( Photo: Michael Knox)
Artwork from award-winning artist Walter Stanford's series NC Century Farms will be exhibited in Catawba College's Corriher-Linn-Black Library from March 5 through April 2. The exhibition is one of several events that the college will host during March, or Farmin' Month, on campus.
The March 17th campus visit by Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Jane Smiley for the 30th annual Brady Author's Symposium became the impetus for examining the importance of farms and farming life during March. Much of Smiley's writing focuses on the American farm and the lives of the families who gain, own, maintain, change, and lose the farming way of life. Because of this, Catawba chose to make Smiley's mid-March visit to campus a centerpiece for the campus' March celebration of Farmin' Month. Stanford's exhibit is a visual compliment to the farm theme that recurs in Smiley's work.
"As the son of a retired agricultural extension director, I have come to develop a deep appreciation for farming and many of the wonderful people in it," said Stanford. "Much of the values and character of our forefathers was developed on farms such as these, and I am grateful that I can use my skills as a painter to give the public a glimpse of their lives."
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services started the Century Farm Program in 1970 to recognize North Carolina's agricultural heritage and those families who built the foundation of this farming state. Today, there are about 48,000 farms in North Carolina, but only about 1,600 have the distinct honor of being a North Carolina Century Farm. North Carolina has a rich agricultural heritage and the Century Farm family program celebrates the many contributions farming has made to the state.
A 1986 graduate of East Carolina University, Stanford is a Fine Artist with an extensive background in editorial and commercial illustration and graphic design. He worked for 15 years as a freelance illustrator specializing in pastel. He continues graphic design and fine art work from his studio in Concord, N.C. He is a member of the Southeastern Pastel Society and the Piedmont Pastel Society of Charlotte, and is president of the artists' coalition of Clearwater Artists Studio. He has exhibited his work locally and regionally. To learn more about Walter Stanford, visit www.walterstanford.com.
The public is invited to meet the artist at a coffee and doughnuts reception slated between 10 a.m. and noon on Saturday, March 19 in the Corriher-Linn-Black Library at Catawba. During this reception, Stanford will give a demonstration of his creative process.
Stanford's exhibition is free and open to the public during regular library hours: Monday-Thursday 8am-11pm, Friday 8am-5pm, Saturday 9am-1pm, and Sunday 1:30-11pm.