The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

December 30, 2013

Edgecombe scenes to be featured on 'Our State'

Associated Press

RALEIGH — From Murphy to Manteo —An Artist’s Scenic Journey,” an emerging 100-painting collection by North Carolina landscape artist J. Chris Wilson, will be featured on UNC-TV’s “Our State.” The program will air at 8 p.m. Thursday.

The feature, titled “Scenes from 64,” will showcase the artist as well as scenes and locations of some of his paintings from the collection, to be completed in 2014.

Wilson, an artist-in-residence and professor emeritus at Barton College, will be shown working on location and in his Wilmington studio where much of the interview was filmed. Thirty of Wilson’s paintings from the “Murphy to Manteo” series are currently on view in the House Chamber of the North Carolina Legislative Building and the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. The paintings will remain on view at least through the end of 2014.

Included in Wilson’s Highway 64 project are a number of scenes from Edgecombe County, including multiple paintings of the Tarboro Town Common, the Tar River from the Tarboro bridge, landscapes from near the St. Lewis Community as well as a cotton field scene near Cool Springs and one titled “New Bridge to Freedon Hill”, where construction equipment can be seen building the current Tarboro-Princeville bridge over the Tar River.

“J. Chris Wilson was not commissioned to paint the ‘Murphy to Manteo’ series,” shared Morgan Potts, Barton College alumnus and director of the UNC-TV feature on Wilson and his work. “He was propelled from within to undertake this statewide project. The motivation, time, and discipline of an artist are attributes that I find intriguing and admirable. He had already devoted years to this project by the time we caught up with him, so we were given an amazing collection to share with our viewers. And, the fact that we [both] are a part of the Barton College family made working on the ‘Our State—Scenes from 64’ segment that much more meaningful.”

Wilson’s “From Murphy to Manteo—An Artist’s Scenic Journey” is a collection of scenic landscapes along the U.S. Highway 64 corridor, a 563-mile journey from the mountains to the sea. On his journeys across the state, Wilson captured multiple compositions of large landscapes -- waterfalls, cotton fields, country roads, mountains, and coastlines. When the project is completed, the 100 total paintings will serve as a comprehensive portrait of North Carolina’s scenic landscape, from the mountains to the ocean.

Wilson currently serves on the boards of Preservation North Carolina and the Blount Bridgers House/Hobson Pittman Memorial Foundation in Tarboro. Wilson served on the faculty of Barton College from 1974-2012, earning professor emeritus recognition following retirement. Now, he continues at Barton as the College’s first artist-in-residence.

For additional information or to view Wilson’s work, please visit

(A press release from Barton College contributed to this report.)