N.C. Century Farms subject of an Arts and Science Council of N.C. project

By on March 29, 2010

Three North Carolina Century Farms are the subject of paintings by Kannapolis artist Walter Stanford thanks to a grant supported by the N.C. Arts Council, the Blumenthal Endowment and the arts councils in Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Rutherford and Stanly counties, and York, S.C.

One of Walter Stanford's paintings showing work at Brushy Mountain Farm and Orchard, a N.C. Century Farm.

One of Walter Stanford's paintings showing work at Brushy Mountain Farm and Orchard, a N.C. Century Farm.


Stanford has finished 17 pieces in pastels and acrylic depicting farm life and work that are part of a featured exhibit running through May 20 at the Cabarrus Arts Council in Concord. The 1986 East Carolina University graduate focused on Indigo Farms in Bruswick County, George Pless and Sons Dairy Farm in Cabarrus County and Brushy Mountain Farm and Orchard in Wilkes County.

In addition to the Concord showing, Stanford’s work will be on display from Nov. 29 through Feb. 12, 2011 at the Waterworks Visual Arts Center in Salisbury.

“As a son of a retired agricultural extension director, I have come to develop a deep appreciation for farming and many of the wonderful people in it,” Stanford said. “Much of the value and character of our forefathers was developed on farms such as these, and I look forward to using my skills as a painter to give the public a glimpse of their lives.”

The N.C. Century Farm program recognizes farms that have been in continuous family ownership for 100 years or more. About 1,600 of the state’s 52,000 farms hold the distinction of being a Century Farm. 

Indigo Farms is a sixth-generation fruit and produce farm dating to 1766. Brushy Mountain Farm and Orchard in Moravian Falls represents a fifth-generation farm, selling apples, peaches, plums and produce. Three generations of the Pless family are currently involved in milking 200 cows twice a day at the George Pless & Sons Dairy Farm in Rockwell.

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  1. Mark Johnson
    April 6, 2010

    Walter Stanford is one of the most talented artists currently at work in the Southeast U.S., in my opinion. His work is instantly recognizable and always carries with it a feeling of honesty. I would encourage anyone to visit this exhibit!

  2. Paul Jones
    April 7, 2010

    Thanks for the comment, Mark. We also enjoy his work. What is your favorite painting?