Meet the Artists

Holli Conger

I love creating art that engages the viewer and forces them to look around the entire piece to find a myriad of objects repurposed into something else. I have been a professional artist for over 20 years and have had the opportunity to use my artistic talents as a graphic designer, children’s book illustrator, licensing artist and a three-dimensional fine artist specializing in found object/mixed media art. I’ve worked one-on-one with over 100 illustration and design clients, illustrated numerous books for publishers all over the world, licensed designs to over 25 manufacturers and have had my found object art grace the walls of non-profits, school and private collectors. My found object work has won numerous awards throughout North Carolina.

Carolyn Crutchfield

I enjoy creating art in many different styles and mediums—from realistic graphite figure drawings, to meaningful still lives in oil, to poetry, to choreographed dance. Nature and emotion are some of my greatest sources of inspiration. My “Oplatek Owl” design is similar in appearance to Polish folk art. I lovingly dedicate it to my adoptive family and to all those in the world who are still searching for their place.

Nicole Draina

When I was four, I would paint exotic birds, sea creatures, and tropical plants. I carried my “learn to draw” book with me everywhere and believed the array of colors could transport me to another place. As I got older, my mom was (and is) my inspiration. She would bring me to her art classes, where I would sit crossed-legged on the floor, mesmerized by the delicate application of her watercolors. Growing up in the Adirondack Mountains, I found my own muse in the natural beauty of the woods nestled alongside the glacial lakes. Creating things from leaf collages to pencil drawings.

After being told art was not a “stable” career, I pursued my other love of Environmental Studies and English—obtaining a Masters from UNCW, where I now lecture. My time at UNCW has allowed various forms of art to slowly seep back into my life. A true blessing.

At the heart of it, I’m a storyteller. I explore different mediums, from acrylic to digital, with the hopes of finding creative ways to tell the stories of places I see. To this day I am still inspired by the magic of nature and the remnants of historical architecture hidden within. I hope to share my work more widely in the future.

Evelyn Fischer

A native North Carolinian, Evelyn credits her mother with instilling in her a love of art. Evelyn spent most of her life in Charlotte and graduated with an Art Degree from UNC-Charlotte. For twenty years she was a fabric designer for Wesley Mancini, Ltd., creating designs that were translated into woven fabric for the Homes Furnishings Industry. Since moving to Wilmington in 2019, Evelyn has been actively involved in the local arts community. She is a member of the Wilmington Art Association and participates in their Spring Show. In 2020, Evelyn painted a fiberglass squirrel which was featured in the Airlie Gardens, SQUIRRELS! Exhibit. Evelyn paints in oil and acrylic, drawing inspiration from nature. Her love of animals and passion for pet rescue led her to become a successful pet portrait artist. Recently, she is exploring a mixed media process using paper clay which adds dimension to her work. Evelyn lives by the motto, “Do what you love, love what you do!”

Luckia Fisher

Lucky Fisher was born in Brooklyn, NY, to a mother whom had many artsy talents including sewing, upholstery and the natural freestyling ability to take what many would call trash and turn it into an invented masterpiece before its time. Although her father was already her guardian angel before she was born she would leave throughout her life of the gifts he left behind within her. He too was an all around creative soul. His beloved passion for music, creating, and futuristic ways of thinking would all be gifts he did not keep for himself. With her mother and father now being her angels she openly allows their aspirations to become her inspirations for every one of her creations. Since she was old enough to hold a pencil within her palm she has been a creator. Creating has always been a much needed express that she could never quite stay away from even when she tried. Challenges in life have allowed her to see that art can bring light to any darkness. Art gives her purpose. Art gives her life! Art is her happy place! Art is the pathway to her destiny!

Jessica Gates

I am originally from Connecticut where I first began taking oil painting classes with my grandmother as a young child. After college I taught Preschool for many years until about 10 years ago when I began homeschooling my own two boys. I find my creative inspirations always come from nature. I enjoy the simplistic details, colors and the ever-changing environment. I enjoy using watercolors, acrylic paints and photography. After moving to the area about 3 years ago, I now find inspiration on hikes, the ocean, and sunsets as well as  beautiful plants, trees and flowers right here at Airlie Gardens where I enjoy working as a Ticket Agent.

Laura Kalina

Originally a photographer from Northern Virginia, Laura moved in June 2017 to Wilmington, North Carolina and decided to set up her own multimedia business. Thus, Mossy Fox Studio was born. Her studio is located at The ArtWorks in the South Front District in downtown Wilmington. To Laura, her love of art is only rivaled by her love of animals. No matter what medium, she strives to capture the character of each animal subject. A firm believer in conservation and rescue efforts, Laura has worked with multiple non-profits with the aim of showing the outcomes of our work to save both wild and domestic animals.

Aiden Kenny

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 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.

Brooks Koff

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 and Bottle Chapel in 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 structure. Her work has been featured in many local magazines – Encore, WILMA, Wrightsville Beach Magazine, SALT, and Haven (the Bald Head Island Magazine) – as well as highlighted on a nationally syndicated PBS show. She participates yearly in the Heart Art Show at the Cicada Metals Gallery, Art for the Masses, and the Spring Flea at the Brooklyn Arts Center. She’s an army brat and the self-proclaimed “well-adjusted middle child” from a family of eleven children! She and her husband raised their five children here in Wilmington—several of whom have grown up to be artists themselves.

Sally Martin

Sally, owner of DaVinSHE’s Workshop, comes from a family of artists & has been creating art herself for more than three decades. One of her earliest memories is being taught how to draw an eye by her mother, Gwen Martin, who said to focus on the shapes & lines, rather than the eye itself. Sally’s creations include everything from sculptures & jewelry, to family & pet portraits, as well as t-shirts, logos & album covers. Always eager for new challenges, Sally currently is producing custom artwork with any/all mediums, and is available to contract via – use promo code AIRLIE for 10% off!