As a child my family traveled extensively, exposing me to a variety of experiences, people, and cultures along the way. It’s through these journeys that I gained insight into the human condition, and the universal need for love and compassion. Viewing the world through a lens, looking into the viewfinder, awakens my inner child to the inherent beauty in everyday subject. That is where I shift from photographer to social scientist, and truly begin to better understand this extraordinary world around me.
I am a beekeeper, a gypsy soul, a storyteller. Stories are what drew me to photography way back when I first shot my friends' portraits with a disposable camera years ago.
My roots in the Carolina mountains have heavily influenced what inspires my work now. Natural elements and personal histories tend to be the red thread that runs all throughout my portfolio. I strive to create work that is meaningful, from the simple food photo to a wedding collection.
Chris Watts (b. 1984, High Point NC) is an emerging interdisciplinary artist who uses a wide range of media, including paint, video, make-shift printmaking, sounds, and sculpture to explore themes of cultural hierarchies, socio-political issues, race and gender. Using originally found sources and material, Watts reframes these sources to link historic, biographical, and fictitious narratives that challenge conventional distinctions of how we choose to identify. His work has shown extensively throughout North Carolina, and has been the subject of several solo exhibitions including, Chris Watts: New Work, Artspace Visual Art Center, Raleigh NC; I am Chris Watts, at Davidson College’s Celebration of Romare Bearden’s 100th birthday, Davidson NC, and Collective Intuitions, Duke University, Durham NC. His work has also been included in two-person and group exhibitions at the Flanders Gallery, Raleigh NC; Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, Paris France; Greensboro College, Greensboro NC; Elizabeth Ross Gallery at Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte NC; and at the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands. Watts was awarded summer residences at the McColl Center for Visual Art, Charlotte NC, and at the Atlantic Center for Visual Art, New Smyrna Beach FL. He is a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Scholarship Award and recognized by Hampton University’s International Review of African American Art as an Emerging Artist to Watch. Watts received training from Yale University School of Art, New Haven CT, the College of Arts + Architecture at UNC-Charlotte, Charlotte NC, and the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Wroclaw, Poland. He now shares his time between Brooklyn, NY, Paris France, and North Carolina.
Elizabeth Arzani is a Mixed Media Artist and Visual Art Teacher living and working in Seattle, WA. Originally from Charlotte, NC, she earned a BFA in Painting and Art History and Art Education degrees from the University of North Carolina. Inspired by neglected artifacts; Elizabeth recycles and reuses objects by embracing ‘chance and choice’ configurations that comment on the domestic, as well as interior and exterior space. Utilizing interdisciplinary methods of printmaking, drawing, painting and collage, she builds narratives that reference the history of collected and curated materials. Formal interactions of line, shape, and color dictate her compositions and juxtapositions of imagery and artifacts. Much of Elizabeth’s work also recounts compilations of observations and findings from the everyday to traveling abroad. The curious habits of recording, observing and accumulating materials are what lead her to pursuit a career as an artist.
Curiously metaphoric and sublime,
like celestial bodies suspended
in a paradoxical realm somewhere
between earth, outer space, and
everything we think we know to be true.
Ben Verner is a mixed media artist and musician from Charlotte, North Carolina.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Originally from California and having lived in many parts of U.S.A., Suje became compelled to make art in the course of experiencing much of the world. While serving in the military, specializing in emergency medicine, he observed a myriad of atrocities and wonder. By deconstructing life's observations he attempts a visual cuisine through the agency of objects. Integral to his focus are the Ideological roles of objects and their marks.
Gaines Bailey is a ceramic artist and art educator living in Durham, NC with his user experience designer wife Laura and three year old daughter Adriana. He is a 2015 MFA ceramics concentration graduate from East Carolina University. Gaines made his first pot in 2001 and has been dedicated to the craft ever since. Since 2009 he has been selling pottery and teaching classes at community art centers and as an assistant teaching professor at NC State University. Gaines has also served as the clay studio manager at the Crafts Center at NC State.
Kylie Hinson received her BFA in Photography from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is an award-winning photographer who placed 2nd in Photographer’s Forum Magazine’s 34th Best of College & High School Photography Contest in 2014 and was inducted into Nikon’s Hall of Fame for Emerging Photographers. Her work has been showcased throughout the United States and in Florence, Italy.
His Work has been shown at the Greenville Museum of Art, Greenville NC | the 2016 Indie Grits Film Festival, Columbia, SC | Visions6 Film Festival, Wilmington, NC where his work was awarded Excellence in Experimental Film.
I'm a self-taught artist who began working at the very end of the 2016. I got tired of being the average consumer of work and wanted to try creating something, A local artist and good friend of mine fed me some drinks one night, which led to her shipping a starter kit of brushes, paint, and canvas to my house. My first attempts wound up in the trash, with the last 2 of 7 canvases producing some basic portraits that I kept. With some success I decided to keep going, I sold some work over instagram, and after meeting other artists and learning new ideas/techniques I started running and quickly lined up my first three art shows.
I have two bachelor's degrees and my MBA, the work skills these provide now take a back seat to creating and simply fund my progress. As an athlete I'm very driven in improving myself, I paint every day and consistently try to improve or add a new technique. There must be improvement in every piece or I am not satisfied. The dream is being able to leave Microsoft Excel behind, until then I can be found covered in paint on weekends as I create work that those around me enjoy.