RCCC art gallery debuts

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 22, 2007

AHOSKIE – Thursday night a robust crowd of approximately 100 people gathered at Roanoke Chowan Community College to open the RCCC Fine Arts Gallery.

Dr. Ralph Soney, as well several of the institution’s board of trustees, welcomed critically acclaimed artist Richard Wilson and many local dignitaries to the newly designed wing of the college that will dedicated to bringing a creative and cultural ambience to the 40-year-old local college.

“We want to thank you for coming to the grand opening of our Fine Arts Gallery,” Soney said. “This is the inaugural event for the gallery which was designed to revisit the heritage of the college as well as the region.”

RCCC will begin offering an Associate of Fine Arts degree and Wilson, a Greenville native, will oversee the college’s new curriculum.

“I’m exited about the opportunity to work with the students,” Wilson said. “I’m sure there are many students here with developable talent.”

Construction of the gallery, located at what was previously a reception area, began last Thanksgiving and was done by students of the college.

“The effort not only brings a vibrant new spirit to the college, but also saved taxpayers quite a bit of money,” Soney said. “In four decades the college has gone full circle.”

Soney was eager to have the gallery completed before the college celebrates its 40-year anniversary later this year.

Wilson’s numerous accolades include being awarded the 2006 Pastel Society of New Mexico Award.

Wilson was also the winner of the 1999 NC Wesleyan College Annual Martin Luther King Jr. competition and the 2005 “Best of North Carolina Artist” competition.

The artist’s work has been featured at the National Arts Festival in Atlanta, GA, the National Arts Club in New York, Vanderbilt University, Elizabeth City State University and the Edgecombe County Superior Courthouse, where Wilson made history by being the first African American to ever have his work displayed in any North Carolina courthouse.

Wilson’s work will be on display at RCCC through Feb. 1