Willie Rascoe is a folk art sculptor. As a student at Hopkinsville Community College he picked up a piece of wood and started caving. He worked on his art for nine years before he showed any of it. His first show, in the early 1980’s at the Trigg County Farmer’s Bank in Cadiz, was enthusiastically acclaimed. He continues to create his sculptures from the driftwood, metal, bone, and shell he collects along the lakes and woods of Western Kentucky. He bases his work on the shape and textures of the wood; the wood looks at him as he is looking at the wood. Sculptures emerge as animals, masks or abstract forms, with a blurring of lines between human, animal, plant, and spirit. Bits of bone, animal hides, shell fragments, copper wire, and stain made from berries and sawdust finish the pieces. Rascoe is well known throughout Kentucky for his work in schools and as an arts educator. He conducts workshops and serves as artist in residence, where he encourages his students to push themselves to use their own unique gifts. Rascoe has exhibited at the Kentucky Folklife Festival in Frankfort, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville and the Kentucky Folk Art Center in Morehead where he was featured in the African-American Folk Art exhibit. His pieces are in the permanent collection of the Kentucky Folk Art Center and the Kentucky History Center as well as private collections. His art has been exhibited in France and Thailand.
This bio/description was originally published in 2012 and updated in 2013. For more current information, please refer to the award recipient's website (if provided).