With a background in design, Anne Harkness gravitates towards subjects with a strong graphic image. Town scenes, chairs and telephone poles are among her favorites. Even in middle school, Harkness was pulling ads out of magazines to tape up on her doors. She liked clean crisp shapes and ads with witty, simple headlines.
An alumnus of the Atlanta College of Art, Harkness earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from The Maryland Institute, College of Art. This led to work with a small newspaper in Annapolis Md. Where she worked as an art director doing package and product design, logos, and hand lettering.
She studied under painter, Curt Butler, and soon afterward he asked her to work for him as a studio manager and later as an instructor. He taught her to paint and also to teach.
As a contemporary artist, Anne looks for a unique point of view and often finds some unexpected beauty in what many would consider an ordinary or unattractive subject. She uses line in a unique way in her paintings. Artists that have influenced Harkness are Staprans, Diebenkorn, Degas, Japanese prints, Toulouse Lautrec, Klimpt, and Rutenburg.
In the past few years, her pieces have been in national and international shows, galleries and museums. She has been featured in American Art Collector Magazine,
Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, as well as in International Artist Magazine, where she won 2nd place in their Abstract/Experimental Art competition. She is represented by Providence Gallery and Vision Gallery, in NC. She is a member of American Women Artists and various other groups.
“Great art captures something unexpected. Its beauty strikes at our very core. The artist gives something of themselves to the artwork and that is what calls to people. Great art is more than just technical skill; it's got to draw the viewer in, tell a story, or emote a feeling we want to keep experiencing.”
For more information about Anne visit: https://www.anneharkness.com
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Dick Handshaw is a photography 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.
Dick 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.
You can see samples of his work at: www.handshawphotography.com
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Isabelle Griesmyer has an undergraduate degree in home economics with a concentration in interior design and art, and a MBA in finance. She later enriched her art education with additional courses and workshops in art, photography, graphic art, calligraphy, and painting.
Isabelle’s teaching experiences include teaching adults and children at conferences, community schools, and art camps.
Isabelle taught art and calligraphy to children at the art school affiliated with the Austin Museum of Art in Austin, TX. While living in Corning, NY, she enjoyed teaching art to children out of her home. At the Corning Museum of Glass, she instructed museum visitors through their Draw and Discover program. During her time in Austin and Corning, Isabelle was a docent at the Austin Museum of Art and the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, respectively.
Past teaching experiences with teens in the Charlotte area included classes at Cornelius Art Center in Cornelius, NC. Although no longer in operation, Full Circle Academy in Harrisburg, NC is where she taught art to home-schooled students. When Charlotte Fine Art Gallery had a storefront, she enjoyed teaching an adult watercolor class in its classroom space. Isabelle lives with her husband in Charlotte, NC.
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Justin has been in education for over 13 years, teaching all grade levels from Kindergarten to the collegiate level.
He received his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Time-Based Media Studies (Animation), from Columbus College of Art and Design, Masters of Fine Arts in Illustration from Academy of Art University, and Art Teacher Certification from Seton Hill University.
Justin has worked with ESPN, Wendy's, and the Walt Disney World Company within the visual arts field.
"As an educator in the field of visual arts, I feel that it is important that every individual finds their own way to self-express themselves and to use that skill when moving forward in life's journey."
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Kristy has been drawn to art since childhood. She
started with charcoals and by college went into commercial art. Kristy took a long break for family and career.
About twenty years ago she started her award winning art career making Fimo fairies. They were a big hit at the Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte. During this same time Kristy was creating landscape quilts and making designer wedding cakes.
Currently Kristy seem to be obsessing over paper sculpting, alcohol ink and paper quilling. All of which she she has taught art students. She has also collected many awards for paper sculpting and alcohol ink and may enter paper quilling competitions.
Please join Kristy in this Victorian art of paper quilling and you may end up loving it as much as she does!
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Lois has a master’s degree from Indiana State University. She loves teaching Chancery Cursive Calligraphy because, as she said, “We laugh as we learn and create.” She learned her craft from master calligrapher, Ken Brown.
She taught 5th grade and gifted education for 31 years. She is currently teaching at Mitchell Community College, Bailey’s Glenn 55+ community as well as Mooresville Arts.
Lois and her husband have two married, grown children and 3 grandchildren.
“Beautiful writing is a joy to teach.”
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Malia Bryngelson is a pastel artist from the small community of Locust, North Carolina. She enjoys painting a variety of subjects but her favorite is definitely animals. She invites you to step into their world.
What is the animal’s interaction with the artist? What is their mood? How do they relate to their surroundings? What beautiful light falls on their form?
Her pastel paintings of animals address these questions. Feel their sleek hide, the breeze blowing past, the sun warming them. In her animal paintings she wants to convey the spark of that living presence, energy and intelligence of my animal subjects.
She was recently awarded a First Place in the Animal Category of Pastel Journal Magazine’s Pastel 100 competition.
"My mission as a teaching artist is, first and foremost, to encourage other artists in their art journey! I am passionate about pastel painting and truly enjoy sharing what I have learned with others."
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Mary-Louise Biasotti Hooper, an international Italian-American artist, was raised amid the art shows of Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village NYC. She specializes in oils and watercolor inspired by her own photographs.
Her immigrant family did not encourage art as a career and she entered the field of education. Eventually she earned 5 university degrees including a doctorate. During those years she presented numerous research papers in 9 countries and was awarded a 6 month senior-research Fulbright Grant to Italy in the Arts and Humanities.
Initially her art was self-taught until also completing 2 art degrees. Upon retirement as an educator and university full-professor, she opened her art business “Hooperart”. As such she produces, markets and sells her art and is a master teacher of painting and drawing.
Internationally, she is life-juried into the Biennale Internazionale Dell'Arte Contemporanea [Biennale International Contemporary Art Show] in Florence, Italy, has work in private collections in Italy, and shown in Germany. She is also juried into the Gallery of International Fulbright Artists/Scholars and has participated in international art projects.
Nationally, she has participated in numerous juried and non-juried individual and group shows in Michigan, California, Florida, Kansas, Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
Mary-Louise Biasotti Hooper is presently a member of the International Fulbright Arts Task Force, an Associate member of the Oil Painters of America, and a member of the Mooresville NC Art center where she is a master teacher of art.
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Patty graduated from Appalachian State University in Art/ Communications. She has been teaching Art for 15 years.
She loves to teach children the principles of Art and the media associated with Art! Patty started with helping write the Standards for Art in the Public Schools on NC!
She is a strong advocate of art education!
Robin is an avid painter — of people, landscapes and the occasional still life. Her fascination with painting faces has lead to some national awards and inclusion in national shows with the American Women Artists, Oil Painters of America and Richeson 75 Figure and Portrait International Show.
Robin paints with some fellow artists from life on a weekly basis in Charlotte, NC, where she lives with her husband. Her training evolved from Fine Arts in college to numerous workshops with renowned artists such as Dawn Whitelaw, Robert Liberace, Rich Nelson, Chris Saper and numerous others. Robin happily shows landscape paintings at Blowing Rock Frameworks and Gallery.
In addition to her keen interest in painting, she loves to teach. "There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the lights go on for a student when they 'get it' in a workshop." The workshops she teaches include a Zorn Palette Portrait Workshop, Palette Knife Workshop and Plein Air using the Knife.
For more information about Robin visit
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Sonja is a regional fine arts and commercial photographer located in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is an Art History and Southern Studies undergraduate at the University of North Carolina Charlotte.
Sonja has served on the education committee at The Light Factory and is heavily involved in the arts scene in Charlotte. Her work is exhibited both locally and regionally. She is considered one of the up and coming fine arts photographers in the Charlotte area.
Zan Thompson has always loved art especially watercolor art even though he struggled with the medium himself in his early years. Perhaps his saving grace is the fact he was born into a family of watercolor artists which has greatly influenced his passion and his persistence for watercolor painting. Zan grew up playing and experimenting with art in his parents’ Atlanta studios.
Zan studied art in high school and at college before switching to the University of Georgia and switching majors to landscape architecture and later urban planning. Mr. Thompson worked as a landscape architect for more than forty years, twenty-five of which he ran his own firm. He says it was that necessity to communicate through graphic skills and sketching the urban scene almost daily that provided him a comfortable familiarity of communication through renderings that eventually lead him back to watercolor painting.
His former professional career plays a role in many of the subjects he paints. Subjects include flowers and trees but of even greater attraction, Zan likes to paint landscapes, urban scenes and architectural subjects but what really lures him in is the seemingly mundane subjects many ignore like alleys, industrial sites, concrete plants and old worn-out buildings. He says it is usually the light and shadow of the subject that first draws him to paint, but other elements of design may draw him as well. Mr. Thompson has another lifelong interest, fly-fishing, and it too is reflected in many pieces of his art. He paints flies both fresh water and saltwater and loves to paint his friends fly fishing on scenic trout streams.
Today, Zan paints strictly in watercolor, is a signature member of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina and teaches several classes but his big three are watercolor and design, watercolor equipment, and Plein-air painting which is painting on location. He loves to teach art from drawing to painting but especially watercolor painting. He likes to share with his students the little tricks that helped him conquer the difficult medium of watercolor.
Additional information at: https://www.zanthompson.com