Richard Morgan Howell
Wood Carver and Sculptor

My wood carving and sculpting career spans more than fifty years from 1966 to the present. During this period, numerous years were also devoted to my career in fisheries development projects in the Indopacific islands of Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Micronesia( Chuuk, Guam, Saipan, Kosrae, Marshall Islands). This resume is presented in historic chronological order.


1966-1968 – Peace corps volunteer (education)

Working and living on Kayangel Atoll, Palau, Micronesia I worked closely with the Atoll’s resident wood carvers. Using simple hand tools, we produced utilitarian items such as spearguns, diving goggles, coconut scraping stools, pig platters, fishermen’s boxes and food containers.

1985-1990 – Seafood buyer/seller/artisan

Being inspired by the late Kupuna, Lorna Dunne owner/curator of the Nuuanu/Pauahi Gallery in Honolulu, I began focusing my budding wood sculpting career on portraying Hawaiian legends in wood. I also started carving replica oceanic fish hooks, weapons and decorative implements.

1997-2001 – Wood sculptor

During this period, I continued my wood sculpting career in San Diego and Maui, Hawaii. In San Diego I carved from palm logs, 25+ large, commissioned tikis(ki’i) figures. On Maui, I sculpted several Hawaiian legend pieces displayed at the Village Gallery in Lahaina.

2003-2004 – Guest sculptor

I was privileged to be an artist based at the Village Gallery in Lahaina, Maui. I also exhibited in Lahaina with the Hawaiian group He’ U’i on a biweekly basis. All works, Hawaiian themed.

2005-2006 – Guest sculptor

I was Invited by executives of the Outrigger Reef Hotel, Waikiki, Hawaii to spend a period of time in the hotel’s main lobby, sculpting a large Koa wood bas relief sculpture. In two months I completed the Oahu tale of “Niho-o-leki” , 6’x3’. Sold to hotel employee.

2008-2009 – Resident sculptor

I continued to work on my art during a two year residency in the Hawaiian homestead community at Hauula, Oahu hosted by kupuna Ahi Logan. Working in local woods of Koa, Milo, Ohai and others, I completed many Hawaiian fish hook replica’s, Poi pounders, bowls(umeke), and idols(ki’i).

2010-2013 - Associate Wood Carver

This period of time was spent learning and sharing new techniques with Tongan Master Carver, Toni Niu at his woodcarving centers at Kualoa, Oahu.

2014 - Sculptor

I spent four months working independently at Keeau, Hawaii, completing numerous Hawaiian fish hook(makau) replicas And commissioned pieces for What would become a lifelong collector of my works at Kailua, Oahu.

2014-2017 – Sculptor

Working on site as a member of The San Diego Sculptors Guild, I focused my efforts on carving bas relief sculptures. I created the Keeau, Hawaiian family history of Botello/Fontes originally of Madeira, Portugal, 7’x2.5’. Another bas relief carved in this period, the Hawaiian legend of Lau-ka-ieie fora client in Utah through online sales.

Awards and shows

  • Member, San Diego Sculptors Guild 1999-2021
  • Awards at Design in Wood Show, Del Mar Fair, San Diego. 2006, First place Sculpture. 2007, Second place Sculpture. 2008, special award from California Carvers Guild, “Concept in Wood “. Second place traditional assessories 2022.
  • 2023. Design in Wood. First place Marine Animals with Kane I Kokala. Also special design award from California Carvers Guild. Also second place Open Wood carving for Maori Manaia.
  • Hawaii Wood Show, 2018, Sculpture. “Namakaokaha’i.
  • Hawaii Craftsmen Annual Show 2020. Three entries of Hawaiian makau. One sale.
  • Woodworkers of Bonita and San Diego County, Inaugural show March 2020 open periodically til August 2020. Hawaiian Demi-god, “Kinilau, the protector of fishes,”.
  • Nohea Gallery, Honolulu. 2000-2021. Regular placements and sales.
  • Village Gallery, Lahaina, Maui. 2000-2004. Regular placements and sales.
  • Hana Coast Gallery, Maui. 2001-2002. Regular placements and sales.


San Diego state university — B.Sc., Zoology, 1971

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