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Public Invited to See Tom Stanley Exhibit at Lander


Artist Tom Stanley discusses his work during his Thursday, Jan. 19 visit to Lander.

The public is invited to see the “New Space/New Work” exhibit by artist Tom Stanley, on display at the Lander University Art Gallery through Wednesday, Feb. 8.

The exhibit features 13 paintings, all completed since Stanley moved to Durham, N.C. and set up a studio there.

“This represents almost a year of trying to get that place up and running in a way that worked with my head,” he said during a reception for the event, held on Thursday, Jan. 19.

Stanley discussed individual paintings of his on display and talked about what he was trying to do when he created them.

“Some were more successful than others, based on my own particular point of view,” he said.

A good piece, according to Stanley, has an authentic quality about it that makes it stand out.

“You know it when you see it,” he said.

Stanley, whose work has been exhibited widely, taught art for many years at Winthrop University, among other places, serving also as chair of the Department of Fine Arts at Winthrop, and as director of Winthrop University Galleries.

His many honors and awards include the prestigious Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award, conferred by the governor of South Carolina.

During his visit to Greenwood, it was announced that Stanley has donated 12 of his other paintings to Lander. Four are displayed in the entrance to Jackson Library, four in the stairwell of the Abney Cultural Center, and four in the halls near the offices of Lander’s Arts and Humanities faculty.

“It was about two summers ago that we got a message from Tom,” said Professor of Art Doug McAbee, who spoke at the event.

“He asked if we would be interested in having some of his work on a permanent basis here on campus. Ten minutes later, I was in his driveway,” he quipped.

McAbee, who has known Stanley since he was a freshman at Winthrop, has fond memories of seeing him painting in the hallways.

“Every time you walked through, you saw him, working. And that was a wonderful experience,” he said.

Associate Professor of Art Sandy Singletary, who came to know Stanley during her own time at Winthrop, called him “a major inspiration in my journey to being an art professor.”

Singletary said that Stanley has performed valuable services for Lander as well as Winthrop.

“He was instrumental in helping us have our Master of Fine Arts program approved by the Council on Higher Education. He has written letters of recommendation when we needed them, and he has guided us when we have had questions about things,” she said.

Professor of English Dr. Mark Rollins, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, called the exhibit by Stanley “a treat for our faculty, staff, and especially our art students.”

The work that Stanley gave to the university is “wonderful, and we are very appreciative,” he said.