The Hinesville Area Arts Council will host an unusual art exhibition Thursday.
The detailed woodcraft of local artist Guy Browning will be featured in his first official showing.
The show will be an extension of Guy and Anne Browning’s home in Sunbury. Wood carvings of wildlife, religious and historic figures, Native Americans and even some comical figurines line the bookshelves, countertops and cabinets there.
“I’ve taken my pieces to church before and given little talks about wood carving, but I’ve never pushed it,” Guy Browning said. “When they asked me to do (an exhibition), I wasn’t very enthusiastic about it ... I do it because it’s something I enjoy.”
He said he’s carried a knife in his pocket since he was 8 or 9 years old. He said he has enjoyed whittling from an early age, noting that using a knife was among the skills he learned during his lengthy, distinguished Scout career. He became an Eagle Scout in 1949 and eventually became Scoutmaster for Hinesville Troop 562. The now-retired engineer served as the Scoutmaster for the Coastal Empire Council’s troop at the seventh National Boy Scouts Jamboree in 1969. A year later, Browning was conferred the Silver Beaver Award by the National Court of Honor of the Boy Scouts of America for his lifelong contributions.
However, he said he didn’t begin carving until 1981. Among the first things he carved were replicas of his left hand and work boots. Both works were carved to scale. His wife said the hand replica is so realistic, it looks like a severed hand. She doesn’t want him to include it at the exhibition.
A much larger, detailed carving of a bobcat head and a comical “fishin’ buddy” figurine probably will be among the woodcraft at the exhibition, along with walking sticks and canes. He is particularly proud of one of his walking sticks, which he said includes etchings and embedded emblems that tell his life story.
“If I see it and I like it, I’ll try to carve it,” he said.
He said he eventually received some formal classroom training and has worked with several more experienced wood carvers. He said, however, most of his artistic skill was self-taught, with a lot of trial and error.
Browning’s woodcraft-exhibit debut is from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday at 102 Commerce St.