Art at work. Photo by Sean Dowie

Art Edison grew up in Salt Lake City and started his training in leatherwork as a shoe repairman at Tip Top Shoe Repair & Moccasin Shop in 1979. He moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to attend St. Johns College where he also worked in a shoe repair and boot making shop. In 1982, Art apprenticed with master saddle maker, Robert Ginder, in Cuyamungue, New Mexico. After a year with Mr. Ginder, Art worked for Cerrillos Saddlery in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he made custom saddles, belts, bags, brief cases, chaps, hatbands, wallets, and other fine hand made leatherwork. In 1986, Art returned to the University of Utah where he studied Fine Art and Chemistry. During these years he worked as a luggage repairman in a local shoe repair shop and made custom leather goods for friends. He is now a professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of Florida and will soon be moving to the University of Georgia to start the next chapter of his professional life.

Our modern world has 24-hour news, constant and instant communication, and mass production of inexpensive and disposable products. Traditional crafts and functional art are endangered in our technology-filled lives but are important elements of our cultural heritage. Art makes every item by hand using the finest materials available with tools and techniques from time-honored western saddle, boot, and harness making traditions.