Local artist’s painting will honor his late wife’s wishes; benefit Cancer Services for Davidson County
Painting has been a part of Brian Edwards ‘life since he was nine in Janet Griggs’ classroom at Northwest Elementary.
From the day his fourth grade teacher praised drawing a random face during a class art project, he was excited about being creative. It may seem strange that a self-described “country boy” from Davidson County, who also likes to hunt and display his taxidermized trophies on the walls of his home, would be passionate about drawing and painting. After all, there aren’t too many painters in the art world, camouflage and work for a large tobacco company.
While painting was a love for most of his life, it is neither the only nor the strongest love he has experienced.
The title “Love of his Life” belongs to his wife Tamara Hunt Edwards. They met through friends in their former church in the Faith Alliance. He knew immediately that he wanted to marry the petite woman with a mane of long, wavy hair, and he did.
Tamara loved watching Brian paint, make suggestions, and see how he increased his talent. These shared moments became even more precious when Tamara was diagnosed with uterine cancer in June 2020. After months of treatment, the Winston-Salem doctors gave her a fully cured diagnosis in late September. Two weeks later, the doctors made a 180 on their prognosis. They discovered four tumors in her abdomen. Tamara lost her battle with cancer in January.
As in all other days of their 30-year marriage, Tamara spent time watching her husband paint during the final months of her life. The last painting Brian worked on before she died was by a Carolina Wrenn and was titled Daily Provisions.
“She liked to watch me paint,” he said. “She would give me advice. I could ask her questions and she would tell me what she was thinking. She watched me paint this and she said we should do something with this painting that will help people fight the same fight Lead cancer she’s went through. “
When Edwards mourned his wife, her words and wishes stayed with him. Davidson County’s Cancer Services have been of great support to Tamara and helped her get a wig when her treatments caused her to lose her hair. The nonprofit provides emotional, physical, and financial support to cancer patients in Davidson County.
Edwards decided to have 200 copies of Daily Provisions for sale. He will donate the proceeds from the prints to Cancer Services. The limited edition 12 “x 9” prints are $ 60.77 each and can be picked up at multiple galleries in the area. The prints will be released March 20th and can be pre-ordered at www.brianedwardsart.com/.
“Our vision is to bring hope for life to cancer patients,” said Ray Howell, executive director of Cancer Services for Davidson County. “I would say that is exactly what Brian’s painting will do. It will give hope to cancer patients by getting to where they can get their medication, get treatment and give them hope.”
He said he was very grateful to Tamara, who considered ways to help others during their illness, and to Brian, who offered his talent and painting as a means of providing financial support to the agency.
Carolina Container in Lexington donated the cardboard packaging material for the prints and Carolina Envelope donated the envelopes.
Edwards is delighted that Tamara’s comment is not only why he decided to turn the pressure into a fundraiser for Cancer Services, but it will also be part of the pressure. Your fingerprint will be included near his signature on every reproduction.
“She wasn’t an artist, but she understood what she liked and what she didn’t like,” he said. “She was so supportive of me. It can take 150 to 200 hours to paint one of my pieces. It’s a long process that she has always supported me with.”
The art of healing
Throughout her life, Tamara was there to celebrate all of Brian’s accomplishments with his paintings, such as when Edwards’ animal images were accepted for inclusion in the annual NC Wildlife Calendar several times.
“It’s something I can do to keep this up,” said the 1984 North Davidson High graduate.
He appreciates God for his artistic talent and said he would rely on his faith to carry him through his grief.
Opening an art gallery and buying land to build a new house were also dreams Edwards shared. He is about to make that dream come true. Edwards said he hoped to buy a property on Craver Road soon.
If the deal goes through, he plans to use a building on the property to open an art gallery. Not only does Edwards want a place to display his own work, but also the work of artists he has met at art shows and on social media from across North Carolina and beyond. Various media will be represented, from paintings and drawings to ceramics and other media.
“The name will be THE Art 4 Soul,” he said, noting that THE is for Tamara Hunt Edwards. “I’d love to be with the teacher at North Davidson High and give her students the opportunity to show off their art. That’s how I started. Somebody encouraged me.”
Jill Doss-Raines is a senior reporter for The Dispatch Trending Topics and Personality Profiles, always looking for business and entertainment tips, secret and new menu items, and interesting people in Davidson County. She wants to know what the Davidson County people are talking about. Contact me at [email protected] and subscribe to us at the-dispatch.com.