Art sale to fund local scholarships


First Carolina Bank President and CEO Ron Day, left, and Gus Tulloss hold up one of the paintings being sold to fund scholarships to local colleges.


By Corey Davis
Staff Writer

Monday, October 17, 2016

A local bank is offering paintings featuring a few of Rocky Mount’s prominent places to benefit scholarship opportunities for local students.

First Carolina Bank is selling paintings of N.C. Wesleyan College, the Rocky Mount Mills, the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Science and the Rocky Mount Train Station all in one portrait. Kristen Brabble, corporate officer and director of retail banking at First Carolina Bank, said portraits are going to be sold in three sizes and cost between $175 to $225.

“This is a testament to our belief that our institution, First Carolina Bank, is entrenched in this community and is deeply committed to its success and prosperity,” Brabble said. “The painting will be a centerpiece of the history of the Rocky Mount area and will be available to the community and visitors to enjoy for many years to come.”

The painting was done by Charlotte artist John White and commissioned through Robin and Robbins Fine Art, which includes the partnership of Grace Robbins and Robin Branstrom. Robin and Robbins represent 30 artists from Maine to Florida. 

White, who has been creating paintings and architectural drawings for more than 25 years, said it took six months to complete the painting.

“It was really fun doing this piece of work,” White said. “It’s fun to recreate historical sites, which have huge importance to a particular area.”

Ron Day, president and CEO of First Carolina Bank, said the paintings of the local buildings also showcase the future of Rocky Mount. He added Wesleyan has undergone unprecedented growth in enrollment over the past few years, while the Imperial Centre is home to a number of events and the Mills project is helping with the revitalization of downtown Rocky Mount.

“The Mills, North Carolina Wesleyan College, the downtown Train Station and the Imperial Center are some of the most recognizable and important landmarks in Eastern North Carolina, which is why we chose them for the painting,” Day said. 

The bank has donated a canvas print to N.C. Wesleyan College, Brabble said.

All proceeds from the paintings will benefit the Rocky Mount Rotary Club's Tackle the Tar event, which benefits scholarships for local students going to Wesleyan, Nash Community College and Edgecombe Community College, Brabble said. The second annual event will be held in May at Bishops Stadium, she added.

“The fundraiser is a great way to showcase our area and give positive publicity to the great events held in our communities,” Brabble said. “It’s also where we show our state just how great we are in the Twin Counties.”

She said the public is welcome to come see the paining at the bank’s office at 171 N. Winstead Ave.

For more information, contact Brabble at 252-451-2964 or email kristenbrabble@firstcarolinabank.com.