A Dynamic Duo: The Story of Two Local Artists

Richard and Allan Guy share a love of art and family.

There’s a compelling sense of harmony between Richard and Allan Guy as words of praise and appreciation flow freely between them.  An unspoken connection and mutual respect reveals the strength of a family’s love and commitment towards one another.

The Guys are prominent artists and long-time residents of Manassas.  ArtBeat Gallery member Richard Guy is known for his Civil War paintings, specifically his portrait of Robert E. Lee.  Allan Guy is noted for his commercial artwork, including the recent logo design for Manassas’ 150th Commemoration of the Civil War.

Both father and son were destined to be artists at an early age.  A passion for sketching faces and figures led to Richard Guy’s first portrait in an art class at the age of 8.  Upon graduating school, he was so determined to work as an artist that he walked up and down the streets of New York in search of gainful employment.  He accepted his first job as an advertisement illustrator for the YMCA, where his career as an artist took off.

His mother was one of his biggest supporters.  At the beginning of her son’s career, she called every Congressman in Washington, DC to solicit interest in Richard Guy’s painted Christmas cards.  Many bought his cards, and he continues to receive an order for 200 Christmas cards each year.  Some of his paintings are displayed in the Department of Interior, Treasury, Patent Office and IBM. 

Like his mother, Richard Guy has always been supportive of his son’s artistic endeavors.  Allan Guy graduated from Eastern Carolina University with a degree in Illustration.  He moved to Connecticut for work and later to New York, where he gained excellent experience and excelled under the guidance of numerous mentors. 

But he soon discovered that he missed the outdoors.  After spending time out west he settled in Manassas, Virginia, where he opened a studio down the street from his father.  He currently designs premium packaging for wineries throughout Virginia and North Carolina. 

Richard and Allan Guy’s artwork, along with pottery by local artist Fran Newquist, will be featured in their first collaborative exhibit at the Phillip Carter Winery.  This event is tentatively scheduled for February 18, 2011.  The Guys hope to showcase a father-son art exhibit at the Center for the Arts in Old Town Manassas. 

In celebration of the 150th commemoration of the Civil War this July, a collection of Richard Guy’s paintings will be featured in ArtBeat Gallery’s Civil War exhibit.  His full-length portraits of Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and Stonewall Jackson will be on display.  Guy’s artistic representation of the Civil War is sure to enhance the emotional impact of this summer’s commemorative experience.      

Early in his career Richard Guy realized that “each one of us has a talent that’s different.”  He believes the secret to success is to “be happy in business, whatever it is.”  Allan Guy agreed, stating, “If it’s what gives you satisfaction, do it and don’t look back.”


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