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Porter Thrower

By Sharman Burson Ramsey

Porter Thrower Porter Thrower grew up in Dothan , Alabama, the son of former mayor James Thrower and Jane Porter Thrower.  Porter graduated from Dothan High School and attended the University of Alabama where he was a Sigma Nu and a friend of renowned artist and fraternity brother, Nall.  He returned to Dothan after acquiring a degree in real estate development and developed the subdivision  Jamestown before leaving Dothan for South Florida.   Eventually he settled in St. Andrews, an area he loved visiting as a boy.  Porter thrower 2
rosa parks

Thrower has paintings in galleries in South Florida and in New York , but you can also see them displayed upstairs at Uncle Ernie’s on the marina in St. Andrews . This  real estate developer and artist has become an integral part of the St. Andrews community in Panama City , Florida .  

I met Thrower to discuss his art in his historic home on a thirty foot bluff on St. Andrews Bay , one of the highest points in the area, and discovered a dedicated artist and fond parent.  Porter wanted to talk about two things: his son Pope and his art, in that order.  Thrower reminisced about the joy his son brought to the home that is now basically a studio for a prolific artist.  He speaks wistfully of the many young people who once crowded into his home during his son’s growing up years.  Watching him look at the stairs as he tells me how noisy the place once was I know he envisions the child who once ran up and down that staircase.  Pope now works with the State Department in China .  His father is justifiably proud. 

Porter began showing his art by saying, “People say I paint stories.”  Indeed, that is the joy of his paintings.  A painting he is working on for the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery is titled “How Long is Too Long”?   The scenes out the window depict vignettes that happened along the way. (above)
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One of  Thrower’s favorite paintings is the album cover he painted for a gospel record for Reuben Whitehurst who worked at his grandfather’s business, Porter Hardware in Dothan , for many years.  (above)
painting 4 Thrower gets his inspiration from New Orleans , its musicians and its music.  The painting to the left is titled the “Brick Yard Blues.”  Note the sad man bottom right.  Divorced and quite obviously “taken to the cleaners,” he watches the joyous wedding cynically.  Thrower

One cannot confine Porter Thrower to a single medium…watercolor, oils, coffee?  His works are often serendipitous like this one that resulted from a coffee spill.  Or those that appear while he cleans his paint brushes. 


Sad after loving Thrower is currently working on a large canvas oil painting for the Shrimp Boat featuring owner Loren Smith and his father whose dream it was to rebuild the old Shrimp Boat.    He might be found working on a canvas this size out on his dock.  (above)

Thrower has a gift for evoking such emotion that one is drawn into the painting and experiences the story.   “Time’s Up,” a work in progress, depicts the pathos of a one night stand.  (above)

Porter Thrower brings to canvas a commentary on the human condition that speaks to the heart and mind.