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See the Enduring Artistry of Huber F. King

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Garrettsville -J Leonard Gallery and Vintage Emporium along State Route 88 is paying homage to one of the area’s greatest artists by showing the works of the late Huber F. King.  Twenty one-of-a-kind woodcarvings, sculptures, paintings and drawings will be exhibited during the month of May, with an open house event from 5-8pm on Thursday, May 5.

Most of these pieces art are on loan from King’s daughter-in-law, Carole King. She will share memories of her father-in-law during the open house at 12157 SR 88. Her late husband, Cal, was “Hube’s” son. Three additional pieces are on loan from Windham carver Jim Molnar, who assisted King on various projects over the years.

King the artist won numerous awards in the United States, Canada and England for his work, including five “Best of Show” awards at the International Woodcarvers Congress. According to his obituary, King was 91 when he passed away in 2001. He had been a lifelong resident of Windham, serving as a Village Council member, president of the Windham Board of Education, and volunteer firefighter.

A profile in continual transformation, King graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art and became well-known as a decorator and sign painter in Portage County. In addition to his interior decorating work, he also worked in the sign shop at the Ravenna Arsenal during World War II and opened Garrettsville’s Sky Lane Bowling in 1957.

King retired in 1966 after 32 years as an interior decorator. Then he and his wife, Lois, traveled the country extensively, where he was inspired to depict Southwest scenes in watercolors and oils. His interests later turned to woodcarving, which he mastered with great success. Favoring the Old West, his work included sculptures of Will Rogers, Mark Twain and General Custer, as well as carvings of birds and animals. He was chairman of the Affiliated Woodcarvers Association.

Custom woodcarver Joe Leonard says the Huber King exhibit is the first of many upcoming exhibits in which he plans to feature the works of  different local artists. Already, the gallery and emporium he operates with partner Liz Eustace shows and sells woodcarvings, jewelry, paintings, glassware, pottery and other handcrafts from various local artisans, as well as antiques and collectibles.

If you haven’t been to the gallery and emporium yet, look for the white tiger out front. You can also find them online at www.joeleonard.com and at the J Leonard Gallery & Vintage Emporium Facebook page.

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Estelle R. Brown is a freelance writer who lives in Garrettsville with her family. She has written and taken photos for newspapers, magazines and e-zines for the past 25 years. She also enjoys working on public relations projects, including web content, newsletters, posters, brochures, press releases, and other creative endeavors. She enjoys writing compelling stories about her community as a contributing reporter for the Villager.