REGIONAL: Timberlake works on exhibit at Hinson Art Museum at Wingate University

Bob Timberlake has spent more than a half-century capturing the beauty of North Carolina in his realistic watercolor paintings. The well-known artist will share his work with Wingate students during an upcoming artist talk.

Already, a 25-piece selection of Timberlake paintings, crafts and furniture is on display at the University’s Hinson Art Museum. The theme of the exhibit, which also includes inspiration sketches that he calls “easel works,” is Home and Hearth.

“I have spent 86 years taking mental pictures of this and that,” Timberlake says. “It’s the common things around us that we sometimes don’t pay enough attention to.”

His depictions of simple living have earned him a spot on Our State Magazine’s list of 100 North Carolina icons, among many other accolades.

Now 86, Timberlake began painting full-time at age 33 at the urging of Andrew Wyeth. A native of Salisbury, he is a recipient of the Albert Schweitzer medal for Artistry and the American Forestry Award. He was named the North Carolina Public Servant of the Year in 1978 and has been honored as an Outstanding Alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the most prestigious awards presented by the North Carolina governor.

Timberlake has applied his eye and love of nature well beyond his paintings. In 1990, he launched a line of furniture, and today Bob Timberlake, Inc. licenses home furnishings, apparel and many other products.

The artist has designed stamps for the United States Postal Service, including statehood stamps for both Carolinas, and is an avid collector of birdhouses, quilts, antiques and other icons of the rural South.

The Bob Timberlake Gallery, a 15,000-square-foot facility for furniture production and retail sales, is in Lexington, where a 4.8-mile section of Interstate 85 is named the Bob Timberlake Freeway. A second gallery is located in Blowing Rock.

Wingate Board of Trustee member Frank Cagle, who is from Lexington, will help host Timberlake at an April 13 luncheon at Wingate, after which the artist will give a talk to students in the Hinson Art Museum, where his work will be on exhibit through May 5.

Established in 2015 through the generosity of Ronald and Delilah Hinson of Monroe, the museum is named in honor of their son, Wingate alumnus Eric Hinson, who has devoted his life to teaching art in Union County Public Schools.

The museum, located just south of the George A. Batte Jr. Fine Arts Center between Cedar Street and Oak Drive in Wingate, is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.