Kenneth Graves is a native of the Petersburg, Colonial Heights area. He graduated from Petersburg High School, R.P.I. (now Virginia Commonwealth University), Radford University, and received a graduate assistantship at Appalachian University and Radford University. His honors include Kappa Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, and the "Best in Show" - James River Art League. Studies also include fresco with Bell Worsham, painting with Miss Anna Dunlop, and photography with Charles Smith.
His one-man shows were: Flat Rock Playhouse (Flat Rock, NC), Petersburg Art League, and Created Images (Petersburg, VA). His works are also represented in the United States, Germany, France, England, and Scotland.
Mr. Graves retired after 32 years of teaching in public schools in Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. He taught science, woodwork, special education, and art. He was an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, and Richard Bland College.
Mr. Graves is past president of the Petersburg Chapter of Composers, Authors, and Artists of America and a former member of the board of the Historic Blandford Cemetery Foundation. He was also a member of the board of the Petersburg Area Art League.
Philosophy: "Art makes the difference between a subsistent existence and living. Even if someone is rich and does not see and enjoy the marvels of the world around him and the beauty of man's creative efforts, then that person is a pauper inside.
I have a primitive response to materials; stone, wood, and metal need to be touched. Pastels respond to manipulation by finger and breath; oil can be very sensuous and smooth or violent and heavy with texture; ceramics can be thin and elegant or thick and crude.
Each subject or material evokes a different response and rendering."