Folk artist brings feathery touch to Aiken Center for the Arts | Local News


One of South Carolina’s most well known people artists was a element of downtown Aiken’s scene this week, with Edgefield indigenous Ernest Lee going to Aiken Centre for the Arts.

Recognized to a lot of as “The Rooster Man” because of to his recurrent use of poultry in paintings, Lee used a pair of several hours on Laurens Road on Thursday afternoon, painting initial exterior the arts center’s doorway and then transferring a handful of feet within once rain started. Lee, a 1980 graduate of Strom Thurmond Substantial School, is mainly recognised for his existence in Columbia exactly where he sometimes sets up a roadside gallery. 

All through his Aiken pay a visit to, he done a few of paintings and offered many, including a person he had finished a couple of minutes in advance of. Among his consumers was Aimee Moreno, who very first heard of Lee through her years as a College of South Carolina student. Thursday, she satisfied him for the 1st time.

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“He was just so gregarious and attractive,” she mentioned. “I assume perhaps I have known about his do the job for 20 several years. He’s a true treasure. I hope far more people today get to know his work and guidance his artwork.”

Moreno’s buys involved a rooster creation titled “Jump” and “a print of a portrait that he did of James Brown that was definitely, seriously amazing,” she recalled. 

Lee has participated in Aiken’s Makin’, an arts and crafts festival traditionally held in September, and tends to focus on animals and wildlife scenes, he stated.

As explained on the arts center’s internet site, he is a single of five “rural creatives” with operate at the moment on show in the most important gallery by way of a community arts method known as Make: Rural SC. Lee’s compatriots in the software are Rajasekhar Yarraguntla (“Mr. Y”), James Wilson, Robert Matheson and Terrance Washington.

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Caroline Gwinn, the arts center’s govt director, said the 5-artist exhibit is to be up through July 28. As for the Edgefield County native, she said, “Art just arrives out of him. He has to paint. When he sees factors, he paints them. He paints his tips and he paints freely and he’s full of joy.” 

Lee reported the “hen” angle has its origins from all around 1979, in Thomson, Georgia, based on a friend’s strategy in link with a bantam rooster. “It was a suggestion, and I just took it and ran with it,” he stated. 

Moreno stated she appreciates Lee’s emphasis on “making use of what’s at hand and not stressing way too substantially about perfection.” The artist often employs donated or 2nd-hand content for portray surfaces and frames, adding to the rustic look in his creations. 


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