The Mattie King Davis Art Gallery at the Beaufort Historic Site is excited to welcome artist Tony Alderman for a show August 4th from 4-6pm.
Tony’s passion for art over the last fifteen years has been directed by two deeply intertwined love affairs. The first: his love for the North Carolina coast and all the things related to it. The second: his love for how the passage of time effects community as well as everything we see. Tony is a visual story teller. Over the coming years, in a series of books, Tony will use his art to tell the stories of this area. Capturing raw change in both nature and culture. His current project, and the focus of the show is titled Down East: A Cultural Heritage. This book, which is expected to be available in 2024, will document the beauty and the struggle our Down East communities live through. Works displayed and for sale during this show, will be featured in the book. What first attracted Tony to Down East was the “raw innate beauty of life on display. The towns were built in a way that was function first and the aesthetics were an afterthought.” What has kept Tony here is; the people, the stories, the interaction, the heart and the perseverance of life in a difficult environment. “As a painter, I don’t really consider myself a historian. I am less concerned about what has happened 10, 15, or 20 years ago as I am with what is happening right now. We live in the present and I want my paintings to be an expression of what I am experiencing right now. I want to hold on to these moments and portray them in paintings so that in 10 or 15 years these paintings reflect the history of what is going on right now.”
After completing his degree in religious studies in 1983, Tony returned to school at University Mobile on a full scholarship where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in fine art. He received the Art Area award in 1985 as well as the Centennial Award from the Blount Foundation in Alabama. Tony relocated to Durham, North Carolina in 1985. There Tony was commissioned by the engineering department at Duke University to render a portrait of the Hudson building in both ink and watercolor. Prints were then used as awards for students. From 1989 until 2008 Tony was known for his imaginative and distinctive murals. Tony painted commissioned works from upstate New York to Miami, Florida; including a mural for the home of the late Frank Keenan at Landfall in Wrightsville Beach, NC. During the introduction of magnet schools in North Carolina Tony was engaged to create a number of multi-wall murals in the schools.
Since 2008 Tony has primarily worked as a realist painter, working predominantly in a regionalist style. His focus being on nautical, coastal paintings as well as historical rural city life. He developed an extraordinary intimacy with the land and sea and strove for a spiritual understanding based on history and unspoken emotion. Tony’s work can be found in many corporate and private collections.