Stokes County Arts Council to feature Ken Bridle and Annie Pakes in the Apple Gallery

DANBURY — The Stokes County Arts Council will feature Ken Bridle and Annie Pakes in the Apple Gallery during the month of August. An opening reception will be held in their honor on Friday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Apple Gallery, Stokes County Arts Council, 500 N. Main St., Danbury. The public is invited to enjoy refreshments, talk with the artists and view an exhibit of beautiful works of art. Musician Kirk Williard will provide a program of music during the reception.

Bridle is a conservationist by profession as well as an artist by passion enjoying watercolor and botanical illustration. His vision as an artist grows from his experience and feeds his current interests. Admiring the artists that documented the flora, fauna and landscapes of the New World during the exploration and colonial period has been a lifelong interest. In the days before cameras, artistic interpretation of exotic species and locations helped fuel public support for exploration, trade and travel. It was those illustrations that fired the imagination and created the myth of inexhaustible natural resources in the new world.

Bridle received a Ph.D. in biology from Wake Forest University. Over the past three decades, he has spent the majority of his professional career working to promote the conservation and appreciation of natural resources upon which our economy as well as our health and wellbeing depend. He has spent most of his time as a botanist and field ecologist doing inventory and restoration work as a consultant and is a stewardship director for the Piedmont Land Conservancy, responsible for easement monitoring and management of more than 19,000 acres of land in more than 170 projects across 12 counties of central and northwest North Carolina. The important features of many natural areas can typically be documented by a scientist with photographs, maps, reports and species lists. However, it is often the depiction of the special place by a painter, poet, or photographer that reaches a wider audience. He believes that art plays a significant role in communication of natural wonder and beauty while helping others to understand nature and care for our shared natural resources. He would like to use his paintings to develop more of these skills.

The works of art in this exhibit is small watercolor. Having shown his work in several student, solo and group exhibits, he has enhanced his talents through watercolor classes and workshops with well-known artists such as Alexis Lavine, Addren Doss, Sally Lambrecht and Suzanna Winston. He lives in Walnut Cove with his wife, Luann.

Pakes is an educator as well as an artist by passion. Pakes’ collection of paintings includes places, potables and puns in the general medium of paint. Her work is inspired in large part from her travels in Tuscany during a photography study abroad course. Other works are inspired by a play-on-words of famous artists’ names and works who she frequently references in her work as an art educator. This collection is mixed media with acrylic and oils on canvas and foam board.

She said, “Ever since the Scrap Exchange in Durham, came to my art room in elementary school, I have been fascinated by incorporating my paintings with repurposed materials.” Pakes received a Bachelor of Arts degree in art education at Meredith College (Class of 2008). She also has received special recognitions/awards: NC Teaching Fellow 2008, NCAEA Region 3 Members Exhibit at Meredith College 2010. Other hobbies include gardening, repurposing things, spending time with family and friends and exploring everything North Carolina has to offer. Pakes is a resident of Raleigh.

This exhibit will be on display July 30 through Aug. 25 in the Apple Gallery. The Stokes County Arts Council is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information about the exhibit, contact the Stokes County Arts Council at 336-593-8159 or visit

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