LUMBERTON — The Robeson County History Museum will celebrate the opening of “From Mother’s Hands — An Exhibit of Handcrafts and Paintings of Eva Pat Seawell” and “Selected works of Keith Barker Simmons” today from 3 to 5 p.m.
The works of Seawell, who lived in Lumberton, include water color, oil and pastel paintings as well as quilts, needlepoint work and crochet. Eva Pat Seawell, who is deceased, began painting when she was 80, taking Continuing Education classes at Robeson Technical College, which is now Robeson Community College.
When once asked about her new interest, she replied, “I’ve done lots of things in my life, but nothing like this. In my early life I never had time. I had two daughters to send to college. I wanted to know how to do it all.”
Her daughter, Helen Sharpe, said her mother experienced great happiness the last decade of her life, creating many imaginative and beautiful works of art.
Keith Simmons, who grew up in Lumberton, also studied painting, although he first picked up a paintbrush much earlier that Seawell — at the age of 9. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Commercial Art with a concentration in Illustration and a minor in Painting from East Carolina University, he worked for USA Today and for the News and Observer.
He created special pieces in honor of basketball coaches Dean Smith, the legendary coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who won two NCAA titles, and the late Jim Valvano, whose N.C. State team won the NCAA championship in 1983. The works will be on display at the museum.
Blake Tyner, the curator for the museum, said that he hopes “people can see two people who took different paths to achieve their dream. Simmons knew from first grade that he was an artist and pursued it all way through school … where as Seawell waited until the end of her life to realize her dream — showing that while we all take different paths, we can realize our dreams if we work hard toward them.”
The exhibit will be on display until Jan. 1.