Styrofoam, concrete, paint
Artist Lonnie Holley was born on February 10, 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama, the seventh of twenty-seven children. As a young man, he drifted around the South, working as a short-order cook. Eventually Holley settled in Birmingham, where he lives today. When his sister’s two children died in a house fire in 1979, the family could not afford to buy tombstones for the children, so he decided to make them himself. The Tombstones were Holley’s first works of art. He soon began to create an environment of found materials that he assembled in his yard. He took some of his carvings to the director of the Birmingham Museum of Art, who helped get his art in the 1981 exhibition, “More Than Land and Sky: Art From Appalachia,” at the Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C. Holley’s materials for his works progressed from industrial-made sandstone to found objects to painting. In his conceptualization of human and animal forms and his strong emphasis on the spiritual world and ancestral heritage, Holley gives us a glimpse of West African, Egyptian and Pre-Columbian influences. At the same time, his abstract, geometric forms relate to the works of other twentieth century artists.
Folk Art Park Sculpture Gardens
Courtland St. SE at Ralph McGill Blvd. NE
Atlanta, GA 30308