Tuesday, November 12th – Tuesday, December 31st
Ordinary stone structures, shimmering streams and even sunsets, take on a new luminosity through the oils used on the brush of artist, Neal Hughes. Although a predominance of Neal’s paintings display nautical elements, the stone houses, weathered barns and cows in fields speak “Americana” to the extent that critics compare his paintings to the best of American artists.
Neal, a resident of Medford, New Jersey, started learning to paint as a child, and later acquired his professional skills at the Philadelphia College of Art (the University of the Arts). A former illustrator, Neal has been painting professionally for over 35 years. His work is part of the permanent collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art and he has been accepted into numerous juried exhibitions including the national exhibitions of the American Impressionist Society, Oil Painters of American, American Society of Marine Artists and the Portrait Society of America. His work has also been juried into the International Marine Art Exhibition at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport and he has been a finalist at the ARC Salon numerous times.
Neal is a Fellow of the American Society of Marine Artists, member of the Salmagundi Club, Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association, American Impressionist Society and Oil Painters of America.
Plein Air painting is a speciality for Neal. In 2019 alone he has earned awards from the Lighthouse Art Center Plein Air Competition and Festival, the Saint George Island Paint Out plein air competition,the Olmstead Plein Air Invitational, the Wayne Art Center Plein Air Festival, the Eureka Springs Plein Air Competition, the Gloucester Arts Festival Plein Air Competition, Bath County Plein Air Festival, Cape Ann Plein Air Competition and the En Plein Air Texas Painting Competition.
Also in 2019 Neal has won the Best Associate Award of Excellence at the Oil Painters of America National Exhibition and the top prize, Gold Medal, at the Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Exhibition.
Neal’s work is found in both private and corporate collections. He has also completed major commissions for the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team and The National Civil War Museum. He has also won numerous awards, including the Maritime Gallery Yachting Award and an Award of Excellence at the prestigious International Marine Art Exhibition at the Gallery at Mystic Seaport. He was also the grand prize winner in the Utrecht 60th Anniversary Art Competition, winning the top prize out of over 12,000 entries.
Neal sees his work as being about seeing the beauty in creation; making a connection between art and nature: “ For me, painting is a process that allows me to share my personal vision of the subject by utilizing traditional techniques and exploring new ways of working. I have come to treasure the experience and the journey of working to create art and the opportunity to grow with each new painting. I feel that art can elevate the everyday and ordinary and allows us to see beauty that might otherwise be missed. My hope is that all who see my work will experience the joy and beauty that I experience while creating it.”
Neal Hughes’ Exhibit will open on Tuesday, November 12 in the Art Gallery at St.David’s church. A reception will be held on Friday, November 22 in conjunction with the Gift Shop Holiday Open House. All profits from the Gift Shop and the Art Gallery support St. David’s overseas partners in Uganda, Guatamala and Cuba.