Exhibition _ Present 2018-12-07T02:11:41+00:00

TOM STANLEY: en route to here

7 December 2018 – 22 February 2019

Opening Reception with the Artist | Friday, December 7 | 6-8pm

Artist Talk moderated by Lia Newman | Saturday, January 19 | 10:30am-12pm

Hodges Taylor is pleased to present TOM STANLEY: en route to here, a solo exhibition featuring a selection of paintings and works on paper from the past two decades. The opening reception with the artist will be held on Friday, December 7 from 6 to 8pm. An Artist Talk, moderated by Lia Newman, Curator of Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College, will be held on Saturday, January 19 from 10:30am to 12pm. en route to here is Stanley’s second solo exhibition with Hodges Taylor, the prior in 2003.

Stanley’s work, layered and elusive, is more self-portraiture than abstraction. His skilled sgraffito, a scratching technique, use of flattened perspective, repeated motifs, and humility with regard to color constructs a narrative that is both personal to the artist and familiar to its audience. Stanley reveals richness out of the ordinary. He builds humanity out of the manmade. You could find every man and any man’s story on his canvases. A man of purposeful words and a believer in the community that art coalesces, Stanley recites the underlying message behind his drive to create: “We all have the ability to think with our hands and our eyes. We have to continue to find ways to utilize that and it might be in new ways we haven’t thought of before…it’s what humanizes us.”

Beginning with the series en route to hamlet, referencing Hamlet, a small town on Highway 74 in North Carolina, the series surveyed in this exhibition punctuate the last twenty something years of the artist’s journey. en route to here, another mile-marker, invites us to see a selection of Stanley’s stops from the mid 1990s to today. For Stanley, there is no roadmap or exit sign in eyesight. And you might have to get there by boat. But for now, we are all en route to here.


Tom Stanley, a North Carolina native, now living in Rock Hill, South Carolina, earned his MA in Applied Art History and an MFA in Painting from the University of South Carolina in 1980. In 1985 he returned to North Carolina to direct the Waterworks Visual Arts Center in Salisbury. He became the first director of Rock Hill’s Winthrop University Galleries in 1990. From 2007 to 2017 he served as chair of Winthrop’s Department of Fine Arts.

Stanley’s work has been exhibited widely in galleries and museums throughout the Carolinas. Notably, Tom Stanley: Scratching the Surface (2017) at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, NC surveyed his work from 2004 to the present. Since 2007, he has completed on public art projects including the design elements for the CATS light rail Tom Hunter Station in Charlotte. He is a recipient of Winthrop University’s Medal of Honor in the Arts, and South Carolina’s Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award. In the spring of 2018, he completed a six-week residency at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, and worked with Casa-Museu Abel Salazar, University of Porto in Portugal, on an installation for their chapel. Stanley is currently an artist-in-residence at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, where he is also serving as a visiting curator.

Above: TOM STANLEY, en route to hamlet, 1995 – 1996, acrylic on canvas, 13.75 x 13.75 inches (each); Below: TOM STANLEY, en route to here, 2018, oil on canvas, 17.5 x 37.5 inches.