Leslie Lovell, Savannah GA

Willie Tarver (1932-2010) - Folk Art

Georgia artist Willie Tarver found his artistic calling late in life: he started making art only after spending twenty-five years as a refrigerator repairman which is where he first picked up a welding torch. In the late 50s he began by sculpting tombstones out of concrete before moving to painted cement figures created over scrap metal armatures. Eventually, Tarver stopped working with cement altogether and focused solely on the welded armatures and paintings. Willie attributed most of his ideas to Greek mythology, the bible, and occasionally his voodoo heritage.

His unique sculptures and paintings are reactions to life in the South including religion, slavery, farm life, and the struggles of the working man.

His metal sculptures can be seen in the Folk Art Park in Atlanta GA, and in the permanent collections of the House of Blues and the Telfair Museum in Savannah, GA.