Scrap metal artist wows crowd at Okra Festival

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 5, 2013

WEB9-5Sculptor of Scrap

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
A 500-pound statue of Jesus created entirely from scrap metal was the star attraction at Saturday’s annual Okra Festival held in Burkville.
In addition to renowned poster artist Amos Paul Kennedy, who was on hand as he is every year, signing his poster creations considered works of art, was unusual sculptor/artist Dwight Henderson of Randolph.
Henderson wowed the crowd with his scrap metal sculptures including a life-size statue of Jesus carrying the cross.
His 500-pound Jesus is made from metal found in ground wood, he said. He said he worked on it on Saturdays for two years.
“It’s all kinds of scrap metal, ” Henderson said. “Some of it I can identify and some of it I can’t.”
Henderson, 60, said his wife got him started doing yard art because he collected scrap metal. “I guess the Lord just put this on my heart of to build a full-size statue of Him (Jesus) going to the cross. He’s stumbling with his cross,” Henderson said.
He also produced paintings of Bibb County scenes.
Henderson also created a sculptured bust of a praying man from about 100 pounds of square nails from a house built in 1852.
“This year’s Okra Festival is exactly what Dr. King’s (Martin Luther King Jr.s) dream looks like,” said Barbara Evans, co-founder of the annual event.
While Evans said the crowd was smaller this year than last year due to college football games, she said she was “well satisfied” with the turnout.
The event was sponsored by Blackbelt Community Foundation, Annie Mae’s Art Place, the Lowndes County Commission, Prestige Consulting & Design and Lowndes Citizens United for Action.
Evans, of Burkville, co-founded the event along with the late Alice Stewart, who died of cancer in 2003.
The event always features arts and crafts, good food and live music.

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