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Welmon Sharlhorne

May 11, 2010

I have temporarily run out of photos of Herbert Freeman’s artwork.   It may be some time before I am able to post some more. Rather than put this blog on hiatus I have decided to head each post with the work of another of Orlando’s best folk artists: Morgan Steele.  I will post Mr. Freeman’s work when it again becomes available.  

Snakey by Morgan Steele

While Welmon Sharlhorne was in Angola prison he created close to 50 drawings using the materials that were available to him: manila envelopes and ball point pens which he requested to write his lawyer (he had no lawyer) and tongue depressors which he got from the clinic.  He drew on the envelopes, sometimes gluing them together to get the size substrate he wanted.  He used the tongue depressor for a straight edge and to trace circles.  

After his release,  Mr. Sharlhorne took his drawings to a gallery in New Orleans where they caught the attention of  Chuck and Jan Rosenak who are avid collectors and chroniclers of self-taught art.  The Rosenaks featured his drawings in an exhibition they curated on American Art at the Museum of L’Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland.  

Welmon Sharlhorne was one of those caught in the Ninth Ward when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana.  He lost everything and had to be evacuated by helicopter.  Mr. Sharlhorne returned to New Orleans and was able to use his art to earn enough to pay for a room, but never enough to get ahead.  A New Orleans antique dealer helped Mr. Sharlhorne by supplying him with art materials and then buying the finished work which allowed Mr. Sharlhorne to prepay for six months rent on an apartment. 





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