At his art show last summer, when Lee Secrest bartered his most expensive piece of artwork for an old riding lawnmower, none of us were surprised.
“But it’s worth so much more than that,” we told him later that evening, sitting around a fire outside his cabin, north of Polebridge. “It better be one hell of a used lawnmower!”
The situation eventually got straightened out and Secrest wound up with a hefty check, befitting his talent and art. But, he confided, while the cash would certainly come in handy, he still thought the lawnmower would’ve been cool.
This is how Secrest is: cloistered from the world, fostering his own cockeyed pragmatism—a true backwoods artist.
When Secrest sees a beautiful piece of wood, he moans like someone who’s just taken a bite of something delectable. When discussing wood with friends, he uses the word “awesome” a lot, and becomes so animated that he can’t sit still.
His sculptures vary widely, but his primary focus is the sphere, utilizing the shape to showcase a piece of wood’s character. “Spheres are just incredible,” he says.