People of Darlington County: The folk art of Earl Ray
By Jana E. Pye, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the most fun “Where is it in Darlington County” photos we have printed in the News & Press resulted in meeting a lovely gentleman named Earl Ray of Darlington.
“I love that truck!” exclaimed a majority of the callers identifying the photo.
Although he doesn’t think of himself as a folk artist, the arrangement of items in and on his 1982 Ford 150 pick up truck evokes the works of artisans such as Noah Purifoy and Howard Finster. Sometimes known as “Outsider Art,” folk artists that combine items in unusual ways challenge one’s perception of what is art.
According to his wife of 43 years, Pat, Earl has always had a knack for collecting; once he started the truck project, many people began giving him items to assist with the transformation of the truck.
Earl said that he began the project about five or so years ago; he hand painted the truck with regular latex paint, and affixed each item with silicone.
He began with the inside dashboard, and the collection just evolved into the truck that is seen all around Darlington today.
A cab used to be on the back of the truck with angels from countries around the world, and a working jukebox. A smaller jukebox is inside, along with some larger ceramic dogs affixed to the floor of the cab between the driver and passenger seat.
The couple gets stopped regularly for photos by the truck, and children especially love it.
Mr. Ray’s health has been declining in recent months, and we appreciate the trip he made to the News & Press so we could meet him in person!
Do you know a neat character here in Darlington County? Submit their name, description and contact information for future inclusion in “People of Darlington County” to: email@example.com, or call: 843-393-6811.