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Willard Lennin Rowsey (Will) was born in Huntington, West Virginia during the mid 1930's. Most of his childhood was spent in that area and included a year in a childrens home. His family moved so often that he attended thirteen different schools in Maryland, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia before he quit at age sixteen.

His first job was as a stockboy. He joined the Naval Reserves at age seventeen and then the Army at age eighteen. During his Army service he earned a High School Diploma, became a paratrooper and served as a radio operator and supply clerk. After three years in the Army he enlisted in the Air Force where he trained and served two years as an electronics repairman before receiving an honorable discharge.

After working as a residential and commercial painter, a cook in several restaurants and in sales management, Will spent most of his working career in public utilities. He worked as operator, manager and consultant in several drinking water and sewage treatment systems in Florida, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.

In 1988, Will went to Chimney Rock, North Carolinia where he established the Hickory Nut Art Gallery. He returned to West Virginia at the end of the 1988 season to wrap up his affairs. In April of 1989 he moved to Lake Lure, NC and reopened Hickory Nut Art Gallery at a new location in Chimney Rock.

Will had several relatives who were accomplished artists so his childhood artistic talents were accepted as a natural gift. Throughout his life he sketched, drew and painted people and life around him. He drew cartoons, technical illustrations and decorated his work places. His paintings of wildlife and scenery were often gifts to his family, friends and co-workers. It was only after Will opened Hickory Nut Art Gallery that he began to consider the commercial potential of his artistic talent.

To help meet gallery operating expenses Will joined with a couple of other artists and they displayed their own work and that of more than two dozen other local artists. He exercised his artistic skill with oils, watercolors, acrylics, graphite charcoal, colored pencils, ink drawing pens, pencils and ballpoint pens to create fine art drawings and paintings. Occasionally, he carved wood sculptures. Mountaineer Art Prints had several of his paintings and drawings reproduced as limited edition prints. Some of the black and white drawings reproductions are avialable with the option of having them hand water colored.

Will contributed most of his working hours to the operation of Hickory Nut Art Gallery. His work sold very well but did not provide enough income to cover the gallery's operating expenses and compensate him for his time and effort. Reluctantly he closed the gallery in 1995 and now works as a free lance artist. Will does commisioned fine art paintings, some commecial art to include logo and fabric designs. He also paints scenery and other subjects that inspire him.

Listed below are links to examples of Will's limited edition prints currently available through Mountaineer Art Prints.

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Mountaineer Art Prints
1044 Walker Addition
Elkview, WV 25071
United States