He may have considered working with metal simply a hobby before, but a series of traumatic events forever changed the way local artist Tim Oldham sees his work and it’s purpose. “After twenty six years, I got divorced and a year later, I was diagnosed with a CSF leak, which meant spinal fluid was leaking from my spinal cord, into my brain cavity and out my nose. It was the result of an injury and it caused a brain tumor to grow. I was shipped to Tucson for care and was given a 5% chance of surviving surgery. Upon hearing this, I told the doctor that God had made some promises that hadn’t happened yet so I was going to pray, he could doctor and we would be fine,” remembers Tim Oldham during our recent intervew, “He argued with me, but it was how I had to see it. I was sent home for a few days before coming back for what was expected to be a three and a half hour surgery. Since I had such a scarce chance of surviving the surgery, I was told to bring a power of attorney, a living will and someone to make legal choices for me. I was in surgery for almost seven hours. When I woke up, the doctor told me that there were only two things in this world that had kept me alive: God and coffee. He told me that I was one in seven million to survive the
surgery and that I should go buy a lottery ticket.”
After beating these mind boggling odds, Tim notes that his mentality changed and his artwork completely took on another dimension. “My motto became never give up no matter what you’re facing and always expect a miracle. This is the type of person I want to be in a world where you can be anything you want. Thanks to God, these challenges taught me how to put my emotion and true passion into my art. My pieces went from objects cut out of metal to pieces that radiate love and passion for life,” smiles Tim warmly, “I want to be the reason someone believes in
the goodness of other people. Because I refused to quit, I’m still here and maybe I can help someone do the same. It is truly what God expects of us. It is what I want to share with people through my art.”
With an incredibly impressive selection of designs (each with unique coloring and finish) and a seemingly bottomless supply of inspiration to create more, Tim has plenty to share with the world and he does regularly. He has become well known for his Cancer Angels which he creates and gives away to people he meets or hears of that are dealing with cancer. This relatively simple act of kindness has touched the lives of an ever growing sea of people. As a result, he is frequently stopped and thanked by people who had merely been distant Facebook friends, but now feel like family.
“I don’t charge anything and when I get a grateful call from someone who says, ‘Wow. You don’t know what this means to me,’ I say ‘Yes, I do.’ It means someone cares. Even if they are a complete stranger, they care,” smiles Tim, “The design for the angel came to me when I was at a men’s ministry in Canada. God showed me and told me to give it away to those who need them. So, by selling my work, I can afford to mail my Cancer Angels all over the United States and Canada.”
Tim creates his pieces at his home shop, but can be found at a number of local art shows and other events. He will be at this year’s Navajo County Fair and the Fall Festival in Pinetop. To see more of his work, check him out on Facebook at: Snowyridgemetalart. For more information, please call him at (928) 537-8336.