New Albany, MS– Lena Grove, pregnant, had walked from Alabama to Mississippi, a hundred miles or more, in summer heat:
“She carried a palm leaf fan and a small bundle tied neatly in a bandanna handkerchief. It contained among other things thirty-five cents in nickels and dimes. Her shoes were a pair of his own which her brother had given her. They were but slightly worn, since in the summer neither of them wore shoes at all. When she felt the dust of the road beneath her feet she removed the shoes and carried them in her hand.”
She appears to have walked straight off the third page of Faulkner’s Light in August and into the cool hallway of the Union County Heritage Museum. It seems she may never before have stood on such an immaculate, gleaming hardwood floor, having lived in a log house with a “naked wood floor worn smooth as old silver by naked feet.”
She was created by William Faulkner in 1932, but has been re-imagined in cast stone by John Steele Davis. An artist who has worked for many years in wood, creating furniture and musical instruments and boats and sculpture, Davis started creating sculptures made of concrete cast in sand only two years ago. He lives and works in Water Valley.
Davis’s Lena Grove is one of his entries in the Faulkner and Folk Art Juried Exhibit at the Union County Heritage Museum starting Friday. He has also entered a bust of William Cuthbert Faulkner in the exhibit.
“If you have never seen any of his other work, John Steele Davis’s chairs and tables and other unique furniture feature one-of-a-kind, twisted and gnarled legs that can only be created by a true craftsman” said Jill N. Smith, Director of the Union County Heritage Museum. “Whatever he does you can count on it being well done. Other artists, local and from around Mississippi, have entered the juried exhibit. It is always so exciting to see how different minds see and interpret Faulkner’s work.”
The Faulkner and Folk Art Juried Exhibit will open at the Union County Heritage Museum at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 23rd. LIGHT IN AUGUST is the featured book of this year’s show.
Widely considered among the best small-city general interest museums in the United States, the Union County Heritage Museum has been New Albany’s top tourist attraction for many years. It is located at 114 Cleveland St. in New Albany.
The Faulkner and Folk Art Exhibit will open 5:00-7:00 PM Friday, September 23rd. Prizes will be awarded, and live music will be featured. For more information, see: Faulkner and Folk Art exhibit.