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PCC Alum Richard Wilson 1 of 20 Competing in Brewing Company’s Label Design Contest


Richard Wilson holds up a Blue Moon bottle that features the design he submitted for the company's national label competition. Wilson says his artistic ability is a gift from God, adding that people should utilize the talents they've been given and "not put them away."WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College alumnus Richard Wilson is one of 20 up-and-coming artists currently competing in a national label design contest organized by the Blue Moon Brewing Company in celebration of their 20th anniversary.

A 2007 Advertising and Graphic Design graduate, Wilson is vying for a $20,000-grant from Blue Moon to further develop his art career and to have his label design featured on bottles of the company’s Belgian White ale.

“It feels amazing to be selected for the Blue Moon label design competition and to represent North Carolina,” said Wilson, who has also taught at PCC as an adjunct art instructor. “I'm honored and excited that my work will be exposed to a national audience. It gives me another platform to encourage youth to strive and never give up on their dreams, no matter how difficult it gets.”

Fans can vote for Wilson’s label design on Blue Moon’s website and through Wilson’s personal website through Aug. 31. A panel will ultimately determine the grand prize winner from among the 10 designs that garner the most fan votes.

Wilson, who was born in Robersonville and raised in nearby Conetoe, has been painting since he was 8 years old and has won numerous awards for his work, including two from the Pastel Society of America. He had one painting featured on the cover of Sunshine Artist, a national art publication, and another depicting tennis legend Arthur Ashe that was purchased for museum display by the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.

“My dreams of becoming a full-time artist started at a very early age,” Wilson said. “I attribute my success to prayer, having a very supportive family, hard work, and a relentless dedication to becoming the best artist I can be.”

Wilson’s pastels range from scenic landscapes to old tobacco barns that dot Eastern North Carolina’s landscape. His favorite subjects, though, are sports and children, with his three daughters serving as his inspiration.

The 43-year-old Greenville resident also paints portraits. In fact, he became the first African-American to have a portrait hanging in a North Carolina courthouse when his rendering of North Carolinian George Henry White—the last former slave to serve in Congress—was put on display in the Edgecombe County Superior Courthouse.

For the Blue Moon competition, Wilson drew a moonlit scene of a musician leaning against a brick wall and playing a trumpet. The design, which he said was inspired by his love of jazz music, is currently featured in Blue Moon Art Series 12-packs on sale nationwide.

“What I've worked so hard for is really starting to take off like I anticipated it would one day,” Wilson said. “This is just another confirmation that my prayers, hard work and dedication are being answered.”

A celebration of Wilson’s Blue Moon achievement will be held Aug. 7 in Greenville. Sponsored by The Art Room, Coastal Beverage Company, The Greenville Times and Uptown Greenville, the “Once in a Blue Moon Block Party” will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the 400 Block of Evans Street (between 4th and 5th streets). During the event, Wilson’s artwork will be on display in The Art Room, which is located at 403 Evans St.