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The Carthage Press
  • New sculptures pop up at Red Oak II

  • He lives in his art.
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  • He lives in his art. Artist Lowell Davis of Red Oak II is known for his country illustrations, figurines and collectibles, but these days his talents are shifted to another passion – metal sculptures. When visitors come to Red Oak II, which is a couple of miles northeast of Carthage, Davis' work welcomes, entertains and enriches the atmosphere of the historic town. “What Red Oak is is an open canvas,” Davis said. “I've taken things people have thrown away and used them to make something beautiful.” These days the south side of Red Oak II is where all the action is with the construction of former Carthage Mayor Jim Woestman's new home. However, Davis has taken advantage of his “retired” days, keeping his art alive and flourishing in the town with steel. “I haven't painted or sculpted in about two years because of the arthritis in my wrist,” Davis said. “It became more difficult every time until it just went. As an artist I never thought I'd retire from it, but I don't feel bad about it because I've painted and sculpted every subject I can think of. If I did right now I'd have a blank canvas. It's given me the opportunity to do these metal sculptures.” This isn't Davis' first rodeo in this kind of medium. Locals have seen his work in Carthage as well; like “It Ain't No Wonder His Wife Left Him,” at Jackson Tire; at the Bad Hair Day salon and “Windy Acres,” at the Flyin' W northeast of Kellogg Lake. “I've always loved it,” Davis said of the sculptures. “I have hundreds of sketches and ideas for them.” Davis' metal art can be found all across the town, the most noticeable pieces are the tractor and the airplane. Eventually, Davis said he hopes to have a metal sculpture garden near the blacksmith shop. Recently, Davis finished “Missouri Summer Nights,” which features crickets playing violins, and “The Thieves,” which was inspired by an ornery crow. “I called him Jekyll,” Davis said, “he was probably my favorite wild animal pet – he'd steal me blind. I never found his stash, but he would pick up jewelry, coins and carry them off.” Davis says he loves the title “Missouri Summer Nights,” and hopes to animate the sculpture with the help of his son. Another aspect that makes Davis' metal sculptures unique are the antiques he incorporates into the scenes. Davis has been back home in Red Oak II for 37 years. “I love every minute of it,” he said of his way of life. “I live in my art and the Lord has blessed me.”
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