Vilas Tonape is an internationally recognized artist who both teaches in and chairs the department of Commercial, Fine and Performing Arts at Cape Fear Community College, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA. Tonape is an engaging public speaker and seasoned manager, leading by collaboration with and inclusion of team members.

A native of India, Tonape has been creating art for over thirty years. He received his BFA in Drawing and Painting with distinction from Sir J.J. School of Art, University of Bombay, India. He then earned an MFA in Painting from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including at venues in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Ontario, and Mumbai. Tonape’s artwork has won numerous awards both at home and abroad. In 2019, Tonape was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and largest all-discipline honor society, and in 2018, the First Friday Forum of the Government Museum in Chandigarh bestowed upon him the Lifetime Achievement Award. His work has been critically acclaimed; Palm Beach Post says: “Tonape’s painting can be described as classically inspired, contemporary-realism—interpretive images that enchant the eye.”

In his teaching of art, both in figurative and nonrepresentational modes, Tonape cuts through the age-old application of emotional and spiritual haze, illuminating concepts with a precise scientific and mathematical approach.