Approximately 20 sculptures and 12 paintings were displayed throughout the library
starting October 28th.
The theme "Angels of the Garden" is one which was selected by the artist Larry
Strickland, who envisions the earth to be a garden - a spiritual place - where humankind is
visited by angels.
In Holy Scripture, angels are understood to be "messengers from God" who bring a word
from the Creator in unexpected times, places, and ways. The angels in this exhibit are
sculpted in various forms, sizes, and materials. Of his sculpting technique, Strickland says,
"I work with nature. the wood is carved by the creeks, the wind, and other natural elements.
I simply work with the medium enough to bring out the images I see already present in the
"I scour the creeks and rivers of south Alabama and northwest Florida for wood from
which to work. I kind of know where to wander. I don't know how to explain it. I just know
where to go to find these pieces of wood lying around, and then I work with nature. I simply
work with the medium enough to bring out the images I see already present in the material."
Strickland says that his carvings reflect some aspect of the human being's spiritual
predicament. He sometimes adds bone and ivory to represent death, or he adds gold and
silver to represent materialism.
"Always, the wood is representative of life's cycle," he said. Life to death to life, as it is
reborn through the artist's eyes.
Larry Strickland, who was born and lives in Florala, Alabama, was educated at Samford University, Troy State
University, and the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida. He served two years as an illustrator for the
United States Army. For 25 years he has made a living as an artist.
Throughout his early artistic career, Strickland worked primarily as a painter in the media of watercolor, oil and
acrylic. About ten years ago, he began sculpting, using driftwood, copper, shell, bone, deerhorn, marble, gold,
silver, brass, and iron. In this display of sculpted angels the core of each piece is heart pine, cedar, oak, walnut
or sweet gum - flotsam of the forest found on river and stream banks in the southeastern United States.