How the comfort birds flew from Gurley to Tuscaloosa
Comfort birds from caring hands.
The North Alabama Woodcarvers Association went out of their way to drive down from Gurley, Alabama to Watson's Bend and pick up wood scraps for the Creek Wood Art Exhibit. Tom Horn's wife even typed and lettered little notes to accompany the 180 "comfort birds" carved by NAWA members for victims of the 2011 Tuscaloosa tornados.
"We may live faraway away, but we want those who lost things in the tornado to know we are thinking about them- that they are on our minds and in our thoughts. Maybe they will get to the point when they can pass their bird on to another in need."
In our phone conversation, Tom said that he and his friends carved each little bird to bring hope and comfort to families who lost their homes (and everything in them). While picking up scrap wood from Watson's Bend, Tom also gave a comfort bird to Hurricane Creekkeeper John Wathen, who is also a victim of the 2011 tornado.
Each comfort bird was individually hand-carved by a NAWA member- you can find the initials or signatures on the bottom or underside of the bird tails.
The various types of wood brought down by the tornado are evident in the varying colorations and patterns of the comfort birds. From ironwood to pine, the tornado wood is being used for good by a community committed to physical and spiritual recovery.
Since Habitat for Humanity has done an incredible job of working with local tornado victims, the Friends of Hurricane Creek were excited when Bob Johnson agreed that Habitat would be "the best group" to distribute the tornado art donations.
See the comfort birds up close and personal
If you'd like to personally see and smell these beautiful comfort birds, visit the Creek Wood Art Exhibit at Georgine Clark Gallery behind Kentuck Arts Center in downtown Northport, Alabama. Visitors are welcome anytime between 9 am and 5 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 12 pm on Saturdays. Please stop by the front office of the Kentuck Arts Center for a key to the gallery.
Support the North Alabama Woodcarvers Association
If you'd like to see more of the thoughtful art created by the NAWA, mark November 3rd and 4th on your calendars. This will be the day of the 31st Annual Show and Competition at the Huntsville Depot Roundhouse at 320 Church Street in Huntsville, Alabama. Admission is free, and the exhibit is open to the public from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday. This event will feature demonstrations, collectibles, fine art, decoys, caricatures, gifts, holiday ornaments, and door prizes. Don't miss it.