Tornado destroys artwork by Thomasville artist -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Tornado destroys artwork by Thomasville artist

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

February 26, 2009

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - There are as many heartbreaking stories of tornado damage as there are victims in Thomas and Grady Counties.

A Thomasville artist and his wife lost their car in the storm and have a big mess to clean up in their house. But it's hundreds of damaged pieces of art that really upset them.

80 years worth of sketches, sculptures, and paintings made with home-made paint, line every corner of this 5,000 square foot storage unit, tucked away behind Gideon and Heather's home in Thomasville.

"You can't put a price on sketches and things like that," says Gideon, the creative artist.

Today while workers repaired the building's roof, the 85-year-old artist rummaged through his past, and through his priceless artwork destroyed in Thursday morning's tornado.

"It's a big job to repair some of it. And the sketches on paper, a lot of them got wet," he says.

"The ironic thing is Gideon was in Miami since 1946, well every year it was stressful for him because we had to deal with hurricane season. So we came up here in 2004, then he gets hit by a tornado. All of his history he's done his whole life, got ruined," said his wife, Heather Gideon.

"We went through all those hurricanes, since 1946 and a lot of the times it'd blow some stuff off the roof, and some things would get wet, but nothing like this. This is really terrible," says Gideon.

Gideon began painting when he was five years old and has let his life experiences guide his art ever since. His Holocaust collection was inspired by his time overseas when he served in World War 2.

And everywhere you look you'll find his wife Heather, his biggest source of inspiration, in many forms and colors.

Many sketches and paintings have water damage and tears, but Gideon still has thousands of pieces that survived the storm.

And through it all he says he'll continue doing what he loves, creating masterpieces in his backyard.

The Gideons hope to create a museum of some sort for his lifetime of work.

If you want to see more of Gideon's work... he has a website.

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