Ashley Armstrong (AMA Art) is a new artist from Raleigh, NC.
She started believing in her talent 14 years ago in her high school art class. Since then and without any additional training or education in art, she has painted and drawn portraits for families and friends close to her, as well as, original works for her portfolio.
This continued pursuit has developed her skill and confidence with mediums like acrylic, crayons, colored pencils, and much more.
"I approach my art like a science experiment, full of curiosity, especially when using a new medium. And like any experiment, I learn what works and what doesn’t. "
Here to view some of Ashlely's art
Ashley Armstrong, local artist working in multiple mediums
Sharon Barnes is a painter working in acrylic. She is a frequent contributor to shows at the gallery, and always has pieces in our ongoing displays.
"There are advantages to aging. I was able to take early retirement and pursue my dream of painting. I love living with color and observing the color in nature. Nature, both flora and fauna, inspires me want to create the feelings with color. Something as simple as going to the grocery store took on a different meaning when I began to observe the colorful beauty of fruits and vegetables.
"I have found my passion in putting color to multiple surfaces using brushes, palette knives or scratch tools. I have explored watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil, and now scratchboard and have found satisfaction in being challenged to discover how each allows me to express what I am seeing."
Here to see examples of Sharon's paintings.
Sharon Barnes, Local Painter
Kevin Flynn Bell is an artist and Illustrator originally born in Durham NC. He currently resides in Hillsborough, NC along with his wife Tracy and their 3 Horses, Bella, Morning Star and Epiphany “Piffy.”
Kevin started drawing at the age of 5 and has not stopped since. He paints and draws any subject matter, but loves children-themed art, fantasy art and horses of course.
Kevin attended Hillside School and North Carolina Central University where he honed his skills as an artist and was an Art Ed/Graphic Arts Major. NCCU is where he became interested in painting.
“ My imagination is huge! My art is just a window into my little world, Hope you enjoy the view! "
Here to see some of Kevin's art
Kevin Flynn Bell, local painter and illustrator
"Painting lets me tell a story and share what I see in life and my imagination.
"I’ve enjoyed and appreciated art since my childhood but have only been actively creating these past few years.
"I'm inspired by the seascapes of my hometown in Keelung, Taiwan, memorable landscapes from my travels, and largely, the woods and flowers of North Carolina, my home these past 23 years.
"I enjoy using bold and bright colors to share energy in my paintings and often the colors reflect the joy I feel creating the art.
"I sincerely hope my paintings spark interest and light and happiness to others. "
Here to view some of Kathy's paintings.
Kathy Chang, local painter
"My interest in creating jewelry and art are relatively new if my life. I was involved in making various crafts, cross stitch, and beaded jewelry while staying at home with my children.
"After returning to work, I missed working on my crafts and couldn't wait until retirement to again take part in some type of artistic expression.
"After retirement, a friend invited me to take a jewelry class with her, learning to make chain maille weave jewelry. I really enjoyed it and went right home to order materials to make other patterns and styles.
"Then another friend asked me to take an acrylic painting class with her. That opened me up to the world of color and design on canvas.
"I have always been drawn to modern abstract art and particularly enjoy experimenting with colors as they blend in my pour paintings. I then started experimenting with textures and added that to my paintings.
"In both my paintings and my jewelry, it is bright colors that I am drawn to the most. I look forward to continuing to learn other types of crafts and art."
Here to see some of Gail's jewelry and paintings.
Gail Crane, local jeweler and painter
Beverly Currence has lived in the Hillsborough/Chapel Hill area since 1983.
Beverly started as an amateur photographer in high school, then in the mid-1990s she began working with stained glass. After a few years of learning and experimenting she was hooked!
Self-taught, she enjoys making a wide variety of items from small suncatchers to small, medium, and large panels, and various sized windows, all using the copper foil technique.
About 12 years ago she began working with old true divided wooden window sashes (from old houses and other structures), creating stained glass windows to honor and preserve architectural history while creating a unique one-of-a-kind piece that can be hung inside, or bracketed onto a covered porch.
Recently, she has begun experimenting with making panels that incorporate glass plates and saucers to honor, display, and preserve cherished family china.
“I love how stained glass allows color and light to completely change a space adding character and a unique focal point to each area. The colors, opaqueness, and texture of glass often change with available light as the sun moves throughout the day. This medium allows unlimited possibilities to explore, honor, preserve, create, and dress up a space!”
Here to view some of Beverly's stained glass.
Beverly V. Currence, local stained glass artist
Michi Doan is an illustrator originally from Southern California, currently living in North Carolina, who loves to draw trees and be in her dreamer world.
She enjoys drawing magic, fantasy, and her own twist to capture the beauty of life. Michi likes to draw and tell stories visually, and explore the unknown in the art. She has a strong passion for visual development and background painting.
"My goal is to bring joy to people while expanding my ability in storytelling. "
We also look forward to Michi teaching digital painting workshops at the Gallery!
Here to see some of Michi's art.
Michi also has work in our current show Finding Joy. Here to see work in that show.
Michi Doan, local digital artist
Max Dowdle, who resides in Hillsborough with his wife and two young children, may be best known in the community for the "Billy Strayhorn, Take the A Train" mural he painted on the side of Volume Records and Beer at 226 W Churton Street.
"Visual artists have the rare ability to capture the attention of sight, and lodge an image in the memory for a lifetime.
"No matter what artistic pursuits I’ve involved myself in, from the smallest, most intimate oil paintings, to the largest, building-sized murals, I give myself over totally to the color, the medium, and the conceptual flow of the composition.
"From large-scale paintings for the George Washington University office foyer in the Watergate Hotel, to a massive 95 foot wide mural for City Hall in Durham, I’ve embraced my place in the community as an artist that engages viewers on a monument scale, while still imbuing the work with dynamic, representative emotion, rendered in fantastic color and texture. My greatest asset is my ability to effortlessly move from lyrical abstraction to fully realized realism.
"Studying and teaching in the classical vein at Charles H. Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy gave me vital insight into the practices of traditional atelier work, which served as a useful seedbed for my creative journey afterward. While continuing to grow as an artist I have also grown as a storyteller, endeavoring to imbue my compositions with narrative pathos as well as powerful command of the brush.
"I consider the function of artist as communicator as timeless; and the ability to artfully represent what resides in the mind is an incredibly powerful, and necessary role."
Here to see some of Max's paintings at the Gallery.
Max Dowdle, local painter
Debi L. Drew is a visual artist and art educator. She considers her artistic talent God given. She received BA degrees in Psychology and Visual Communications. Both her MA and PhD are in Art Education.
In 2015, I embarked on the most meaningful art project of my life. Little did I know it would soon define the true calling of my art practice. "Fruit of the Spirit" began my journey towards sharing the Word of God in my artwork. My personal world had changed dramatically and I eventually came to the end of myself, but my faith sustained me. The Lord daily renewed my strength and His grace and love carried me through, as I read His Word. I embrace my new calling to share God's Word through my art and pray it reaches souls for Him."
Debi regularly participates in themed shows at the Gallery, and there is always a display of her work in one of the Gallery rooms. She also leads art workshops for adults at the Gallery on subjects that include acrylic pours, fabric art, metal embossing, printmaking, still life drawing, and textual art.
Debi also regularly attends Last Friday art walks and other Gallery special events -- stop by to meet her and her work, and learn about her process and motivation!
Here to see some of Debi's art.
Debi L. Drew, local artist and art educator
Currently a resident of Alamance County, NC, Karin Tilly Dungee was born and raised in Brazil, "so I was influenced by lots of color. However, I also took a course in classical Japanese painting, which also influences my work, so here we have the ying and the yang.
"My big love is landscape painting in whatever mode I am working in and I am always looking to improve, grow, change, learn. Artists never stop learning, even the teachers and masters and those are the best teachers. I am mostly self taught.
"I am fascinated with what mixing colors can do and a new passion I am trying out, which is working with neutral colors. Like I said, we never stop, just a bunch of pink bunnies, if you will."
Here to see some of Karin's work.
Karen Tilly Dungee, local painter
Lisa Francescon specializes in photographing Lake Orange in Cedar Grove, North Carolina. She took up her practice following an unexpected, and frightening, cancer diagnosis in the fall of 2019.
Lisa is a new artist with the Gallery, beginning with the Finding Joy show. Here are some of her words about how she found joy during a challenging time:
"After a restless night, I rose early, grabbed my water with lemon, and sat outside looking at the lake as the sun began to rise. The first colorful rays beaming off the scattered clouds gave me refuge from the confusing pain dancing around in my head all night. Mesmerized and comforted by the wonder of this magnificent Lake Orange sunrise, tears began to flow down my cheeks. I realized Mother Nature (God) was here to soothe me and give me strength. I found some hope and peace as I grasped and accepted my reality. Sun peeking through the clouds, sun warm on my face, I realized I have just been gently hugged by Mother Nature.
"The next day I was compelled to get up in time for the sunrise. I again found myself lost in the beautiful grace and salvation of this gorgeous, evolving morning gift whose mirror gently floated on a calm Lake Orange. I found that the calming colors of sunrise colors gives me great peace and the amazing uniqueness of each one instills new hope.
"... My sincere hope is that you too are captivated by the many spectacular faces of Lake Orange and find peace, strength and hope when you too are gently hugged by Mother Nature."
(And a happy note: as of January 2020, Lisa is cancer free.)
Here to see some of Lisa's photographs.
Lisa Francescon, local photographer
“Hey there! I’m Robin, an interdisciplinary artist originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but now local to Orange County.
"I’m a creator by nature and enjoy the challenges, successes and lessons that happen with the pursuit of new interests- both in art and in life.
"I respect art for its ability to connect people and evoke a variety of emotion. The versatility of the craft allows an expressive freedom that the soul relates to, and to me that is beautiful.
"I enjoy painting with acrylics, and also work with wood, metal, and resin. In addition, functional art such as cornhole boards, are on my ever-growing list of things I create.
"I’ve always believed that if I can imagine myself doing something, I can execute. And so I fashion my life around this principle.“
Here to see some of Robin's work.
Maria Geary is a self-taught mixed media and fiber artist with a passion for visual journaling.
Maria always knows where to look for inspiration--her morning routine. A very early riser, Maria begins each day with coffee and scripture reading. As the day wakes outside her studio window, or out for a morning walk, she reflects on the colors and images of nature while considering her reading. Her work is drawn from these sessions.
Originally from Harrisburg, PA, she, and her family left the cold winters for warmer temperatures in Durham, NC. A police dispatcher for more than 10 years, the stress of the job prompted the shift to look for other work. Her career change to Project Manager allowed her freedom to travel and work from home, but after 20+ years and another layoff, it was time to decide on her next career move.
Maria has always enjoyed hobbies such as card making, crochet and cross stitch to name a few. Her greeting cards were sold locally in Durham, advertised in trade publications and as popular as they were, she described them as boring. “I wanted them to say ‘something’. There are rubber stamps that can be used with different sentiments, but it wasn’t my voice coming through—and my voice is what I needed to find.”
In 2016 Maria fully answered the call to create. Today, she enjoys the spontaneity of her process and the luxury of creating daily. Maria enjoys the freedom of using “odd things” (such as used dryer sheets or instant coffee) in a manner other than how they were initially intended to enhance her work. This curiosity of combining unlikely mediums and everyday household supplies “just to see what happens,” has afforded her the opportunity to create work with courage, excitement, and boldness.
A ‘creative inspirationalist’, her creative practice and business Relaxing In Art, is a word play of her nickname, ‘Ria. It serves as a reminder that creating art is a form of relaxing. As a teaching artist, she stresses playfulness to reflect, relate and release to create.
Maria is a teaching artist with the Durham Arts Council (Durham, NC) and the Arts and Science Council (Charlotte, NC). Her work has also been displayed in several local exhibits and private collections.
Maria is beginning teaching art workshops, including for mature teens, with Margaret Lane Gallery in September 2022.
Chrystal Hardt is a visual artist with many years of experience painting and exploring the world through visual media. She has been exhibiting her work since her first solo show in Hillsborough in 1991 and continues to show regularly throughout the Triangle.
Her paintings hang in intimate spaces in collectors homes and in public spaces as well. One of the latest undertakings is the creation of a mural for the Kirby Cultural Arts Center entitled, "Dancing on the Roof", which depicts people of many backgrounds dancing as one in the circle dance of life.
"My paintings are about energy and emotion and movement. They have many inspirations. Most are figurative in nature showing our interconnectedness to all things.
"I strive to have my paintings work on an abstract level by focusing on color relationships, interesting shapes, good contrast between light and dark, and a balance between emotion and mystery."
Here to see some of Chrystal's paintings.
Chrystal Hardt, local painter
Phillip Howard is a local artist who makes wood carvings -- bees, mice, possums, birds and the like -- from reclaimed wood and tin, often scavenged from local demolition sites.
Here to view some of Phillip's carvings.
Joanne Ivey started out as a painter and turned to papier-mâché over 30 years ago. She particularly likes working in papier mache because it is a medium that one can do almost anything with, and it is biodegradable. It is light weight, versatile, easy to repair, and very plastic.
She also finds papier-mâché provides a great surface to paint on.
"I am always looking for new sources of inspiration and how I might translate that inspiration into an object."
Here to see examples of Joanne's papier-mâché creations
Joanne Ivey, local papier-mâché artist
Carly Joy is twenty-eight years old and has resided within the triangle area for over a decade. Growing up in Oriental, North Carolina, Carly took to photography quickly, both digital and film.
“It wasn't until late 2019 I dove fully into making art by hand using paper. Each piece is hand cut then hand pressed onto canvas or poster paper. My inspirations stem from memories, thoughts, and random images I see within patterns of magazines or photography. This process can take anywhere from two weeks to seven months depending on details within the image. With that said I am extremely new to the art scene of the triangle, and look forward to growth within the community."
Here to see some of Carly Joy's collages