It is springtime in Atlanta, which is a magical time of year: the landscape is bittersweet and the air is full of pollen and the fields are full of flowers. I decided this was a good moment for a special issue about Lonnie Holley who hails from Birmingham, Alabama. He is a folk artist, and I thought more of the world might like to know about him from the viewpoint of those who have known him for a long time. I was introduced to his work about 11 years ago when he was invited to do an installation at the Birmingham Museum of Art by the then curator of contemporary art David Moos. David invited Lonnie to make his sculpture in an area near the sculpture garden of the museum. I was delighted to see Lonnie’s garden, composed of trash of all sorts, and he dragging more in all of the time. Lonnie was also out there giving tours in this studio-cum-installation. You had to be careful what you asked him, though; you could be there, listening to his answer, for several hours. Lonnie was in a fight with the Birmingham airport authority, which took his studio area to build another runway, but I think he delighted in his new surroundings.
What is special about this issue is that our contributors are artists, poets, and photographers. I want to thank George King, Andrew Dietz, Stan Cohen, and Sheila Pree Bright for taking time from their artistic lives to contribute to TAS about another artist.
Wishing you a wonderful spring and looking forward to you our readers sending us your encounters and experiences with Lonnie Holley and his work.
Editor in Chief
The Art Section
Deanna Sirlin is an artist and the author of She's Got What It Takes: American Women Artists in Dialogue, published by Charta Art Books and available through The Art Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Work by Lonnie Holley photographed by Deanna Sirlin