Willie Tarver
Willie Tarver worked hard all his life to be a successful provider for his family and it was on his job repairing cooling systems that he first picked up a welder’s torch.
He began his work as an artist in the late 1950’s, making cement tombstones, some of which can still be seen in the local cemetery. His early creations outside of the graveyard were large painted cement figures. These were created over metal armatures that he constructed out of scrap metal which he welded and cut. Eventually the armatures become the art pieces themselves, as he experimented with finishing them off without cement.
In addition to figures of people having fun, Willie also created figures of humans in pain and anguish to illustrate lessons or historical events. His animal figures often had combined features of several species, giving them an otherworldly effect. He referred to the animals as “Egyptian,” citing the artistic representations of animals in ancient Egypt.
Before succumbing to lung cancer in 2010, Willie constructed a fantastic garden of cement in his backyard on Tarver St.
Wadley, GA
SNAKE JUG
7" x 17" X 9
BOLT GUITAR
10" x 28" X 6"
HITCHHIKER
7" x 16" x 8"
BOLT SAXOPHONE
19" x 16" x 5"
VULTURE
15" x 15" x 15"
DRAGON
17" x 27" x 26"
$900
DOG & BIRD
19" x 12" x 4"
"EGYPTIAN" LIZARD
25" x 19" x7"
SOLD
BOTTLE MAN
7" x 11" x 6"
GIRAFFE
10" x 15" x3"
Willie's version of the southern pottery face jug is made of cement with mirrors imbedded.
CENTAUR
10" x 9" x 6"
This man is struggling under the burden of alcohol. He has already dropped and stumbled over his empty glass.
Willie and his wife Mae worked together on projects in cement. While Willie began to work more and more with metal, Mae continues to work in cement. She doesn't always differentiate her work from Willie's. She says "It's all Tarver."
COWBOY
16" x 13" x 4"
MUSICIANS (2 pieces)
18" x 18" x18" each
ROOSTER
14" x 16" x 8"
Pieces similar to the ones below may still be purchased from Willie's family.
We would be glad to check their availability for you.
CHOOSE AN ARTIST
FROM THE LIST
Ten years since Willie passed away, we paid a visit to Mae Tarver and her family.
We picked up these fantastic pieces of Willie's art for a customer and thought you'd like to see them.
Plowing Scene with Vultures
painted on treated cardboard
Plowing Team
found metal & torch cut metal
decorated with paint and weld beads
Waiting Vulture
found & torch cut metal
welded and painted
Vulture Feeding Frenzy
found & torch cut metal
decorated with paint and weld beads
Two vultures devour a bloody carcass.
SOLD
SOLD
SOLD
SOLD
Questions about an item or an artist?...ready to buy?...