Local artist receives prestigious award

Published 9:30 am Thursday, April 20, 2023

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In recognition of her hard work and dedication to art and education, Annie Greene was recently honored with the prestigious Lillian C. Lynch Citation last Friday at the 2023 Black Art and Culture Awards at the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens.

Named after the late Lillian C. Lynch, a charter member of the Athens chapter of the Links, the award honors an African American leader who has made a significant contribution to African American cultural education and service.

Past recipients of the award include Doris Derby, John H. Morrow Jr., Lemuel LaRoche, Lillian Kincey and now Greene.

Upon learning she won the award, Greene said she felt humbled and honored.

“I was fortunate to discover yarn paintings while working as an art teacher in Troup County — yarn paintings were originally created by the Hichol Indian people of western Mexico,” Greene said.

“As a teacher, I saw a similar activity using yarn in a magazine and decided to create a lesson for my students. Later, I began producing larger versions of yarn paintings and noticed that the demand for that medium grew. After I retired from the Troup County School System, I traveled throughout Georgia and eastern Alabama teaching and demonstrating the process of creating yarn art.”

Now entering her ninth decade, Greenee is an educator, painter, author and yarn artist.

“I always wanted to create works that were meaningful and memorable, art that allows people to reminisce and reflect, which is why I am an artist some people happen to think of as a storyteller,” Greene said.

Greene said she uses her art to capture moments in time, especially during the era when she was growing up.

“I fill sheets of watercolor paper with colorful and, sometimes, humorous images from everyday life. These images generally focus on themes of church, family and community,” Greene said.

“My work has a folk-art feel that focuses on everyday living that spans the time from the forties through today. I’ve been fortunate to display my art in art shows, to be in juried shows as well as be a one-woman art exhibit.”

Greene said she thanks her family and many other people and organizations who have helped and inspired her to create.

“The first to inspire and encourage me were my parents, Rev. Henry Tarver and Ella Mae Tarver.  I watched my father draw pictures and my mother gave me a pencil and paper to entertain myself while she played piano during church services,” Greene said. “I thank my sister, the late Ida Florene Jones who helped me recall details from our summers on the farm.  I thank my husband, Oliver Greenee, Sr., my children, Zinta Perkins and Dr. Oliver N Greenee, Jr., and my grandchildren, Nicole and William Perkins — they are supportive in all that I do.”

Greene gives special acknowledgment to the founding members of the Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum, Keith Rasmussen, current director of the LaGrange Art Museum, Laura, and Linda Wilburn, owner of Artist on the Square and the Print Shop Gallery located in Greeneville, Georgia who promotes her work.  She also thanked The Callaway Foundation of LaGrange, Troup County Archives, Georgia Humanities Council, Al Brannan of Market Place in LaGrange, the Troup-Coweta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., her church family, St. Paul AME Church and LaGrange Chapter of the Links, Inc.