William Kent spent 30 years of his life isolated from the world, carving away at his home in Durham.
So when visitors gathered Saturday at the late artist's studio it was no surprise to hear the buzz of whispers.
"Look at that," could be overheard again and again.
Kent, considered by some to be the greatest wood sculptor to ever live, died at his home in August at the age of 93.
For the past several months, a small group that got to know and appreciate Kent's work has been working to sell his artwork to benefit older artists in financial need through a foundation Kent created in his later years.
"One day this guy will be remembered like Van Gogh," said close friend Marvin Beloff, a Middlefield resident and fellow wood sculptor who first met Kent in the 1960's.
"He was my mentor. It's amazing. Who ever did anything like this," he said.
Joan Baer also got to know the artist starting in 2003, just a few years after he came out of reclusion.
"Everthing's for sale, except his tools," Baer announced to the crowd.
Several days a week, Bear returns to the converted chicken barn to continue the daunting task of sorting through Kent's work which includes thousands of carvings and prints, some inspired by benign objects and others by politics or erotica.
"There are so many artists whose work is never appreciated," she said.
Anyone interested in visiting the gallery or purchasing artwork should contact Baer at firstname.lastname@example.org.