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Lucas talks shop with local artist

Charlie “Tin Man” Lucas, left, checks out a sculpture created by Greenville native Freddie Scarver, right, during recent visit to Lucas’ studio in Selma. (Courtesy Photo)

His amazing sculpting skills led him to be chosen as one of The Greenville Advocate’s “Faces of the Future” for 2011.

Now, recent Greenville High School grad Freddie Scarver has gotten a chance to meet and talk with one of the most famous “outsider” artists alive, Charlie “Tin Man” Lucas of Selma. Lucas, who is self-taught, has been described by art experts as a “genius” and a man “born to be a sculptor.” His work has been displayed in galleries all over the world.

Stacey Edwards, Scarver’s art teacher throughout high school, joined Scarver, Mary Ann Hamilton and Shannon Stabler Linden for a visit to Lucas’s workshop and studio to see his paintings and sculptures.  Hamilton and Linden, both enthusiastic protégés of Scarver, organized the trip. It proved to be an eye-opening experience for the young artist, Edwards said.

“It was so much fun. Mr. Charlie was so nice and really personable. Freddie found out he and Mr. Charlie had a lot in common. You could see how well they related to one another,” Edwards said.

“It was wonderful for Freddie to get to meet a successful artist with a background very similar to his, who is making a living, a good living, with his artwork.

“To hear that Mr. Charlie sells pieces for $10,000 to $40,000 just astounded him.”

Lucas and Scarver visited for more than two hours, with the seasoned folk artist sharing words of wisdom with Scarver on pricing his art work and planning for his future as an artist.

Scarver took along some examples of his own detailed sculptures, impressing Lucas enough the artist offered to teach Scarver how to weld. Scarver also received a special invitation to come to the opening of Lucas’s new gallery in August, with the famed folk artist offering to introduce Scarver to “some of my people,” Edwards said.

Scarver described his visit with Lucas as “amazing.”

“It really made me feel good about myself and my artwork,” Scarver said.

“I think I’m proud of myself now.”

Hamilton said from the first time she saw a display of Scarver’s work at a Board of Education meeting,

“I knew he was something to be reckoned with as an artist.”

Edwards is thrilled established artists are recognizing her former student’s potential.

“Now Freddie can see I haven’t been lying all this time when I said he was really special,” said Edwards.

“Freddie has such an extraordinary gift. There is this compulsion in him.

“He has to create. To me that is a sign of a real artist.”