“I hope that people find biblical inspiration in the piece,” expressed Lee. “The dove is mentioned quite a few times in the bible, and I pulled one of my favorite pieces of scripture and carved that on the piece. I had the piece for a few years and after moving to Buckner Westminster Place, I thought it would be nice to share it with everyone. This is one of my favorite pieces. My other favorite piece is of Elijah and the Raven, which I recently donated to the First Baptist Church in Longview. I really enjoy carving birds because they are some of my favorite creations that God has made. They are all so different and unique.”
Lee has been carving wood since 1945. He was intrigued by the craft when he visited a gallery in Colorado that was showcasing some of his watercolor paintings. He saw a wooden carving of a duck that looked like it was about to take flight. At that moment, he decided to pursue the art of woodcarving. He got books about woodcarving and did a lot of research in order to teach himself the craft. The first thing Lee carved was a hummingbird. He kept improving over time, participated in many shows throughout Longview and won a lot of ribbons for his work. In the following years, Lee would make anywhere from 12 to 15 birds a year. He will have several carvings and some of his water colors on display at the Inspire Your Heart with Art showcase.
“I am planning on showcasing sculptures of a killdeer, a scissor tail fly catcher, Oklahoma bird, American gold finch – male and female, a robin, Carolina rams, a bluebird, a red headed woodpecker, an ivy bill woodpecker, which is extinct, an eagle, a flying quail and some other animals,” said Lee. “I donated the piece with the hands releasing the dove because I had hoped other people would be touched by it. I am looking forward to the art showcase and seeing other people’s work as well.”
Lee orders tupelo gum wood from Louisiana for his carvings. He purchases the wood through special catalogs created for those who practice the wood working as a hobby. He has never taught anyone else how to carve wood, but openly makes suggestions for other carvers at monthly woodcarving group meetings. Currently, Lee is working on two cardinals. If he finishes them in time he will share them at the showcase.
“We love seeing the life works of the residents and cannot wait for the Inspire Your Heart with Art showcase,” said Wes Wells, executive director for Buckner Westminster Place. “There will be a wide variety of artwork and unique crafts on display. There will most certainly be fascinating stories about each piece as well.”
If you are interested in setting up an interview with Rusty Lee or attending the art showcase, please contact Lauren Witt via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 214-890-7912 ext 42.
ABOUT BUCKNER WESTMINSTER PLACE
Buckner Westminster Place, a Buckner Retirement Services community, is a non-profit, faith-based senior living community offering 89 independent living apartments and patio homes for active adults aged 62 and above. In addition, the community offers a continuum of care including 30 assisted living apartments, 25 memory care support residences and 20 private bedrooms in the Green House® homes for skilled nursing care. Buckner Westminster Place is the only complete CCRC (continuing care retirement community) in Longview which accommodates these four levels of living and care as residents’ needs change.
Located near the Longview Mall and just minutes from area medical centers, Buckner Westminster Place gives residents a beautiful way to live. The community includes a 16-acre lakeside setting with walking trails and spacious well-manicured grounds.
Residents enjoy delicious dining and warm fellowship in beautifully arranged dining rooms. The community also has an on-site life enrichment coordinator, chapel, full-time chaplain, on-site worship services, beauty/barber salon and weekly housekeeping/linen service.
A partnership with the Good Shepherd Institute for Healthy Living gives residents and staff access to a wellness center that includes classrooms, a resistance pool, a track and exercise equipment. The community provides transportation to the wellness center.
For more information about Buckner Westminster Place, please visit the community website at www.bucknerwestminster.org or call Blake Lambert at (903) 252-6736.
ABOUT BUCKNER RETIREMENT SERVICES
Buckner Retirement Services, Inc. is one of the largest not-for-profit senior living organizations in Texas dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for senior adults and their families by promoting an active, healthy Christian lifestyle while maintaining their independence and dignity. Buckner Retirement Services is part of Buckner International, a global faith-based ministry serving more than 470,000 people each year in the United States and 18 countries worldwide.