Mount Airy school teacher and King resident Aaron Gibbons is seeing some of his artwork on display at the Apple Gallery in Danbury.
No stranger to the Stokes County Arts Council, having won the council’s scholarship in 2010, Gibbons is displaying a collection of his work at the gallery during August.
Gibbons’ art is made out of wood and metal, however his passion for the two materials wasn’t always apparent.
“My grandfather was a major influence for me as a child, he was an illustrator,” Gibbons said.
Gibbons explained that he’s gone through quit an evolution as an artist, having started out drawing, then painting, then moving to printmaking, which lead him to sculpture, and now he has finally settled on wood and metal as his two primary mediums.
Gibbons, the son of Andrew and Christina Gibbons, grew up in Surry County, where he was home schooled. He said being home schooled allowed for more flexibility and time to focus on his art.
At the age of 16, Gibbons started taking classes at Surry Community College, which he said aided him in his transition to undergraduate arts coursework.
Gibbons studied sculpture and art education at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Since graduation, Gibbons has continued to hone his craft while working as an elementary arts specialist in the Mount Airy City Schools system.
The collection that Gibbons is displaying at the Apple Gallery is a mixture of new and old pieces, some of which he said he completed five years ago and others that he finished the night before the opening, adding that wood and metal ties the collection together.
Gibbons’ work has also been displayed at the Mount Airy Walk in 2015, Art of Delurk Gallery at The Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in Winston-Salem in 2014 and Carolina’s Got Art: June Salon Exhibit at the Elder Gallery in 2013 in Charlotte.
His new exhibit is the second time that he has presented work at the Apple Gallery, having previously presented “One Person Show” in 2012.
“I think it’s awesome that I’ve had repeated opportunities from the arts council. The scholarship was really big. I had a lot of opportunities to get my art out at a very young at through the arts council, it’s very supportive,” Gibbons said.
As for his teaching Gibbons said that it’s difficult to find an appropriate balance between time in the classroom and time in the studio, but noted that his passion forces him to make time to devote to his art.
“At the beginning of the year I like to share my most recent pieces and show the kids what it’s like to be an artist; that gained a lot of respect from them. Art doesn’t have to be in a museum, it can be accessible and that teaches them that they can grow up to be artists themselves,” Gibbons said.
Despite having his work displayed in several shows, he said the opening is always a little nerve-wracking.
“It’s a mixture of excitement and a little bit of anxiety to see who comes out,” Gibbons said of his feelings before the grand opening. “Most of the time people have questions and I enjoy talking with them so it will be fun.”
Aila Boyd may be reached at 336-415-2210.