A naive folk-art painter, Hemmerling's career started after he had retired from being a window dresser for Sears & Roebuck in 2002. Using discarded house paint, he painted scenes of rural African-American rituals and religion on wood and other found objects.
Born in Chicago, he relocated to his mother's hometown of Ponchatoula as a young man, and began working for Sears as a decorator, traveling from store to store across Louisiana and Mississippi. Looking to make a living after retirement, he began painting on wood that he found on his walks around town. One day, he went into the Louisiana Furniture and Art Gallery in Ponchatoula and at the owner's request, showed some of his work. The rest is hi
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