Growing up, artist Larry Wolfe loved the classics told by authors of their time—Treasure Island, Kidnapped and James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales like The Last of the Mohicans. But as much as he enjoyed reading the books, it was the illustrations that really caught his eye and influenced his work to this day, he said.
Now the Charleston artist’s work can be seen in a one-man show on display at the South Charleston campus Library and Research Commons through the spring semester. It is part of the library’s rotating exhibits of works by area artists. A reception for Wolfe will take place Friday, Jan. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the library. Light refreshments will be served.
As fond as he was of books, Wolfe also spent a lot of time outdoors, enjoying his Boy Scout troop’s annual camping trips each summer on the Elk River near Clendenin. “I can’t think of a more wonderful way to grow up than this. I love creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes. I think that can be found in my paintings,” he said.
Wolfe was also influenced by the artists who illustrated Walt Disney’s movies and cartoons to the point where, he said, “I wanted to be a Disney cartoonist.” Disney’s version of Treasure Island spurred his interest in sailing ships and he sketched them by the hundreds. His father was a carver and skillful with his hands so he tried carving for a while, but returned to his true loves of sketching and painting. “I decided I wanted to be an artist when I grew up,” he said, a wish he believes has been fulfilled.
Photos: Works by artist Larry Wolfe are on display at the South Charleston Library and Research Commons.