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Horace Farlowe

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ATHENS: Horace Farlowe, 73, sculptor, mentored stone carvers at UGA

By DERRICK HENRY

Horace Farlowe's towering yet elegant sculptures, some as tall as 17 feet, have graced sites in Italy, Germany, Spain, Scotland and the United States.

His legacy as a teacher is just as large and widespread. At the University of Georgia in Athens, he created one of the foremost stone-carving programs anywhere. His students hold prominent positions around the country.

One of those students, Shawn Phillip Morin of Bowling Green, Ohio, has headed the sculpture program at Bowling Green State University since 1991.

"Horace was a larger-than-life figure who had the ability to inspire people," Mr. Morin said. "He didn't talk a lot, but he worked a lot. At the end of a studies abroad program in Italy with him, I passed around my journal. I was expecting Horace to offer some profound statement. He wrote a single word: "Work!" with an exclamation point. He knew work was the secret to our success as artists."

Mr. Farlowe's daughter, Kathryn Farlowe of Athens, remembers a conversation with her father about the possibility of her becoming an artist. "He said, 'You have to live it every minute; it's a passion.' "

That is how Mr. Farlowe embraced his profession. "He woke up every morning and couldn't wait to create," his daughter said. "He lived and breathed art."

Mr. Farlowe, 73, of Athens died April 8 at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., from complications following a heart attack. The body was cremated. The Cremation Society of the Carolinas in Raleigh handled arrangements.

A sampling of Mr. Farlowe's sculpture and abstract paintings will be on display at the memorial service, at 2 p.m. April 30 at Lyndon House Art Center in Athens.

"Horace was a consummate master at marble carving, with an international reputation," said Jack Kehoe of Athens, an emeritus professor at UGA's Lamar Dodd School of Art. As chairman of the school's sculpture area, Mr. Kehoe was instrumental in persuading Mr. Farlowe to begin a stone-carving program at UGA in 1979.

UGA soon became a mecca for students interested in that discipline, said Larry Millard, current chairman of the UGA sculpture program.

"Horace initiated a renaissance in stone carving in this country," Mr. Kehoe said. "His enthusiasm and commitment were contagious. He was down there in the studio sweating and covered with marble dust just like his students."

Mr. Farlowe retired in 2000 to devote his time to his creations.

His sculpture was influenced by Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), a Romanian who pioneered experiments with abstract art. Mr. Farlowe's works were monumental in scale but human in feeling, with an emphasis on form reflecting his background as an architect, Mr. Kehoe said.

"Horace was constantly evolving as an artist," Mr. Kehoe said. "He was never afraid to take a chance."

"His creativity amazed me every day," said his wife of 33 years, multimedia artist Nancy Lloyd of Athens. "He was always designing something better."

Mr. Farlowe even designed his own home, complete with studios for himself and his wife. "It's like a piece of sculpture: textured, with lots of life," his wife said. Naturally, the couple filled the house with their own art and that of others they collected. "It's like a museum," she said.

Other survivors include a son, Vern Farlowe of Athens; another daughter, Allie Farlowe of Charlotte; his mother, Blanche Farlowe of Robbins, N.C.; a sister, Mary Sue Woodard of Troy, N.C.; and a brother, Charles Farlowe of Asheboro, N.C.

The documentary "Horace Farlowe --- Carver of Stone" is scheduled to air at 1 p.m. today on Georgia Public Television. More about Mr. Farlowe and his art can be found on the Web site www.horacefarlowe.com



© 2006 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Apr. 23, 2006
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