Ashley Bell grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a 1985 graduate of East Carolina University with a BA in Art Education, minoring in Painting. She has taught art in Iredell County at the elementary, middle, and high school levels since 1987. She retired after 32 years of service in 2020. She also taught many years of private lessons as well as the 2023 Summer Arts Academy at Mooresville Arts.
Ashley is spending her retirement time filling in for art teacher in the schools, painting, and crafting. Even though she loves to spend time painting, she said, "teaching art is my passion and I am happy to provide instruction for students at Mooresville Arts this spring."
Malia creates pastel paintings with the goal of bringing the openness and peace of being outdoors in the beauty of our incredible world. In her animal artwork, she invites the viewer to step into their world and to feel the connection to that animal.
The medium of pastel is ideal for depicting wonderfully strong sunlight and shadow which Malia loves to explore.
Animals and landscapes are what Malia is most passionate about painting, but she also enjoy a variety of other subjects. Her landscapes are from the areas of North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and her native California. She enjoys telling the visual story of old and abandoned structures from her surrounding area, as well.
Because Malia loves working in pastels, she shares her knowledge through teaching pastel classes. The relaxed classes are focused on experimentation with pastels, surfaces, and basic techniques, as well as encouraging artists to venture into a new medium in a very positive way.
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As a multimedia artist, Paul's practice ranges from painting and photography to digital collage and animation. The work often relates to light, pattern and topography. He is particularly interested in observing moments of un-covering and re-covering, examining the act of transformation.
Paul received a B.A. from the NCSU College of Design and an MFA from Western Carolina University. He has participated in artist residencies at The Bascom Center, Vermont Studio Center, I-Park and Keystone Art Space. Paul's work has been exhibited across the U.S. in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Currently he is a visual arts instructor at Mitchell Community College.
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Dixon 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.
Dixon 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.
Dixon is now a member of the board of directors for Mooresville Arts and Education Committee Chair. He has been passionate about photography since he was 14.
Learn more about Dixon at www.handshawphotography.com
Brenda has been a member and volunteer at Mooresville Arts for 7 years. She is also an artist. Her artwork consists of watercolor and acrylic paintings. She enjoys painting flowers, nature scenes and abstract in both watercolor and acrylic.
Brenda received a BS in Child Development and Family Studies and a BA in Interior Architecture, from UNC-Greensboro. Her background includes teaching pre-school classes and working with children of all ages.
"I believe everyone can express themselves through visual arts."
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As an art educator for over 15 years, Justin Justin has instructed 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."
Eric Notheisen has been involved with Photography since the mid-1970s. He started out shooting images while in the US Air Force stations in Korea. He got into medium format while stationed in the Netherlands.
Since 2000 he has been shooting digital images using several different camera systems. His current focus revolves around waterfalls and grist mills. He competes in international exhibitions on a regular basis.
Eric is currently the President of the Charlotte Camera Club. He is also Director of the PSA Nature Division Interclub Competition.
Eric is retired from active employment and lives with his wife, Diane, in Fort Mill, SC.
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Zan Thompson - Watercolor Artist, Mentor & Observer of Place
Zan Thompson 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.
Today, Zan paints strictly in watercolor, is a signature member of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina and teaches a number of workshops and classes from drawing to painting. He likes to share with his students the little tricks that helped him conquer the difficult medium of watercolor.
He paints both En Plein-Air and in the studio and always welcomes an audience. He paints in realism, impressionism and abstract.
"Watercolor paintings celebrating the essence found in our environments from the alluring subjects to the most mundane!" -Zan
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Janet Visser, a prize-winning American Painter, simplifies any subject
matter by reducing it to a fundamental and poetic form of line and color.
There are no blatant messages in her art, but rather, a journey of visual excitement. She creates using acrylics and mixed media in a rhythmic series of freedom and thought.
Janet's finished abstract compositions are composed of up to ten layers of paint.
Learn more about Janet at