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Joe M. King Jr.

Joe King

(1949-2020) born in Leiper’s Fork, lived in Columbia, TN
Angel No. 8, 2005
Tennessee limestone, 16.25 x 15 x 4.25 inches, 2008.167.1

Woman and Child, 2005 limestone, 16.25 x 10 x 3 inches, 2008.168.1

Using a hammer and chisel, King’s carved sculpture appears to resemble pieces of pre-Columbian art found in the southeastern United States. The surface has been polished to a smooth finish and coated with a sealant giving a brown coloration speckled by grey and tan variations in the stone. Commenting on his smooth, glasslike sculptures, King explains. “God gives me such pretty rocks to work with, I want it to show.”

King has been a well-respected carpenter in Leiper’s Fork for thirty years. He is known for building and remodeling area homes, and businesses including Lawnchair Theater as well as the building housing Leiper’s Creek Gallery and Leiper’s Fork Flintlocks. His remodeling career encouraged King’s artistic desire to move into stone carving.

When I’m working with a piece of a stone, I see something in it. I just feel the need to create; to help what is there come to life. – Joe King