Cultural Objects, Folk Art

Noah’s Ark

Maker/Creator: Roger Lee Vest
Locust Grove (Locust Grove District)

Princess Paulownia tomentosa wood, pine

  • Length: 28 inches
  • Width: 12 1/2 inches
  • Height: 20 inches



This ark has a canoe-like base carved from paulownia wood topped by a roofed chapel structure with star-shaped windows in the gable ends.  An arched doorway faces the bow of the boat. The roof, made of “Les Gallimore planking” is hinged on one side for easy access to the interior. The fixed side of the roof provides gasps and giggles as a knothole in the board is occupied by a pileated woodpecker’s head. The set is completed with a small canoe and thirteen diverse animals from a rattler to a penguin to a bison. These are also carved from paulownia wood and have both carved and painted details. Two human figures representing Noah and Na’amah (which means “pleasant” or “delightful”)are along for the ride.

Woodcarving, Noah's Ark
Bio Sketch

The son of Ollie Lee and Christine Light Vest, Roger Vest is one of our place-based artists. He is enmeshed in the subject matter, materials, and techniques that have been the mainstay of Blue Ridge makers for generations. Love of God, Family, and Nature are expressed in wood, string, fabric, vine, and color.