The Stokes County Arts Council is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibit of original art, “Artist Craig Richards’ Student Works Show” in the Apple Gallery. The official gallery reception will be Sunday, January 14, 2024 from 2:00-3:30pm. at The Arts Place of Stokes 500 Main Street Danbury, NC.

Craig Richards has been teaching painting for nearly 20 years. He has been guiding students in drawing, oils, acrylics and watercolors both in studio and in Plein Air. He was the President of Muddy River Art Association, The President of Triad Outdoor Painters and presently teaches at The Arts Place of Stokes, The Sawtooth School of Visual Arts, and Forsyth Technical Community College. His work can be viewed at and his teachings can be watched on his YouTube Channel at @artistcraigrichards5952.

This show includes 40 paintings by 16 student artists. The students range from beginner to professional. Richards shared that “All works are thoroughly delightful.”

This exhibit in the Apple Gallery will be on display from January 2-February 15, 2024. The Stokes County Arts Council is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm, Saturday, 10:00a.m.-5:00p.m. and Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm. For additional information about the exhibit, please contact the Stokes County Arts Council at (336) 593-8159.

Artist Lisa Richter was creative from a very early age. Her mom would find her haven fallen asleep while creating “artistic adventures” with crayons.  Always loving to paint, she began to spend more time painting with acrylics and watercolors after retiring from teaching.  She is able to paint while also spending time with her husband and family.  Richter shared that “Painting allows me the opportunity to relax and bring attention to God’s beautiful earthly creations of landscapes and florals.”

Artist, Elizaveta Egorova, graduated with a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 2019. She started a new hobby in arts in 2021. Since childhood she shared that she always loved contemplating paintings.

Artist Deborah Fredette, received her first set of paints as a Christmas gift from her brother when she was about 12 years old. He designed and built a paint box and table-top easel and filled it with the necessities to begin the craft.  Deb took all the art classes she could in high school and college, but due to a recession during her college years, she opted to follow a career path that was considered safer than art and set her art aside during her working and parenting years.  Some years before retirement, her eldest daughter gave Deborah her second paint set.  She told her mom that she remembered how she had said she would love to get back to art after retirement. Deb’s first introduction back into painting was with a Bob Ross instructor.  He gave her the courage and confidence to pick up the brush again. She then studied under several different local artists, including Craig Richards. She continues to attend various workshops, takes advantage of online classes, closely observing the current masters’ methods and techniques, and has tried her hand at several different styles of painting. While her preferred medium is oil, Deb has recently found the joy of watercolor and hopes to develop those skills. Today, as a retired professional, she enjoys painting landscapes and portraits (adults, children and animals) in an effort to help someone find their “happy place.” 

Artist, Kim Lance, has always been attracted to art. As a Marriage and Family Therapist as well as a Play Therapist, he encourages clients to use their art to express themselves.  For many years he has been a photographer.  He shared that he loves shooting landscapes and wildlife.  A few years ago, he decided to take an acrylic painting class.  He has taken two more acrylic painting classes this year. 

Artist, Susan Pilbeam, is a retired professor of Respiratory Care and a published author who didn’t begin painting until much later in life, not realizing how enjoyable it can be and without knowing she had a modest talent for it.  Her first efforts were in oil paint and two of those paintings are now part of the student show.  One is from a trip she and her husband, Bob, took to the coast of California, where they visited Mendocino.  The other was painted with a view of the marshy coast adjacent to the St. Johns River that flows north into Jacksonville.  She now also works in watercolor, her favorite, and acrylics.

Artist, Anna Humprey, after a career in accounting in hotel syndication and PR in the D.C. market, retired to Winston Salem 3 years ago. She then began taking watercolor classes and Acrylic painting. She is active in Muddy River Art Association, Mountain Fiber Arts, and various civic groups. She is a fiber artist and loves to paint.

Artist, Theresa Marie Auricchio, holds a BFA in Painting from Syracuse University. She has worked professionally as an art director, illustrator, and painter with corporate and private clients in the US and Europe. Life got in the way and her practice fell by the wayside for a few decades. Theresa returned to painting in 2021 as an outlet for the stresses of caring for a parent with dementia. Working in small formats made it feasible to sit with and engage her mother (who was also an artist but losing her sight). As Theresa worked on these paintings, she shared the stories associated with them. Most reflect travels and personalities encountered along the way. This offered positive stimulation, entertainment, and the opportunity to participate in the creative process. Others liked the results and encouraged Theresa to share her art as well. She was able to brush up on her skills with the support of Craig Richards, and this led to testing the waters with group art shows.  Theresa also fulfilled several commissions in 2023, the most recent one has traveled to Greece.

Artist, Kitty Ray Brown, shared that her French Impressionist style of landscape painting began when the Stokes County Arts Council offered a painting class with Artist Craig Richards. “Craig has been guiding my artistic painting journey since 2015.” Most of Brown’s working career was spent as a jewelry store owner and designer, working with diamonds, precious metals, and colored gemstones. As an adolescent, she began capturing images on film with a Brownie camera. At the present, Brown said, “my goal is to have an artist brush or a camera in my hand every day.” Using photo images from beautiful Stokes County, she creates images on canvas and rocks with oil paint. Presently, Brown is the Board Secretary for the Stokes County Arts Council where she is surrounded by other artists on their creative journey. She signs her work…K-Ray

Artist, Shan Woolard, is originally from Asheville, NC. When she’s not practicing painting, she works at Wake Forest University. She enjoys traveling, cooking, reading fiction novels, watching critically acclaimed television shows and movies, and trying to walk 10,000 steps a day. “I understand there is a risk to paintings when hanging in a public space.” – Shan Woolard

Artist, Cynthia Sun, is a Taiwanese artist and world traveler whose sense of adventure and curiosity radiates from her work. She is currently based in Winston-Salem, NC and works predominantly with oils under the guidance of artist, Craig Richards.

Artist, Jeremy Ulrey, is an American artist who hails from the great state of Arizona. Having lived all over the USA and in a few different countries, his diverse experiences are the inspiration for his work. Jeremy is currently based in Winston-Salem, NC and works predominantly with oils under the tutelage of artist, Craig Richards.

Artist, Rob Manaraze, shared: “My art journey began with an inspired high school art teacher who poured into eager students, for which I am eternally grateful. I then formally studied at The Art Institute of Philadelphia. Upon graduation I began a t-shirt screen printing business, and created designs, graphics, logos, and whatever was in the mind of my customers. I love all things “art” and enjoy the process of creating.”

Artist, Teresa Everhart, described herself as “A genuine seeker, I am always striving to fulfill my aspirations of wanting you, the viewer, to enjoy and feel the emotion during the creation of each piece. Sometimes you may see a struggle, which is part of the journey. Honestly, a piece of my soul goes into creating every work of art. Revealing how you see nature and your fellow man is baring your soul for review…Love it or critique it… But…  Please enjoy the journey with me! A big thank you to Craig for leading the way…. “

Artist, Edie Moore, studied painting when he was young and was active as a painter for a number of years.  He shared that he put his painting aside when he went to graduate school and became a licensed counselor. Now, a couple of decades later, he is learning to paint landscapes with acrylics, and enjoying expressing himself through painting.