‘The Tree Man’ will be TroyFest lead judgePublished 11:00pm Tuesday, April 23, 2013
When Betty Wagoner called Stephen Malkoff “out of the blue” and asked him to be the lead judge for TroyFest Arts and Crafts Festival 2013, he immediately realized that “this woman is a character” and said, “Yes, ma’am,” to the invitation.
“I looked at my calendar and saw that my son had a college baseball game that day, but I said, ‘Heck, I’ll do it,’” Malkoff said. “I love this woman.”
Although Malkoff has only talked to Wagoner on the phone and although he is not a seasoned judge of the arts, Wagoner sold him on “this judging thing.”
“I’m an artist and I love all kinds of art,” Malkoff said. “I even like abstract art. I look at it and envision what the artist was thinking. You can tell if it was a time of celebration or tragedy in the artist’s life. You can see what the artist was thinking. Abstract art can be aesthetically pleasing. Yep, I like all kinds of art.”
Malkoff said that art should “move you.”
“Art should stir an emotion,” he said. “That’s what I hope to accomplish with my artwork. I want it to move the viewer.”
Malkoff draws famous trees and is known as “the tree man.” Southern Living gave him that distinction in an article the magazine published about his art.
Malkoff’s art will be exhibited at TroyFest Saturday and Sunday on the square in downtown Troy.
“I asked ‘this Wag,’ if I could have my work on display at TroyFest. Of course, I can’t put a blue ribbon on my own work,” Malkoff said, laughing. “My daughter will show my artwork while I’m going around judging everybody else’s art.”
Malkoff works in pencil and his prints titled, “The History of the Trees of Toomer’s Corner” have been selling like hotcakes as the famous Auburn oaks at Toomer’s Corner are being cut down this week.
The original pencil drawing of the Toomer’s Corner oaks is in Auburn University’s permanent art collection and hangs in the university president’s home.
Malkoff’s limited edition prints of the Toomer’s Corner oaks will be for sale at TroyFest.
“All of my prints are limited editions,” Malkoff said. “The beauty of art is for it to be collectable. Limited editions make artwork collectable.”
The artwork of Stephen Malkoff, “the tree man” will be featured in the Weekend Edition of The Messenger. Visit Malkoff’s website at tiger30.com or arborsque.com.