Marion County's Courthouse has been repainted. Painted by Latta native and artist Glenn Hayes, that is.
Hayes was in Marion recently at the Marion County Museum to unveil his most recent artwork at a Wonderful Wednesday event, sponsored by the Friends of the Museum as a fundraiser.
Hayes also has his art exhibited in the museum through the end of April. Various prints and paintings are available for sale, with a percentage going to support the Museum, Hayes announced.
"Rural Reflections," as Hayes' works are named, do reflect his love of nature and the region. He told the folks gathered at the unveiling and luncheon that
Though he served in the U.S. Army and with the FBI and worked with RJ Reynolds, it is his passion for painting that makes him happiest. His loves, in their order of priority for him, are God and family, he shared, with those passions shining through in some way in each of his works. For instance, his painting of a cotton field has his grandson's dog, several family members and a Bishopville cotton patch as his inspirations.
Deer, egrets, rivers, streams, moonlight and sunrises are a few of his subjects, along with the Nichols Methodist Church, and now the new "Light of Justice," as the Marion County Courthouse painting is named.
The Courthouse is depicted lit from within, with street lamps and moonlight in a night scene. It was the vision of his wife's he said, calling his best critic. His wife, Priscilla, also named the artwork.
As a third grader Hayes was a doodler and his school teacher reprimanded him for drawing because having a "good handwriting was more important than drawing" and drawing was thought to mess up your handwriting, he explained. By the fifth grade, however, the art teacher began encouraging him and he started working on the school's annual staff and newspaper, drawing art.
"It got me out of a lot of classes," he joked.
After retiring from Reynolds Tobacco Company, Hayes said it was time to try to paint more seriously and sell the art through signed, limited number edition prints.
From his start at drawing and painting watercolors on the backs of calendars to today's paintings, Hayes also instilled a love of arts in his children. He explained that his son is a graphics arts teacher and his daughter "paints in any medium, does anything..."
The "Light of Justice" was a challenge, Hayes said, especially with getting the details just right. He always starts with photographs and works from there.
As for the other works of art, just ask him: Each piece has a story. "I always had a reason for each one of them." And some of his pieces of art are just not for sale.