We are a vibrant community of artists and art lovers who welcome all ages and all abilities to our classes and galleries. By offering high-quality arts education and exhibitions, and providing a venue for artists to show and sell their work, Mooresville Arts is an artistic and cultural resource for the Lake Norman community.
Brenda Pokorny is a mosaic artist in Mooresville, NC. She received a BFA from Miami University, with a concentration in textile design, and began her career in the design studio of the largest wallpaper manufacturer in the US. After 5 years there, and 10 years managing her own textile design business, she started playing around with mosaic, and was an instant convert.
Brenda finds inspiration in gardens and nature, mazes, labyrinths, and mandalas. These interests have taken her around the globe exploring gardens, hedge mazes, labyrinths, gothic and renaissance cathedrals, and the mosaics of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds.
Brenda's goal in creating mosaics is to produce art that adds beauty and brings joy. She hopes to have more opportunities to create large-scale public artworks that can involve communities in their creation, and can beautify spaces enjoyed by everyone.
Dixon Handshaw is a photographic educator based in Mooresville, NC. He spent 35 years of his career as a learning and performance consultant as president of his own company, Handshaw, Inc. Before that he earned his living as a professional photographer. Now he is combining those two experiences to teach fine art photography in both digital and film formats. His favorite aspect of teaching is inspiring students to find personal expression through the lens of a camera.
Dixon currently serves as an adjunct instructor in photography at Catawba Valley Community College. He serves on the Education Committee at Mooresville Arts where he also teaches photography. He has a BFA in photography from Alfred University and a MS in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University. He served on the Board of Directors for The Light Factory in Charlotte, NC and chaired their Education Committee where he also served as an instructor and designer of courses. He served on the Board of Directors at the Carolina Raptor Center in Charlotte,
NC, where he designed and taught a course in Bird and Wildlife Photography. He has been passionate about photography since he was 14.
Catherine Crane received her MBA from St Joseph’s University and completed a Post MBA program in Global Business Leadership at the Wharton School of Business. She is also an RN and holds a BS from Rutger’s University. She practiced as a critical care registered nurse and then joined the pharmaceutical industry leading worldwide clinical drug development programs in multiple therapeutic areas.
Catherine moved to Mooresville from NJ in 2018 and enjoys all of the wonderful people and the arts, culture and nature programs the area has to offer.
Catherine enjoys the crossroads between art and science. She is an art enthusiast and has taken classes in oil painting and mixed media. She has a passion for art and believes art is a fundamental human need that sustains us. She believes art communicates both, multi-dimensionally and viscerally and dramatically impacts how we relate to the world around us.
Her favorite quote from Albert Einstein, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science”
Catherine is excited to contribute her business and analytical skills and her passion for art to support the continued growth and future vision of Mooresville Arts.
Larisa Kamp was born and raised in Maryland. She received a BA in Studio Art and Psychology from University of Maryland, and a MFA in Art Education from New York University. She taught sassy, fabulous Middle Schoolers in both public and independent schools in Baltimore for over a decade. Upon moving to Mooresville in 2016, Larisa was excited to find Mooresville Arts and volunteered on the Education Committee for several years, as well as taught classes and summer camps at MA and other local institutions. As a teacher, Larisa loves being able to share her passion for art with students, helping them find ways to express themselves and grow as creative thinkers.
After arriving in NC, Larisa began painting acrylic pet portrait commissions. Her energetic, bold and colorful style of painting lends itself to capturing the vibrant personalities and beauty of animal subjects, and it is something that always makes her smile! In 2021, Larisa and her best friend started a small business, LKN Local, designing and selling Lake Norman apparel and gifts to celebrate the beauty of the lake and the community they love.
Besides art, Larisa loves travel, exercise, cooking and spending time with her family and friends. She lives in Mooresville with her husband, Ryan, and their two children, Maija (12) and Bennett (10), and their English Bulldog, Cocoa.
Chris was born and raised in Michigan. He studied commercial art and has been an artist since he can remember. For the last 25 years, Chris has worked in home remodeling, construction and maintenance. He moved to North Carolina in 2008 and became a Mooresville resident in 2010.
Chris made his way to Mooresville Arts by another artist who invited him to join an exhibition. Since that time he has volunteered on numerous projects, served as vice president in 2012 and then as president shortly thereafter. Chris is the chair of the Building & Grounds Committee and was the construction leader on the Warehouse to Center Gallery Renovation Project in 2018-19.
His artwork is inspired by boldly colored landscape images. He mentally processes those images and transforms them into abstract versions using mixed media. Chris uses oil as the prominent medium as well as some silver, copper and gold leaf, drywall compound, resin and acrylics.
Matt found a love for photography when he and his family moved to the Lake Norman area in 2010. After one of his lake photographs won a contest, they found the Mooresville Arts was a unique environment to continue learning and expanding one’s creative talents. Matt’s photography has since been in exhibits at Mooresville Arts and he soon realized he wanted to get involved.
Raised in the Philadelphia suburbs, Matt had a variety of college and work experiences that showed getting involved is a great way to continue learning and growing as a person. Matt and his wife, Chris, relocated from Washington DC to Atlanta where he was an IT consultant for many years. Through the companies he worked for, and with, he was always involved in employee engagement where he could share his enthusiasm for actively engaging in the community.
Additionally, Matt has a passion for playing soccer, which he shares with his son who is a senior at Pine Lake Prep. Matt and Chris are often seen in their neighborhood walking their two dogs or taking the boat out for sunset cruises (camera in hand)! You may meet Matt in person at an exhibit or taking another class at Mooresville Arts as he learns ways to incorporate his photography in mixed-media pieces.
Diane Sulg has enjoyed an active role in the arts for more than forty years. Her involvement began as a volunteer for the Visiting Artist Series in the Quad Cities of eastern Iowa and western Illinois along the Mississippi River. In 1985, when the organization was challenged financially, she organized one of the first Festival of Trees in the country. That event has raised millions of dollars for the arts over the past thirty-eight years.
Within three years, Diane was selected to lead a new arts organization, Quad City Arts, which combined the Visiting Artist Series, the Arts Council and two festivals. As Executive Director Diane managed a staff of seven who presented more than 300 annual performances by nationally known artists. She led the
reconstruction of a vacant department store in Rock Island, Illinois to be the Quad City ArtsCenter, which contained two galleries as well as office and meeting space. She was an avid grants writer to the Iowa and Illinois Arts Councils as well as the NEA. One of the grants resulted in a public arts program, Face the River, and several large public art installations.
When she and her husband moved to North Carolina, they opened Maddi’s Gallery in Charlotte, and then a second gallery in Huntersville. The galleries specialized in fine craft as well as her personal passion, Southern Folk Art. In 2009, Maddi’s Gallery was honored by Niche Magazine as the Top Retailer
of American Craft in the country.
Today, Diane is Executive Director of CRAFT, a non-profit trade association of galleries and artists specializing in handmade American craft. She is a speaker and trainer developing artists for the wholesale trade. She also a writes two columns in Sunshine Artist magazine.
Diane and her husband Madis love to travel and collect art. Diane regularly spends her free time painting with acrylics and watercolors. She applauds Mooresville Arts saying “local arts organizations are a vital force for creating a dynamic community, and I am thrilled to be part of it.”
Originally from Southcentral Michigan, Celeste moved to North Carolina in 2006 and became a resident of Mooresville in 2014. Celeste joined Mooresville Arts in September 2020.
Celeste worked in higher education advancement for 25 years. Her experience includes strategic planning, fundraising, educational and alumni program management, marketing and public relations. She holds a MPA in Nonprofit Leadership & Management and a BA in Public Relations.
Celeste enjoys quilting and embroidering along with photography and other "artsy" adventures. She has four adult children and two grandchildren. She lives in Davidson with her two little dogs and Larry the Cat.
Jenny grew up in the suburbs of Houston, TX and briefly attended Texas A&M. She spent many vacations visiting family in NC and developed a strong attachment to the area. Jenny transferred to Catawba College in Salisbury, NC where she graduated with bachelor of arts degrees in Communication Arts and Business.
Jenny spent 23 years working in the recycling side of the paper and packaging industry where her work took her all over eastern and Midwest U.S. In 2019, she left the corporate world and became a real estate broker in the Lake Norman area, and started a small furniture consignment business.
Jenny also found time to explore her long buried creative side and began up-cycling and re-selling vintage furniture as well as exploring painting with colorful acrylics. She and her husband, Scott, have a daughter who lives in Charlotte.
Education Director/Docent Coordinator
Brenda Kadlecik was born in New Jersey and raised in Winston Salem, NC. She attended UNC Greensboro and earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in Interior Architecture and Human Development and Family Studies. She became a member of Mooresville Arts in 2015 as she was in search of a place to display and sell her artwork.
Brenda enjoys painting flowers, nature scenes and abstract in both watercolor and acrylic. Brenda's involvement with Mooresville Arts has included volunteering as a docent, helping with special events and opportunities, being a member of the board as secretary and serving as the event coordinator and instructor.
Brenda presently lives in Mooresville with her husband Michael, and two young adult children, Thomas and Sarah.
Gallery Director/Social Media Manager
Jessica DeHart grew up in southwestern Virginia. She attended Roanoke College and graduated with a B.A. in Art, with a concentration in painting and drawing, and a Minor in Art History. After college, Jessica relocated to North Carolina where she worked full-time while still studying and pursuing her art. In 2009, she moved to Mooresville where she soon became a Member of Mooresville Arts and focused full-time on her art.
Throughout the years, Jessica became more involved with Mooresville Arts, from coordinating life drawing sessions to chairing exhibits and serving on the Board of Directors.
Jessica’s art focuses on painting and drawing, and her preferred subject matter is portraiture; her work has been featured in many exhibits and she has also received national recognition for her work. She lives with her partner, Billy and their animals - Toby, Elon & Grayson.