Editor’s note: This blog was published in January 2016.
Norwood Creech isn’t an Arkansan by birth…she is an Arkansan by choice!
Born in Kansas City, MO, Norwood made her way to Arkansas after living on both coasts, and a few places in between. Her last stop before Arkansas was Memphis. While living in Memphis, Norwood crossed the Mighty Mississippi for a visit to Arkansas to escape city life and run the levees of the Delta. While exploring Arkansas, she met her future… and her future husband, “Tri” Henry Grady Watkins III.
Tri manages his family’s farming operation at Portis Farms, previously Portis Mercantile, established in 1911 in Lepanto. He is the third generation to manage the farm. Norwood will tell you that when she first visited the farm, she knew she had found her new home and her place in the world.
Her work depicts the vast views of the Arkansas Delta. Seeing the region through Norwood’s eyes, one may be able to transform what many see as everyday and flat, into something beautiful, filled with love and joy.
Most people might not necessarily see the beauty in the simplicity right off, but she gives us a renewed opportunity to embrace it.
Her work has been featured in exhibitions across the nation for more than two decades. Creech is a member of the organization Rural America Contemporary Artists/RACA out of Minnesota. In 2015, she was juried in to the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Arkansas Life magazine recently featured Norwood and her work in a great article.
If you are traveling through Northeast Arkansas, be sure to check out her haunts, including Tyronza, home to the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, and Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home; it’s hard to get her out of the St Francis-Little River Floodway (that which Roseanne Cash refers to as The Sunken Lands in her award-winning CD “The River & The Thread”); and of course you’ll want to view the farmland surrounding Lepanto in Poinsett, Mississippi and Craighead Counties.