Into A Career
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Amy Martinez Starke The Oregonian Staff

When a disabling injury ended Art McKellips' career as a Washington state trooper, the longtime whittler turned in his badge for carving tools.

And every tool was razor sharp. Shedding blood on each carving went with the job. He was missing parts of three fingers, and the rest were worn and callused. "The first thing you do," he told his students, "is buy stock in Band-Aids."

Usually working in basswood out of his Hillsboro home for the past 30 years (and Tacoma for 20 years before that), he did commissions big and small, and eventually created a name for himself nationwide.

"If I can see it, and I can draw it, I can carve it," he said.

In the 1960s, he got a $25,000 commission for a mural sculpture on the history of money and barter. He carved crests of arms, tiki masks and Elmer's Restaurant signs. He carved the entire bar for a Bavarian restaurant in Tacoma and three totem poles for the New York World's Fair. He did caricatures of each member of the Giants baseball team. He did life-size statues of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and the risen Christ at St. Jude Church in Eugene. He did many of the exterior statues for the town of Leavenworth, Wash.

Most famous was a large wooden sculpture depicting Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron.

Had Art been savvier, he would have charged a lot more. But he wasn't much for tooting his own horn, and he couldn't put a price on his work. So though he made a living doing what he loved, he never made a pile of money.

Art had the build of a prizefighter and a bullheaded personality that could charitably he called temperamental. The ex-cop and Marine had ancestry combining Scottish and Osage Indian. His spiritual beliefs were a mixture too. A onetime Christian deacon, he also believed he had lived several lives and had prophetic visions and dreams. And he was a big fan of St. Jude, whom he believed saved his grandson's life. He often felt he was born in the wrong time.

He worked from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in his Hillsboro garage, and fast, because he wanted to see the end result. Until poor health slowed him down, he was the fastest carver he knew -- something he learned from doing courtroom drawings years earlier.

"I don't boast much, but I will boast on that," he said. "I think I hold the world record on time."

Art had no formal art training. His step-grandfather got him whittling as a little boy: flint pistols, rifles, hatchets. His father was a millworker in Everett, Wash., and Art had a rough-and-tumble upbringing.

After graduating from Everett High School, he entered the Marine Corps, which made him a barber. At 19, he married Joyce Lattin, who was in beauty school, and they eventually had four sons.

By the time he was 21, he was a Washington state trooper. He whittled as pressure relief from his job, and after 10 years on patrol, he was injured in 1961 ("I was rammed by drunks three times").

After his injury, Art resigned, and his wife operated a beauty salon out of their home.

He did freelance courtroom trial drawings for Seattle TV stations and composite drawings for police agencies.

After two years in Eugene, the family moved to Hillsboro in 1975 so his wife could take a job managing the JC Penney beauty salon in Washington Square.

At the peak of his working life, Art sent carvings to the king of Norway, Neil Armstrong and Jackie Kennedy. He often met celebrities for whom he had done carvings: Johnny Cash, Rosey Grier, Red Skelton, Pat Boone, Loretta Lynn, Frank Leahy, Carol Burnett, Ed Asner.

It was important to pass on his knowledge. He taught and wrote a book on woodcarving for beginners. He particularly enjoyed teaching the young people of the Confederated Tribes in Colville, Wash.

He always had time to let people see his "museum" and showed off a thick wallet of photographs of his carvings.

Two weeks before his death from cancer July 26, 2007, at 76, he was carving an organ grinder with accordion and monkey. It is half done.

"Nothing that I have done is finished to the 10th degree," he once said.

Art never got to go to Scotland, but some of his carvings did.

Of the thousands of sculptures he made in his life, there was only one he wasn't willing to part with, a carving of a suit of armor. It would not stand out in a collection. He never attempted anything else like it. He took it to art shows and talked people out of buying it.

If you asked why he didn't sell it, he would not, or could not, tell you.

Amy Martinez Starke: 503-221-8534;


Arthur McKellips
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Born: Sept. 23, 1930, Everett, Wash. Died: July 26, 2007, Hillsboro Survivors: Wife, Joyce; sons Kelly, Scott and Sean; son Dan died in 2002; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren Celebration of life: 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 16, Hillsboro Presbyterian Church Remembrances: American Cancer Society.

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