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National Publication Features PCC's Wilson

Richard WilsonWINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College instructor Richard Wilson will be featured on the cover of the March edition of Sunshine Artist, a national publication that highlights premier art and craft shows around the country.

A 2007 graduate of PCC’s Advertising and Graphic Design program, Wilson has been teaching drawing at his alma mater as an adjunct instructor for nearly six years. In addition to his classroom responsibilities, the 41-year-old Greenville resident maintains a busy show and gallery schedule.

“Teaching at PCC is important to me, because it allows me to give back in some way,” Wilson says. “I enjoy showing students what I’ve learned and letting them know that if they choose to follow in my footsteps professionally, the can have a very rewarding career. They just need to stay focused and passionate about achieving their dreams.”

Though he took several fine art courses at Barton College, Wilson says his talent for painting comes naturally. The son of an artist, he said he has been painting since he was 8 years old and learned a lot about the craft from his father, who was also a pattern maker.

Wilson’s pastel paintings range from scenic landscapes to the old tobacco barns that dot Eastern North Carolina’s landscape. His favorite subjects, though, are sports and children – his three daughters serving as his inspiration.

Wilson said he prefers soft pastels to other mediums and noted that many classical artists, such as Degas, Mary Cassatt, Leonard da Vinci and Picasso, have as well.

“I like using soft pastels because of their pure richness in color and the fact that the results of using them are immediate,” he said. “Pastels need no blending, they do not crack over time like some oils and acrylics do, and they are versatile.

“I have the option of using them as a wet or dry medium, if I choose. I’m able to make pastel work look like a drawing, watercolor or oil painting by using different surfaces and creating different textures.”

Wilson’s paintings impressed Sunshine Artist editor Nate Shelton. After seeing his work on an art show website, Shelton called Wilson and asked him if he’d like to be featured on the front cover of his magazine.

“To know that my work and talent are being appreciated means the world to me,” Wilson said. “Sunshine Artist is a popular national magazine used by many to find more information on the most profitable art shows. So, for me to be featured on the front cover is a great honor.”

The Sunshine Artist cover photo and feature article are only the latest achievements for Wilson. His work has been featured in Kimberlee Maselli’s recently-published book, “Painting North Carolina: A Visual Journey,” and has garnered a number of prestigious awards over the years, including two from the Pastel Society of America—first in 2002 and again in 2006.

Wilson, who was born in Robersonville and raised in nearby Conetoe, also paints portraits. In fact, he became the first African-American to have a portrait hanging in a North Carolina courthouse when his rendering of George Henry White—the last former slave to serve in Congress—was put on display in the Edgecombe County Superior Courthouse in 2005.

More of Wilson’s work can be viewed at richardwilsonart.com.