Group of sculptors attending the Vancouver Island sculpting symposium

Binkley feels it is very important to give back to your community, and to this end he volunteers a week of his time each year to the community of stone sculptors. Binkley belongs to both the Northwest Stone Sculptors Association and the West Coast Sculpture Association.

Michael Binkley carving granite boulder

Each of these organizations hosts a variety of symposium events in western North America, from California, USA to Vancouver Island, Canada. Binkley has attended many of the Annual Camp Brotherhood Symposiums hosted by the NWSSA, and he regularly attends the Annual Cowichan Lake Symposium hosted by the WCSA.

Vancouver Island sculpting symposium

In 1994, Binkley gave a presentation on Self Representation at the WCSA First Annual Cowichan Lake Symposium. In 2004, Binkley was a featured instructor at the NWSSA Camp Brotherhood Symposium, giving workshops on various stone sculpting techniques, as well as a presentation on Self Marketing. From 2000 onward, Binkley has been a regular instructor at the Cowichan Lake Symposiums and in 2010, he gave a lecture on the complexities of carving the features of the head, hands and feet.

Most international stone carving symposiums are based on a jury system to participate, and the successful participants then compete against each other to produce a sculpture.

Vancouver Island sculpting symposium
Vancouver Island sculpting symposium

The most important aspect to the symposiums put on by the NWSSA and WCSA organizations is that they are not competitive. Participation is limited only to the accommodation capacity of the hosting facility. The participants then immerse themselves in an inclusive and trust building environment where ideas, techniques, new technologies, dreams and even fears are shared. From beginner sculptor to advanced professional, all levels of ability are welcome. It is mandatory that egos be left at the door, and mentoring be the order of the day.

Binkley was introduced to stone sculpting by an individual who was unafraid of sharing his knowledge. Binkley feels compelled to continue that tradition and believes that there are no secrets to stone sculpture. There is room enough for many more stone sculptors to create lasting art works for the world to enjoy.

If you would like more information about the organizations mentioned on this page, you can reach them here: West Coast Sculpture Association, or
The Northwest Stone Sculptors Association.

Vancouver Island sculpting symposium

Back to Top