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 business.
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, the viewer 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, headquartered in Minnesota. In 2015, she was juried in to the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
If you are traveling through northeast Arkansas, stop by some of her favorite haunts, including Tyronza, home to the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, and Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash. And, of course, the fertile lands and farms surrounding Lepanto.