The Stokes County Arts Council is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibit of original art, by Rick Bennett in the Apple Gallery and a pop-up exhibit in The Arts Place by Debbie Culler. A meet and greet is scheduled for Saturday, July 15, 2023 from 2:30pm-4:00pm at The Arts Place of Stokes 500 Main Street Danbury, NC.

Artist Rick Bennett shared: “In rural, eastern North Carolina, my mother would gather us to the car and off we would go exploring some abandoned house, tramping through the woods, or hunting for fossils along the Neuse River shoreline. My art is an extension of that need to examine and investigate the world we inhabit. My recent paintings explore the shapes, light and places that tell me I am home. A playful and contemporary application of watercolor is paired with an emotional attachment to my roots in Pamlico County.

Bennett’s educational experience includes an A.A.S. at Marine Laboratory Technology at Cape Fear Technical Institute and Business Administration and studying Japanese Language at North Carolina State University. Bennett also is an art instructor and taught two Beginning Watercolor Workshops at the Camden Senior Center in Camden NC and Watercolor as well as Introductory and Continuing Study classes at Pullen Arts Center in Raleigh, NC. He taught Creative Aging, Portrait Class in conjunction with Raleigh Parks and Recreation as well as plein air painting with Raleigh Parks & Recreation at Lake Johnson. In 2019, he lectured for the City of Raleigh Neighborhood Exchange on the topic of Creating Community Through Art.

Bennett’s accomplishments and achievements are numerous. His art was published on the cover of the NC Fossil Club publication for North Carolina Fossils (Vol. 1-4). He serves on the Board of Directors for the Watercolor Society of NC as the Permanent Collection Chair. He is the Past President and Past Member of the Board of Directors Visual Art Exchange and led the VAE Plein Air Painting Group for seven years. Bennett also participated in Nationally Recognized Watercolor Workshops with Ryan Fox in November 2015, Iain Stewart April 2016, and Sarah Yeoman, April 2018.

During his career, Bennett has exhibited in several notable exhibitions with Clayton Visual Arts Tipping Paint Artists, Pullen Arts Center, Fine Art League of Cary, Small Treasures Old Habits, Cary Gallery of Artists, Maria V. Howard Arts Center’s 64th National Juried Art Show, Watercolor Society of NC Members Exhibition, Watercolor Society of NC Annual Exhibition, Scope Landscapes of the South, Visual Art Exchange, Beyond Despair, An Environmental Call for Art, VAE & National Humanities Center, National Arts Program, Block Gallery, Watercolor Heaven at 311 Gallery, Solo Exhibition with the United Arts Council, Scope Visual Art Exchange, Contemporary South, Visual Art Exchange with a curator from the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), Raleigh Fine Arts Exhibition, Belle Arts Gallery, and Mattie King Davis
Gallery Beaufort. For more information, visit Rick Bennett’s website at:

Debbie Culler is an acrylic, oil, mixed media artist currently residing in southern Virginia. She is a native of Patrick County, Virginia. At about age 11, Debbie recalls being bored with watching television. She began picking up her crayons – her first medium – and studying the model’s faces in magazines. Debbie shared that “Today, most of my artwork reflects my love for God’s handiwork in nature. He has such incredible colors in His Palette!” Debbie has created two book covers and completed a church mural. She has won numerous awards for her art including the “Best in Show” at the 2010 Reynolds Homestead in Critz, Virginia. Debbie has a passion for the budding young artists and employs you, if you have such a young artist on your hands, please encourage them all you can! She stresses, “I would not have come this far without the love and encouragement of my mom, Nerina Culler!”

This exhibit in the Apple Gallery will be on display through August 15, 2023 and the pop up exhibit will be on display through July 15, 2023. The Stokes County Arts Council is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9:00am-6:00pm, Saturday, 10:00a.m.-6:00p.m. and Sunday 12:00pm-6:00pm. For additional information about the exhibit, please contact the Stokes County Arts Council at (336) 593-8159.