Last updated: August 13. 2013 5:40PM - 1116 Views

Tony Craig autographs a copy of his first book, “Country Stores in North Carolina,” which will be available for sale at the opening reception.
Tony Craig autographs a copy of his first book, “Country Stores in North Carolina,” which will be available for sale at the opening reception.
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DANBURY — The Stokes County Arts Council will feature well-known artist Tony Craig in the Apple Gallery during the month of September.

An opening reception will be held in his honor on Aug. 30 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Apple Gallery, Stokes County Arts Council, 500 N. Main St., Danbury. Local musician John Hartman will provide a program of music during the reception. The public is invited to enjoy refreshments, talk with the artist and view an exhibit of his artwork.

Tony Craig will have available his new book entitled “Country Stores in North Carolina,” a photographic collection of country stores and their interiors across the state of North Carolina.

Craig is an artist living in Stokes County. In 2005, he purchased the Spencer Mill (ca. 1880), which serves as his studio. His realistic watercolor paintings can be found in collections across America.

Craig said, “I see myself not only as an artist, but also a preservationist, and I love traveling the back roads of America. When I discover suitable subject matter out on the highways, I photograph it from many angles. Then, I take the photos back to my studio, picking and choosing elements until I arrive at a composition I’m happy with. Then, I draw the image on my paper, and begin building up layers of watercolor until the painting is finished. In the past six years, I also began turning to photography in its own right as a means to present my viewpoint of rural America. I hope to capture these wonderful places before they vanish from the landscape, and to reveal their beauty and importance to the viewers of my work.”

He studied art at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and the California Institute of the Arts. He has worked as an artist in the animation industry for 23 years on shows ranging from “Tiny Toon Adventures” and “Animaniacs” at Warner Brothers, to serving as executive producer/director on “The Lion King’s Timon and Pumbaa,” “101 Dalmatians” (TV series), “Mickey MouseWorks,” “House of Mouse,” “Lilo and Stitch” (TV series), two video sequels to “Lilo and Stitch” and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” before moving to North Carolina and devoting more time to his own artwork

He still freelances on many current animation projects including “The Looney Tunes Show” and “Curious George.” His latest animation assignment was on a new Flintstones movie. Along the way, Tony worked with such greats as Chuck Jones, Gene Kelly, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, and Roy E. Disney.

In 2000, “Mickey MouseWorks” won the Annie (animation’s equivalent of an Oscar) for best animated half hour series. In 2006, Tony’s painting “Georgia Girl Drive In” was selected for inclusion in the Long Beach California’s Arts Council show, “Artists With Day Jobs.” “Barn Swallows” was selected from numerous entries to be included in the 2010 Wildlife in North Carolina Calendar. This year, Tony’s photograph of Priddy’s Store at Sunset was the first place winner in the Core Sound Museum’s annual photography competition.

His first book, “Country Stores in North Carolina,” has been well received. He will have his book available for sale at the opening reception for discussion and autographs.

This exhibit will be on display Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 29 through Sept. 24. For additional information regarding the artist and his exhibit, contact the Stokes County Arts Council at 336-593-8159 or e-mail stokesarts@co.stokes.nc.us.

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