Charlie Lucas was born Oct 12, 1951, in Birmingham, AL and was raised in Elmore
County north of Montgomery, Al.
As a child, Lucas wished to be an artist though he was told by his teacher that art
was for white people. His great-grandfather, Cain Jackson, a blacksmith, introduced
him to metalworking and allowed him to use his tools to experiment with welding.
Charlie Lucas worked odd jobs until 1984 when a severe back injury forced him to
rethink the direction of his life. After successful surgery, Lucas asked God to provide
him with a talent no one else had. He believes God gave him the ability to return to
the metalworking he remembered as a child and to become an artist.
From discarded scraps of metal, old car parts, and twisted wire, Lucas began fashioning
sculptures inspired by people or animals and built around a narrative; a personal
search for meaning in the assembled metal. In the 1980’s Lucas was gaining recog-
nition as an artist and the attention of galleries, museums, and collectors followed.
Frequently referred to as the “Tin Man,” he was included in the1988 ground-breaking
exhibition at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, “Outside the Mainstream; Folk Art
in Our Time.” Lucas added painting to his repertoire in the late '80’s and later yet, he
often combined painting with his sculptures.
Lucas worked and lived in Pink Lily, Al with his wife, Annie, and his 6 children for
many years. In 2004, Lucas relocated to Selma, Al where he purchased an old
warehouse to store and showcase his art.
The art of Charlie Lucas is included in the permanent collections of The High
Museum of Art in Atlanta, and The Birmingham Art Museum. He is featured in
“Souls Grown Deep, African-American Vernacular Art of the South,” by Paul
and William Arnett.
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