Friday, April 13, 2012

Friends of the Outer Banks History Center Will Host Public Program on Civil War Art at April 20 Meeting

MANTEO - The Friends of the Outer Banks History Center will bring renowned sculptor and painter Gary Casteel to the Outer Banks to present the program at the Friends' annual meeting. The public is invited to attend this free event on Friday, April 20, in the Roanoke Island Festival Park Small Auditorium adjacent to the History Center Gallery.
The OBHC Friends will conduct a short business meeting at 7 p.m. and present the Lois W. Bradshaw Volunteer of the Year Award. Gary Casteel will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. for the Civil War art program, made possible through funding from the Outer Banks Community Foundation's Frank Stick Memorial Fund.
This event is part of a statewide and national observance of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War and supports the Outer Banks History Center's new exhibit, "The Civil War Comes to Roanoke Island: Fishers, Fighters and Freedmen." The gallery will remain open for the evening.
See for other Department of Cultural Resources events being offered throughout the state commemorating the Civil War sesquicentennial.
A resident of Gettysburg, Pa., Casteel combines a keen sense of history with an appetite for innovation to produce larger-than-life sculptures and poignantly presented memorials and monuments. His works can be seen at Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Antietam and Fredericksburg National Military Parks, along with historic sites, public buildings, parks and museums, and in the collections of prominent Americans such as Ken Burns, Katie Couric and former President George H.W. and Mrs. Barbara Bush. To see examples and learn more about Casteel's personal journey as an artist, visit
Casteel will address the process of lithography and how it was used to illustrate battles to the masses in both the North and South. Although the Civil War is thought of as the first American war to be photo-documented, photographs from the Outer Banks are rare. Historians and researchers must depend upon artist's sketches, and the lithographs created from field drawings, for images of Civil War events and encampments from this region.
Casteel will also shed light on Civil War sketches in the collections of the Outer Banks History Center by cousins and Massachusetts soldiers Edwin Graves Champney and James Wells Champney, who were stationed in eastern North Carolina during the war. Finally, Casteel will treat the audience to a demonstration of a unique sketching technique he has developed.
For more information about the Outer Banks History Center, call (252) 473-2655, e-mail or visit
The Outer Banks History Center is a regional archives and research library administered by the N. C. Office of Archives and History, within the Department of Cultural Resources. The Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, a 501(c) 3 organization, provides ongoing support to the center through volunteer and financial assistance.

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