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Woodie Long: The Painted Word

Beginning his artistic career in 1988, Woodie Long was a self-taught, primitive abstract painter. With no formal training or attention to traditional methods, Long created elegant stories through his quick brushstrokes.

Born in Plant City, Florida in 1942, Long was the son of a sharecropper and one of twelve children. He began working in the fields at a young age, often moving with his family to where the work was. Long had a long career as a housepainter, learning a lot about the nature of paints. After twenty years in the business, Long began to turn his attention to paper.

As a way to communicate with his children, and to tell the stories of his childhood, he began painting narratives on paper, canvas and various found materials. Long’s work is characterized by its rich and vibrant colors and genuine nature. He often painted from memory, executing complex compositions in his visual storytelling.

Recurring themes in his work include women with purses, bicycles, pickup trucks and school buses, scenes from the fields and kids flying kites. He also painted a number of cityscapes, which represent his time spent in New York City during art shows he was a part of. Woodie Long: The Painted Word, will highlight a number of these themes, focusing on Long’s ability to create visual history.

Woodie Long’s work is represented in major private and public collections around the world including the Columbus Museum of Art and the Wiregrass Museum of Art.