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Oyster Festival unveils 2008 artwork, introduces artist

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

The beach music, the shagging, vendors, artists, and of course, the oysters. All the things that make up the North Carolina Oyster Festival are depicted in this year’s featured artwork—a watercolor painted by local artist Ronald Williams.

Williams, who lives in Leland, has been an artist his entire life. After studying art at the Parsons School of Design in New York, he worked as an artist for Belk, creating art for ads and promotions.

He now spends his days painting and promoting his artwork through various shows and exhibitions.

Though his career took him many places, he could not wait to get back to North Carolina’s southeast coast where he enjoys painting outdoor scenes.

“It’s like an artist’s dream, between the history of the area and the coast,” Williams said. “I have thousands of paintings in my mind, but I just don’t have time to paint them all.”

Williams has shown his work at the Oyster Festival for about five years and was approached by the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce to be the artist for the annual print this year.

“I’m so proud that [the Chamber] asked me to do the artwork this year,” Williams said at an unveiling ceremony Thursday.

Cathy Altman, president of the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, said Williams’ artwork is current with today’s festival.

“I think it really reflects what the festival is all about,” Altman said.

Prints of Williams’ painting will soon be available for purchase at the chamber’s office in Shallotte. Williams will also be featured in a booth at the festival, signing and selling the prints. Altman said the prints are a souvenir many like to take home from the festival, and many collect the prints throughout the years.

The 28th annual North Carolina Oyster Festival will be Oct 18-19 at Ocean Isle Beach. For more information, call the chamber at 754-6539 or visit its Web site at www.brunswickcountychamber.org.

Kathryn Jacewicz is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or at kjacewicz@brunswickbeacon.com