We are delighted to feature art works of Freeman Vines in A CELEBRATION OF TREES.
To meet Freeman Vines (b. 1942) is to meet America itself. He is an artist, a luthier, and a spiritual philosopher, and his life is a witness to the truths and contradictions of the American South. He remembers the hidden histories of the eastern North Carolina land on which his family has lived since enslavement. For more than 50 years Vines has transformed materials culled from a forgotten landscape in his relentless pursuit of building a guitar capable of producing a singular tone that has haunted his dreams. From tobacco barns, mule troughs, and radio parts he has created hand-carved guitars, each instrument seasoned down to the grain by the echoes of its past life. In 2015 Vines befriended photographer and folklorist, Timothy Duffy (b. 1963) and the two began to document the guitars and Vines’ life story. Soon after, Vines acquired the lumbered boards of the tree on which Oliver Moore was lynched in 1930, providing the material for his Hanging Tree Guitars series. Confronting the silences and memories of this dark episode in his local history has brought Vines face to face with the toll of racial terror on his own life and work.
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