Cary, NC — The walls of Cary’s public facilities are regularly decorated with exhibits of locally made art presented by the Town of Cary. The latest collection of paintings in Town Hall is from an artist who is also a member of the Town of Cary staff, Russ Hughes.
Hughes is a Human Resources Consultant for the Town of Cary by profession and a rustic painter by trade. The showcase of his work came after showing his colleague, Denise Dickens, a few photos of his paintings. Being that Dickens is Cary’s Public Arts Manager, she immediately saw the talent in his work and encouraged Hughes to have his own show.
His exhibit titled, “Roadside Rustic,” is his first-ever public showcase and is a compilation of 28 pieces that took Hughes over a year to create. The primary mediums of Hughes’ art are acrylic paintings and illustrations made with markers and ink.
Sean Stegall, Cary’s Town Manager gave Hughes a mention of praise in his latest Town Manager Report.
“As the Town’s culture continues to evolve, bringing our whole selves to work and celebrating unique strengths is key. Russ is a shining example of that – not only showing a passion for helping employees every day in the workplace, but also expressing his passion for art through painting. We are grateful that he is willing to share his talent with us,” said Stegall.
“It’s a very inviting philosophy that Sean has brought to Cary. There is so much about any particular employee that we don’t know about,” said Hughes. Following the opening of the exhibit, Hughes has been blown away by the positive reactions of his co-workers.
Speaking to the inspiration for his work, Hughes said, “For me, I have an admiration for all things rustic and rural. My paintings reflect a past of hand-hewn barns, rusted trucks and tired old tractors, sitting silently in the midst of an old crop row or underneath the collapsing awning of a long-leaning tobacco barn. Every scene has a personal family story behind it, and most often no one left to tell it.”
Hughes grew up in rural northern New Jersey, surrounded by dairy farms and cornfields. With artists in the family including his mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, Hughes says his purpose is to honor their love for painting and continue the family’s artistic tradition.
“There are stories everywhere; nature’s stories and family stories – scattered and assembled for us to observe and listen to. My art is a simple attempt at conveying the stories I see,” said Hughes.
The display will remain at Town Hall for anyone to view during regular business hours now through April 17.
Story by Ashley Kairis. Photo provided by Kerry Harville.