Lonnie Holley
Styrofoam, concrete, paint

Created in 1996 for Folk Art Park in Downtown Atlanta, Lonnie Holley’s “Earth Flower” reflects many of the spiritual and ancestral motifs found in the West African, Egyptian, and Pre-Columbian art that influences his artwork.
In this mix media sculpture, abstract figures of human and animal forms maneuver and shift around each other as if they are emerging from the sculpture’s rock-like surface, much like the roots of a flower. The shapes of his abstract, geometric forms also relate to the works of other 20th century artists.

Holley was born on February 10, 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama, the seventh of 27 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 Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.

Holley’s materials for his works progressed from industrial-made sandstone to found objects to painting.

Folk Art Park, Quilt Tradition
Piedmont Ave. NE at Baker St. NE
Atlanta, GA 30308