Woodcarving and Metalwork
Acrylic: (sounds like, a-KRIL-lick) A type of plastic added to paint to increase shine and toughness.
Have you ever really liked a piece of art that you made, but other people said it was weird or ugly? How did you react to that difference of opinion?
What ideas, people or places inspire your artmaking?
What do you think is the story of a woman who is “The Bomb” or a man who is “Too Cool”?
To find articles on several Wisconsin visionary artists such as Mona Webb, Prophet William Blackmon, and Dr. Evermor, see Jeffrey R. Hayes’, UW-M Professor of Art History, bibliography. In addition, find the book Miracles of the Spirit: Folk, Art, and Stories from Wisconsin by Don Krug and Ann Parker.
Howard Finster is a visionary artist admired by George. Pyrography explores his carving and wood burning, and Georgia’s Appalachia provides a thorough biography on Finster, as does his daughter Beverly on HF Biography.
To find out about the current state of African American arts in Wisconsin, contact the advocacy group African-American Artists Beginning to Educate Americans about African-American Arts (ABEA). Read this letter to the Art Forum editor, “Not in My Backyard,” to find Madison artist Marlon H. Banks’ thoughts on the topic.
The Florida State Archive’s website offers an in-depth look at Mary McLeod Bethune, her life and work. Included are excellent photos and lessons plans for grades 4 and 5.
See one of George’s carvings, “Climbing Out of Hell.” It was in the exhibit, “Wisconsin Visions: A Journey of Wisconsin Self Taught, Outsider & Folk Art,” at the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, January 18-March 16th, 2002. You’ll see images of work by other visionary and traditional Wisconsin artists here too.
Do you know the African-American history of Milwaukee? Can you name two African-American cultural resources in Milwaukee? You can go to Milwaukee Black Online to find out.
Remember the doll George carved of Mary McLeod Bethune? Do you know why she is so respected? Read about her life in this short biography from the National Women’s Hall of Fame, or this longer Profile in Caring by Val J. Halamandaris.
Listen to this audio clip of Mary McLeod Bethune as she says, “We firmly believe that education has the irresistible power to overcome the shackles of slavery” (from the Shomberg Center for Research in Black Culture).
Text written by Jamie Yuenger, edited by Anne Pryor.
Sources consulted include fieldwork with George McCormick by Chad Reichart (5/2/2001) for the UW-Madison Folklore Program, a tape-recorded interview by Carrie and Michael Kline (6/25/98) for the Wisconsin Arts Board, and video footage from the 2002 Midwest Folklife Festival Teacher Institute at Folklore Village, with the tapes housed at the Wisconsin Arts Board.