Ryan Berrigan is a professional artist from Omaha, Nebraska. Ryan moved to Wilmington almost 3-years ago and has since become more and more involved with the local art community. He received a Fine Arts degree from the University of Nebraska Omaha and worked for sculptor Matthew Plazcek for nearly 4 years, building monumental sized sculptures for locations all across the country. Ryan enjoys making artwork that engages the viewer’s imagination in a positive light. His sculptures often use discarded materials such as wood, rubber and glass to create art that is both unexpected and enjoyable. Recycling and the environment have always been important to Ryan and he plans to use materials that were recycled from the Wilmington area for this project. You can view Ryan’s website, here.
After several years of full time travel, living on a sailboat, and commercial fishing in Alaska, Grace has found her way back to the Coast of North Carolina. Her work is a reflection of the communities she has grown to love and the natural world she often finds herself lost in. Through both her illustration and writing Grace hopes to inspire others to live life and Life To The Fullest. You can follow Grace on Instagram (@gracemarie_b) or visit her website, here.
Heidi Pearsall Gentry
Although Heidi has never been employed professionally as an artist, she has done art work in the folk tradition for years. This work typically involves painting furniture, decorative items and garden figures. Heidi’s garden gnome creation was inspired by the natural beauty and peace of Airlie Gardens, as well as, its responsibility as a wildlife habitat.
Catherine Halecki has been a teacher at Snipes Academy of Arts and Design since 2013, first as a paraeducator and then as an Art teacher. She is originally from Wilmington, where she graduated from UNCW in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts in Art. Catherine is currently enrolled at ECU and Cape Fear Community College getting her education degree while she teaches. Catherine’s favorite artist is Minnie Evans, which heavily influenced her garden gnome design. You can follow Catherine on Instagram (@vintagechickadee).
Waverly Hawthorne III
Waverly Hawthorne is a North Carolina native. He works primarily in acrylic, creating murals as well as small canvas works. Many of his canvas paintings are landscape and formal garden scenes in a slightly impressionistic style. Figure skaters are a favorite subject to paint. He has presented works to famed skaters, Oksana Baiul and Caryn Kadavy. Waverly also enjoys experimenting with pointillism. He attended Chowan College where he studied commercial art but is largely self taught. His time spent working as an artist in the silkscreen industry still drives him to create tropical themed designs often on textiles. These designs are in part a reflection of his many interests and travel adventures. He works in the emergency reconstruction industry while maintaining his freelance art career. You can follow Waverly on Instagram (@waverlyh3).
Laurel Herbert is a local professional artist and potter. She loves engaging children and adults in creative activities, and lives by the motto “what catches the eye, inspires the hand.” She graduated from UNCW in 2001 with a BA in studio art and has been trained to work in many mediums. She is currently a Teaching Artist at DREAMS of Wilmington, a youth development organization that is dedicated to building creative, committed citizens, one child at a time, by providing youth in need with high-quality, free-of-charge programming in the literary, visual and performing arts.
All of Stephanie’s paintings are inspired by her environment. Living on the coast in such a beautiful place as Wilmington, NC, her mind is filled with colors in nature. Though she takes her inspiration from nature, she has no interest in making pictures of things, but to bring to canvas designs that can place your imagination anywhere you want it to be. Stephanie’s paintings come from images, movement and splashes of color that float around in her mind. She enjoys painting large pieces where she can create lots of movement and she never knows how it will end once she begins. Sometimes she is surprised by the outcome, beginning with one direction and ending with something entirely different. She lets her imagination do the work.
Jahde is a visual artist, art teacher, and business owner of the Art Hive gallery and studio in Wilmington NC. You can see her painting live around the town in Wilmington at music shows and events. At these shows she loves to start with a blank canvas and let the painting develop from her inspiring surrounding environment. She says the energy of the night has a huge effect on the live paintings. Sometimes she will have visions of what to paint. Sometimes she will move her paintbrush to the beats of the instruments, allowing a collaborative painting to unfold from herself and the musicians on stage. She has traveled the states painting live and selling her artwork at various music festivals around the east coast. She graduated from UNCW in 2013 with a bachelor degree in studio arts. Her true love is creating and sharing beautiful things to inspire and express her experience of this life. She feels drawn to flowers and plants, animals and people, color and sounds. Her other hobbies include singing, dancing and sewing. You can follow Jahde’s art on Facebook (JahdeJustadArt) or Instagram (@JahdeJustadArt). Click here to view her website.
Aiden Kenny is a portrait and scenic artist residing in Wilmington, NC. Her lifelong artistic pursuits have encompassed everything from portrait and fine art commissions, to film & theatre work and drawing & painting instruction. After completing her B.A. in Fine Art, she has periodically continued her education by studying with preeminent portrait artists, Nelson Shanks and Robert Liberace. She has work in private and corporate collections. View Aiden’s artist website, here.
Brooks Koff “paints with glass” creating unique stained-glass mosaics that beg for a sunny window to catch and transform light into brilliant color! Unlike traditional stained-glass work, her pieces are created without the use of patterns, giving her freedom to fully explore color and design. For nearly twenty years, Brooks volunteered as an art teacher at her children’s elementary school, New Horizons. In 2004, she was invited to be one of the contributing artists to the Minnie Evans Sculpture Garden at Airlie Gardens. She helped over 100 local students create the mosaic stepping stones that adorn the foundation and walkway into the chapel. She also created a tribute piece to Minnie Evans – a small mosaic wall around the back of the sculpture. You can follow Brooks on Instagram (@instigrammie).
Kristin McKiernan (in collaboration with Tara Sall)
Kristin is a native New Yorker who is now based near Wilmington, N.C. Kristin attended Marywood University where she studied painting. She mainly focuses on acrylic mediums, with an affinity for small details, color combinations and pops of texture. Kristin is also a licensed esthetician who works as a makeup artist combining her love of art and beauty. She works as a painter doing personal projects as well as commissions and has done illustration work on a children’s book. Kristin has been drawing and painting literally as long as she can remember, and sees art and creativity as an absolutely essential part of her life. You can follow Kristin on Instagram (@km.fineart.faceart), or on her website.
Tara Sall (in collaboration with Kristin McKiernan)
Tara is a Wilmington, NC, based artist of many mediums who finds influence and inspiration in nature and the creatures around her, including her beloved black rescue cat, Joey. She studied graphic design and illustration at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and has practiced the art of makeup for the past 13 years, giving her artistic style a unique and colorful twist. Her approach to art is finding delight in the simple things and making grand gestures of color where it may not normally exist. You can follow Tara on Instagram (@dioxazinepurple).
Susan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she grew up loving the outdoors and the beauty of nature. In 1996, she moved to Charlotte, NC, and started Creative Art by Susan Nuttall, a company specializing in commissioned art work incorporating oils, textured mix media and encaustic paintings. Susan is currently living at Carolina Beach, with her husband, David, where her paintings are inspired from photos taken during her many travels around the world. The process of creating Susan’s textured paintings and encaustics begins by working with her photos and her sketch book. Once she finalizes the design for the painting, she starts with an art board or canvas, layering the textured medium using an artist trowel or spatula. This can be many layers to get the desired background texture she envisions. Susan then adds the detail layers by hand sculpting each element to the background layers. After she completes the texture part of the artwork, she then makes her own oil glazes and starts the overlay process. Susan uses many layers of hot wax encaustics, oils and varnishes to achieve depth in each of her paintings. After she is happy with the layers of glazes, she then finishes with small details of oil paints to achieve the final painting. Susan has won numerous awards, both regionally and nationally. Her paintings can be found in public and private collections throughout the World. Visit Susan’s website here.
Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts in Studio/Fine Arts from Stony Brook University. After working for several years as a graphic designer, she opened her own business, KleptoDog Studio, where she offers custom pet portraits in oil paint. Jennifer may specialize in pet portraits, but she also loves whimsical and nature-inspired art. Her garden gnome design encompasses the flora and fauna of the sea, forest and sky. You can follow Jennifer on Facebook (Kleptodog Studio) or Instagram (@kleptodog).
I am a glass artist living in Wilmington, NC. I have a home studio used primarily for fusing glass into bowls, platters, panels, sculptures, and collage components, and a downtown studio/gallery at theArtWorks™ for producing stained glass, mosaics and glass collage. In 2001, one six-week adult education class in stained glass ignited a love in me for all things glass and I went on to study fused glass, cast glass, and traditional glass painting. In the past few years I’ve concentrated on multiple art expressions in glass. This includes cast glass sculptures begun with sculpting in clay and transformed into glass castings; a new 2D glass art form, glass collage, which consists of cut, fused, and crushed glass incorporated into paintings and finished with resin; and a new large fused glass bowl series entitled “Still Growing.” Glass is endlessly fascinating to me because you can cut it into beautiful windows, paint on it and with it, and melt it into shapes while retaining its innate beauty and luminosity. You can view Elena’s website, here.
Photo by Katherine Clark Photography
Paul Stavovy (in collaboration with Darren Mulvenna)
Some things you are just born into… and Paul is extremely grateful to be from a long line of builders on both sides of his family. Paul worked for his father’s custom homebuilding company in Western Pennsylvania all through high school and college, where he was trained in all aspects of the craft, from plumbing to electrical, to framing and management. After spending time in Colorado, Paul moved to New Orleans to help out after Hurricane Katrina where he became the Construction Manager for Habitat for Humanity. This affected Paul so deeply that he went to Charleston, SC for graduate school in Public Administration. Paul soon started his own company, Classic Craftsmen, back in Wilmington. Paul loves the puzzle that comes with historic work, plus he has an innate nostalgia and respect for all things old. Restoring old houses is an art, as the craftsmanship that was used to build these old beauties is not often used today. Paul has greatly enjoyed hand turning spindles and making moldings to match those created by his predecessors. Whether it is making furniture in his shop, patching 100-year-old plaster or putting the final coat on a mantle, he knows he is bringing more beauty into the world. You can view Paul’s website, here.
Darren Mulvenna (in collaboration with Paul Stavovy)
Mulvenna’s work embraces the patterns of Nature both in subject matter and in the development of his paintings. Layers of paint and imagery emerge and recede, darken, glow from within and intensify, push and fade. Mulvenna’s process searches out harmony with the subjects and the environments, distills a rhythm of visual essence. The paintings seem to exist comfortably into their frames to then push and pulse back out into something new. Environments are familiar despite the disconnect from common appearance. His surreal landscapes are slightly abstracted, maybe skewed is a better word, moving and dancing like dream-images following a hike in the woods. His work honestly derives from an artist searching for something that is universal and relatable, and it does so with glimpses of beauty that elevate the viewer for a fine moment. You can follow Darren on Instagram (@darrenmulvenna) or check out his website here.