Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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February 19, 2010

Brick sculptor Johnny Hagerman featured as Tazewell ‘Artisan of the Month’

BLUEFIELD, Va. — Wintry conditions didn’t stop a well-known Tazewell County artisan from participating in the “Artisan of the Month” program at the Tazewell County Visitors Center near the Sanders House in Bluefield, Va.

Johnny Hagerman of Pounding Mill, Va., traveled to Bluefield to participate in the program that spotlights the work of Tazewell County artisans. Hagerman, 55, specializes in low-relief brick sculptures. His work adorns buildings throughout the region, with his most recent work, the incredible carvings inspired by Paint Lick Mountain that form an important the new Learning Resources Center at Southwest Virginia Community College.

“All of the lofty projects that I had on the drawing board last fall are on hold right now,” Hagerman said. “I pressed the pause button and I have been working on pieces that could be incorporated into outdoor kitchens. With the way the economy has been going, I think people will be staying at home and enjoying their own backyards.”

Hagerman brought folders of his newest works with him to show to people at the center. “I’ve been toying around with some ideas,” he said as he showed photographs of several of his newest works. “This is an interesting piece,” he said as he showed a sculpture that contains a “Lord of the Rings” flavor. “I’ve been playing around with different subjects.”

The program aimed at saluting Tazewell County artisans is sponsored by the Tazewell County Office of Tourism and was developed under the leadership of June Brown. “I was able to get commitments from 13 artisans in just one day,” Brown said. “No one turned me down.”

Brown said that in August, the Visitors Center plans to host several Tazewell County authors who will do a book signing event. The center is located near the Sanders House in Bluefield, Va.

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