Pencil portriats put people in perspective
by By LAURA NATION-ATCHISON
Mar 20, 2010 | 676 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Talladega artist Barry Woodard created a series of three pencil portraits for the city of Talladega’s 175th Anniversary Exhibit at Heritage Hall Museum. The portraits include key figures in the city’s history, Davey Crockett, Andew Jackson and Creek Indian Chief Menawa.
Talladega artist Barry Woodard created a series of three pencil portraits for the city of Talladega’s 175th Anniversary Exhibit at Heritage Hall Museum. The portraits include key figures in the city’s history, Davey Crockett, Andew Jackson and Creek Indian Chief Menawa.
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By LAURA NATION-ATCHISON

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Incredible detail and dimension, the portraits are created by who knows how many strokes of his pencil.

The portraits Barry Woodard draws are lifelike and filled with personality and perception.

Woodard says he’s basically self taught, and has been drawing since at least the first grade.

He’s specialized in portraits for years, but also does other work, including places and buildings and people posed in landscape settings.

He turns his talents to pet portraits, too, one being a local Golden Retreiver, Maggie, owned by Jim and Sinika Smothers of Talladega.

Woodard said he likes the portraits of children he does best, pulling out three in particular from a portfolio he brought to Heritage Hall Museum Friday morning.

The children are cousins, Madison and Mailey Crowe and Kyley Cline, all three from Ragland in St. Clair County.

Some of Woodard’s Talladega portraits include those of Hank Fannin and Megan and Luke Griffin, along with his own children, Ethan and Evan Woodard.

Three pieces of his work are part of the museum’s exhibit for the city’s upcoming 175th Anniversary Celebration, showing key players from the Battle of Talladega and the Creek Indian War.

Tommy Moorehead, artist in residence for Heritage Hall, said Woodard was just the right person to capture the personalities on paper for the museum’s exhibit.

Woodard does portraits on commission and may be reached at 256/493-4841.

Moorehead decided to feature portraits of Gen. Andrew Jackson, Davey Crockett who served in the Tennessee Militia and Creek Indian Chief Menawa, a full blooded Creek who was in charge of the tribe at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, the last battle of the wars.

It was the Creek Indians who brought Europeans to the area that is now Talladega, inviting a trading post to the area operated by a European settler.

It’s one of the reasons the town developed, and one of the reasons the story of the Creeks is such a part of Talladega history.

Woodard’s series of portraits are shown on a trio of easels at the museum, where already, another key player in the era, has a portrait on display from the museum’s permanent collection.

The late Barbara Sweatt of Talladega painted William Weatherford, known as “Chief Red Eye,” about 15 years ago.

Weatherford led the Indians in South Alabama on the Mobile Delta in the events that started the wars.

In addition to Woodard’s portraits and a series of historic paintings of Talladega done by the late Frances Upchurch, a selection of historic photographs of the area taken through the years is also on display.

Another part of the exhibit shows a collection in Native American tools and items they used to live every day, bowls and knives and stones used to crush corn and nuts.

The museum also hosts an Arts Festival on the lawn March 27, with more than a dozen area artists coming to show their work.

The Heritage Arts Festival opens to the public at 10 a.m., and more than a dozen painters, potters, carvers and other artists will be on site showing their work and offering hands on arts experiences for all ages.

Exhibitors include Moorehead’s paintings, and pottery from Joe Williams of Talladega, quilts from Betty Donohue of Talladega, wood carvings from George Hartsfield and Walter Hartsfield of Talladega, paintings by Talladega County artist Art Bacon, folk art displayed by Frank Phillips of Pell City, pottery from Jim Gasser of Jacksonville, photography from Jennifer Alam, soap stone bowls made by Russell Everett, glass art by Jean Lincoln of Pell City, glass art from Lindsey and Marie Moses of Talladega, and paintings from Cathy Thornton of Talladega along with members of the Talladega art class of Sarah’s Girls and from members of the Tuesday night art class held at Heritage Hall Museum.

The festival continues until 6 p.m. on the grounds.

The inside exhibits may be viewed during the Art Festival, and also during regular museum hours, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Capsuled histories of the subjects of the art pieces help tell the stories of the city’s history, one display features the detailed journal of James Mallory who owned the plantation named Selwood in Alpine.

The book, published by The University of Alabama Press, created from Mallory’s journal is on display, along with entries from his journal, all selected from entries made on July 4.