(1887-1979) Jesse Aaron was born of black and Seminole Indian descent in Lake City, Florida. The first of 11 children, he left school in the first grade to work to support his siblings. A religious man, Aaron prayed for guidance from God for the right job. Inspired by God, Aaron began to liberate animal forms from wood. Preferring cypress and cedar, Aaron roughed out form with chain saws, and finished his figures with hammers, chisels and knives, and drills. Untouched by stain, varnish or paint, the surface was often burned to alter its color and texture. Aaron received a Visual Artists Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He died in 1979 at the age of 92.