An exhibit at First Baptist Church of Rome offers a glimpse into the many talents of Rome resident Bob Harris.

The 50-piece exhibit is open to the public and features paintings, woodwork and metalwork and mixed media.

Harris is a retired 8th grad history teacher. Most recently he taught at Coosa Middle.

Harris said he’s always worked with his hands.

“My mother strongly encouraged me to be creative and work with my hands,” Harris said. “My dad was an engineer and even at a young age I’d make things out of cardboard.”

Harris has hemophilia, a medical condition in which the ability of the blood to clot is severely reduced, causing the person to bleed severely from even a slight injury.

“so I wore leg braces like the ones in Forrest Gump from the 6th grade till I graduate from high school,” Harris said. “I got out of them my senior year but I would still have to be in a wheelchair while I recovered from any of my bleeds.”

This didn’t stop him from explore news ways to be creative, even if it meant working with sharp tools and instruments.

The result has been a lifetime of beautifully carved wooden sculptures, oil paintings and even metalwork and many of them are on display in this new exhibit.

There are charcoal drawings of his children, a model of an old Rome riverboat and oil paintings of people and scenery. Harris is quick to point out that although he created the paintings, artist Frank Murphy was always looking over his shoulder.

“I give him a lot of credit as a teacher and mentor,” Harris said. “He is a great guide and I can’t say enough about how much he has taught — and continues to teach — me.”

The exhibit gives Rome residents an indication of the seemingly limitless creativity Harris possesses. He said he’s always thinking of new things to design or create.

“From Family to Far, Far Away” is on display at the First Baptist Church art gallery through November. The exhibit is open to the public whenever the church office is open, generally from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

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