College News

PCC students meet North Carolina artist Sam Ezell

Published Tuesday, February 4, 2020
by Elizabeth Townsend

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The Kirby Cultural Arts Complex (KCAC) is excited to announce the acquisition of a new public art sculpture by North Carolina artist Sam Ezell that will be installed in the Reams Avenue green-space at the corner of North Lamar Street.

Created from welded steel, this abstracted, figurative form incorporates bright color and a dynamic shape to evoke a sense of movement, the expression of dancing, and feelings of joy and togetherness. These themes relate to the piece’s functional aspects as well, given that Ezell’s incorporated four seating areas on the sculpture.

Along with benches donated by Polywood to the Uptown Roxboro Group, the sculpture will assist in transforming the green-space location into an expansive public area ideal for gathering outdoors with friends.

Ezell delivered the sculpture to the KCAC in person, and was able to visit with students enrolled in Piedmont Community College's (PCC) Associate of Fine Arts program while in Roxboro. During the conversation, Ezell discussed his practice and answered questions about the piece before giving students a first-hand look at the sculpture.

Additional information will be provided about the sculpture’s installation date on the KCAC Facebook page. Follow this story and learn about other cultural opportunities in Person County at

About the Artist:
Sam Ezell is a folk-artist, who was born in Mebane and grew up in Durham. He discovered his love for art-making late in life, when a friend asked him to create a painting as a gift. After his first piece, he continued to create, recognizing the process as a source of joy.

Since then, Ezell’s practice has increased to incorporate sculpture and carpentry along with his paintings. His works are varied in their elements and styles, and all contain a certain authentic “line” of the artists’ hand. His early paintings reflect signifiers of American Primitive folk-art, using color, pattern, and symmetry to represent the beauty everyday objects; these works have a certain visual flatness, which allows the eye to view the piece, frame and all, as a complete object. This exploration of flatness was further developed in Ezell’s “Picture Hillsborough” series, which contained colorful, detailed representations of Hillsborough’s historic buildings.

Ezell’s recent paintings explore the interaction of color and shape, and their arrangement within a composition. These works are significantly more abstract than his previous works, and direct related to Ezell’s Untitled sculptural piece that will be installed in Uptown Roxboro.

About the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex:
The Kirby Cultural Arts Complex is supported by a partnership between Person County Government, Piedmont Community College, and the Person County Arts Council. At the KCAC we have a performing arts theater, art gallery, and learning studios. Learn more at