Renowned folk artist and wood carver Elijah Pierce (1892- 1984), the youngest son of a former slave, was born on a cotton farm in Baldwyn, Mississippi. Under the instruction of his uncle, Lewis Wallace, Elijah learned to carve wood at the young age of 7 using a pocketknife that his father gave him. Full of devotion as a husband, preacher, and barber, his life-long practice of woodcarving and talents as an artist were only discovered publicly during the last decade of his life. He made an immense impact in his adopted home of Columbus, Ohio, as an influential figure in his community, ensuring that his barbershop was not simply a business, but a space for exchange, gathering, and discussion. Within several years of capturing the attention of a sculptor at Ohio State University, Elijah was recognized nationally by the country’s most prestigious arts and cultural institutions including: the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Museum of American Art, the Renwick Gallery, and the Bernard Danenberg Galleries, among others. The Ohio Arts Council awarded Elijah Pierce the prestigious Ohio Governor's Heritage Award posthumously.