95-year-old artist paints Catawba past - | WBTV Charlotte

95-year-old artist paints Catawba past

Arie Taylor has painted dozens of folk-art renderings of what life was like way back when. (Kristen Hampton | WBTV) Arie Taylor has painted dozens of folk-art renderings of what life was like way back when. (Kristen Hampton | WBTV)
CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

It’s like a time machine stretched out over wooden-framed canvas. Arie Taylor’s living room is a one-of-a-kind gallery, a glimpse of what life was like in Catawba County in the early to mid 20th century.

“As far back as I can remember I was interested in painting,” said Taylor. And the 95-year-old Vale, NC native can remember pretty far back.

“We used to keep our food in the spring house because we didn’t have any electricity,” Taylor said while proudly showing an oil painting of the spring house that served as her family’s natural refrigerator for years.

Taylor first picked up a paint brush in the 1950s after taking a class at a local technical school. Since then, she’s painted dozens of folk art renderings of what life was like way back when. 

From old men gathered around a moonshine still, to children gathered around shucking corn, Taylor has put to canvas what many people weren’t around to ever see.

“Most of my paintings are based on memories of the past that are so clear to me. A part of that life is gone forever and only footprints left behind. My paintings are my footprints,” Taylor said.

Her work has won her a lot of praise locally. Some of her art even appears in the Hickory Museum of Art. She’s captured a piece of what’s gone and memorialized it.

At 95-years-old, she still paints on occasion, although not as much as she used to. But that may change.

Taylor told WBTV, “I just told my son I think it’s time for me to pick up the paintbrush again."

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