Four lucky winners recently received framed lithographic art prints by North Carolina rural artist Horace Raper in a give-away sponsored by Carolina-Virginia Farmer magazine. The prints were given away in drawings during the Southern Farm Show, Jan. 30-Feb. 1, at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C. The winners are:
• Ellen and Donnie Boyette, Kenly, N.C.
• Shannon Hawkins, Skippers, Virginia.
• Kenneth Dial, Shannon, N.C.
• Will Steinbridge, Red Oak, Virginia.
The Boyettes won End of an Era, one of Raper's first printed works and one of his favorites. The painting tells the sad story of a disappearing rural reality. In it there is a dilapidated wood-burning tobacco barn and a crippled tobacco farmer walking away from it, symbolizing the loss of that simple rural life in the Southeast and, perhaps, the exchange of that life for a more modern reality.
The Boyettes say they have really enjoyed all Raper's paintings of farm life from the first time they saw them, and especially like End of an Era.
"I think these prints say something about the changeover farmers have gone through, from what we were to what we are today," Ellen Boyette says.
"Tobacco barns just bring back a special memory," adds her husband, Donnie. "That one (End of an Era) is just so authentic looking. I love the look of the hard wood. You know, I used to hang four barns of tobacco a day --me and one other fellow. Often the barns in other paintings that I see don't seem to fit into the picture correctly, you know?
"Often the scale is wrong," Ellen adds, helping him out.
"Yes, that's right. But this one is right on the money."
Raper was born and raised on a tobacco farm, not far from where the Boyettes farm today. Raper's father was a tobacco farmer and his family comes from a long line of tobacco farmers. Now in his seventies, he says as he's aged he's tended to focus on painting those topics that have meant the most to him over the course of his life.