Permanent Collection Spotlight
Andy Don Emmons, Woodpecker, 1994, bone, tar, wood, and paint, 36 x 24 inches, gift of George Morton and Karol Howard
AMSET recently acquired a new mixed media sculpture from collectors George Morton and Karol Howard. Woodpecker by Andy Don Emmons, a Texas contemporary folk artist, was created in early 1994; the piece is made of bone, tar, wood and paint.
Emmons was born on September 8, 1966 to a family of 5th generation farmers and ranchers in Central East Texas. Inspired by the tall tales of his family, friends and foes, he began drawing, sculpting and painting the skewed world around him. He left Fairfield to obtain a bachelor of fine arts from Sam Houston State University. He lived in Dallas and Waxahachie before returning to his ranching roots in Fairfield a few years ago. The journey in between had many highlights including befriending the well-known folk artist Rev. Johnnie Swearingen from Brenham, Texas. He grew so attached to him that upon the passing of Swearingen’s wife, Andy moved him into his home to care for the aging artist until his death. They painted alongside each other for several years. Upon moving to Dallas, Bob Wade took an interest in Andy and he became his unofficial protégé for a period of time. He went on to exhibit his work all over Texas and had shows in other cities including New Orleans, Chicago and beyond.
Andy does not limit himself to any one medium. He is well known for his art cars including the famous rhinestone encrusted Cadillac (featured twice at The Bob Bullock Texas History Museum), backyard art environments, outrageous sculptures and his meticulous detailed drawings with map pencils, Sharpies and watercolors. His works are included in The House of Blues collection, Kansas Folk Life Museum, Orange Show and many private collections. He is also front-man for the art damaged, psychedelic, country blues band The Outhouse Moan. Best described by Christina Rees, owner of Gallery Road Agent in an article for The Met & The Dallas Observer, “Both haunted and amused by his past, Andy Emmons approaches small-town culture with razor-sharp perversity. One could spend a hell of a long time studying each picture and still not see everything- symbolic, inferred, or tangible – that Emmons has injected into them. It’s what makes him the unique amalgam he is. Trust me. It don’t get no better than this.”