The Stokes County Arts Council will host local artists Tony Farrar and David Kirkland in the Apple Gallery July 26 through August 22. An opening reception is planned for Friday, July 28, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Stokes County Arts Council, 500 N. Main Street in Danbury. The public is invited to attend the opening reception and meet the artists.
Tony Farrar, the potter behind the wheel, is currently a Stokes County and Hanging Rock community resident in North Carolina. His roots stem from Nelson County, VA. He graduated from Ferrum College with a Fine Arts degree. Farrar is seasoned in the potter community having studied with Master potter Chip McKinney at Fingers Inc. in Roanoke, Va, as well as mentored under the guidance of Master potter Dave Gardner of North Carolina. He also studied glaze calculations with Warren Moyer at the Sawtooth Center in Winston-Salem, as well as glaze formulations with John Britt.
“My work is solely an inspiration from nature. There is a spirituality in taking clay or a piece of earth to make vessels and forms for usage – it’s a connection,” Farrar said. “Motivation to create is two handed – one is guided with your mind and the other is with your heart. Molding clay into vessels is hard and physical work, however it is very rewarding. It teaches one patience and is an expression of free-form.”
He further states, “Developing and making of one’s own glazes requires testing and adjustments to acquire a quality result. I like to focus on pleasing form and quality rather than quantity, and more on the factors that satisfy people who enjoy an intimate experience when using my wares.”
“When one places their mouth on a mug, it must feel right to be able to enjoy the experience of holding the mug and drinking from it,” he said.
TFara Pottery is currently featured at Rockfish Gap Country Store located at 8860 Rockfish Gap Turnpike in Afton, Virginia. Check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/Rockfish-Gap-Country-Store-353953237986162/ or visit https://www.tfarapottery.com for more information about the artist.
David Kirkland is a native of Stokes County and grew up in Walnut Cove. Kirkland is the son of James and Priscilla Smith and the youngest of five siblings. He attended Stokes County Schools and is a graduate of South Stokes. After high school Kirkland attended the Art Institute of Philadelphia where he studied graphic art and advertising. Following art school, he served as a graphic artist in a Winston-Salem marketing company where he designed for a range of companies and individual clients. It was also during this time that he began coaching basketball at the high school level along with youth league and AAU travel teams. He would continue coaching for twenty-five years and was fortunate to have been a part of two State Championships and one National Championship. In 2004, Kirkland was selected to coach a 17U US National Team that would play in World Youth games in Holland, Amsterdam.
During the late 1990s, he considered beginning a career in education. As a result, he started his pursuit of a degree in elementary education (BS) at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Following his quest, he served in multiple roles in education, including teaching elementary as he taught grades four and five in High Point and Greensboro over a span of seventeen years.
After serving as a teacher and other leadership roles, Kirkland was recruited to become a North Carolina Principal Fellow prompting him to return to school to obtain a degree in school administration. He earned a Master in School Administration (MSA) degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After earning his MSA, he moved into school administration.
Kirkland continues to enjoy learning and setting goals for himself. He will earn his Education Specialist (Ed.S) degree from Gardner-Webb University in July along with securing a superintendent’s license from the State of North Carolina. And, beginning in August he will begin the journey of writing his dissertation as he moves closer to earning his Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.D) degree.
As Kirkland continues to enjoy serving and lifting others in education, he still finds some time to take on freelance art jobs along the way. In his free time, which is limited these days, he enjoys traveling and seeing the world.
Even though Kirkland will have his art on display, he does not relish the spotlight. He feels honored by simply being asked by the Stokes County Arts Council to do so. He hopes that those who will see his art during the month of August will discover that his love for art is broad and extends beyond literal meaning. Most of the pieces displayed are acrylic and watercolor mediums and contain texture and vibrant colors, which is symbolic of nature.
For more information, please contact the Stokes County Arts Council at (336) 593-8159 or visit us at www.stokesarts.org. The viewing of this exhibit and opening reception is free and open to the public.