1938 -1997

Leroy Almon

Tallapoosa, Georgia
    About

    Woodcarver Leroy Almon was born in Tallapoosa, Georgia, and grew up in Ohio. After graduation from high school, Almon became a shoe salesman and later an employee of the Coca-Cola Company in Columbus, Ohio. There, at Gay Tabernacle Baptist Church, he befriended Elijah Pierce, the renowned woodcarver. In 1979, when Almon lost his job, he apprenticed himself to Pierce and became "curator" of the artist's barbershop gallery. Initially, the two collaborated on pieces until Almon began creating his own carvings inspired by religion, politics, and history. Almon's artworks begin as preliminary sketches, which are then transferred to softwood panels and carved in low relief with pocketknife and chisel.

    In 1982, Almon returned to his hometown of Tallapoosa, where he restored his boyhood home and converted the basement into a workshop and gallery. In Tallapoosa, he became an ordained minister and a nondenominational evangelist, while at the same time working as a police dispatcher. Christianity remained Almon's primary focus, both in his life and his art.

    Souls Grown Deep: African American Vernacular Art, Vol. 1

    Souls Grown Deep: African American Vernacular Art, Vol. 1

    The African American culture of the South has produced many of the twentieth century’s most innovative art forms. Widely appreciated for its music—from the blues and jazz, to gospel, soul, rock ‘n’ roll—the region has also played host to a less visible but equally important visual art tradition.

    In the Presence of Our Ancestors: Southern Perspectives in African American Art

    In the Presence of Our Ancestors: Southern Perspectives in African American Art

    Minneapolis Institute of Art
    December 12, 2020 to December 5, 2021

    In the Presence of Our Ancestors: Southern Perspectives in African American Art” brings together methods of visual storytelling and ancestral memory through the individual practices of artists from the “Black Belt” region of the American South—a term that refers to the region’s black soil, as well as the le

    Trip to the Mountaintop: Recent Acquisitions from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

    Trip to the Mountaintop: Recent Acquisitions from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

    Toledo Museum of Art
    April 4, 2020 to July 5, 2020

    The Toledo Museum of Art will feature 10 newly acquired works in the free exhibition, Trip to the Mountaintop: Recent Acquisitions from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from April 4 to July 5, 2020, in the New Media Gallery. The Souls Grown Deep Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting the work of African American artists from the South and their cultural traditions.

    Leroy Almon