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Folk artist 'Moses of East Cleveland' dies



Published: Sat, September 9, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) -- Rev. Albert Wagner, a folk artist whose work with discarded bowling balls, traffic cones, hub caps and other items filled his home, has died.

The Rev. Mr. Wagner, who died of apparent heart failure last Friday at South Pointe Hospital, was 82, according to family members. Services were held Thursday at the E.F. Boyd & amp; Son Funeral Home.

Mr. Wagner's paintings and sculptures depict personal stories and Bible scenes and include the themes of racial tolerance and redemption through self-reliance.

He was profiled in a 1998 Life magazine article and later in a New York Times story that dubbed him the "Moses of East Cleveland."

His works were exhibited in Cleveland, Youngstown, Warren, Akron, Baltimore and New York City.

In 1974, he created the People Love People House of God and preached in the basement of his home in this poverty-stricken urban community that was one of Cleveland's first suburbs. Mr. Wagner was ordained a Pentecostal minister in 1992.

Mr. Wagner, whose wife, Magnolia, died in 2005, is survived by 15 children, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.




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