The Lee County Board of Commissioners opened the door Sunday to the newly renovated county offices with a dedication of buildings named T. Page Tharp Government Building, Beulah Forrester Administration, Parks and Recreation Department Offices and the Courthouse Annex.
The Tharp family commissioned Lee County artist Myric B. Hornbuckle for the oil-on-linen portrait of T. Page Tharp in honor of his love for Lee County and 40 years service. Tharp served as treasurer and then as county administrator from 1950 until 1989. Tharp served on the Chamber of Commerce board of directors. He was instrumental in the organizing and writing of the book, A Train Runs Through It , a collection of stories about early Lee County. He was active in the community and Leesburg United Methodist Church until his death in 2007.
“The painting of Mr. T. Page Tharp was an emotional experience,” said Hornbuckle. “I knew the family and wanted so very much to capture an accurate likeness and even more importantly to convey a sense of Mr. Tharp’s jovial personality. I was so pleased at the unveiling that the audience of his family, friends and so many of his co-workers collectively said ‘aah’ when the portrait was unveiled by Mr. Tharp’s sons, Tommy Tharp and Dr. Jeffrey Tharp. A portrait artist can receive no greater affirmation of the quality of a work of art than to witness a quick misting in the eye of the person’s family and friends.”
Hornbuckle is an accomplished pianist at the Lees burg United Methodist Church. While her degree is in music and she no longer teaches in public or private schools, she loves all forms of art. She painted the cover of Plantation Publishing Co.’s Albany Area Phone Directory 2009 and had a painting chosen for the Colson Co. Calendar. Two of her portrait works, Bubble Boy and Little Fire Chief, were juried in the Perry (Ga.) National Fair Fine Arts Division and are currently on display in Perry. Hornbuckle credits her success as a portrait artist as a gift from God. She studied painting in the old masters style from Joseph Sullo of Tifton and has studied with professional portrait artist D. Authur McBride.