The rapidly growing number of Charlotte artists is nearly outpacing the crane-dotted growth of the city itself—and we’re all the better for it. Our city is diversifying through the lens of its most creative members, and in a time where we could all use more beauty, poignancy, vision, and expansion, consuming (and supporting) art and culture seems to have never been more personal and powerful.
These are the painters, fine art photographs, sculptors, and more whose work we think best represents that, and who—if you have yet to hear of any one of them—we encourage you to learn more about so you can engage with, support, and explore their work. We need each of their voices, and more, for Charlotte to continue to become the city its meant to be.
Lindsay Jones specializes in oil paintings that depict modern landscapes and abstractions. She has exhibited in galleries across North Carolina, including the McColl Center and is a board member of Arts for Life.
After a six-year rotation in the military, Logan Cyrus attended the Art Institute of Charlotte to pursue courses in photography. Now, he is an award-winning photojournalist whose work has been included in the New York Times’ Year in Pictures and Time Magazine’s Top 100 Photos of 2016. Find his work online and in many of your favorite local and national publications.
Trudi Norris’ abstract paintings are often characterized by vibrant splashes of color. Norris has exhibited at Anne Nielsen Fine Art and throughout North Carolina.
Kristen van Diggelen Sloan
In the interest of full disclosure, Kristen van Diggelen Sloan lives in York County, South Carolina, but she’s just a stone’s throw from Charlotte, where her work has exhibited at the McColl Center and Anne Nielsen Fine Art. She primarily crafts oil paintings and sculptures.
Nathaniel Lancaster has exhibited at the McColl Center, the Mint Museum, the Pease Gallery at CPCC, and the NC Museum of Art. He produces layered images using a variety of media, as well as graphite drawings.
Everyday observations and intriguing color relationships inspire Holly Graham’s abstract paintings and paper collages. Her work has shown at Shain Gallery and SOCO, and she has worked at galleries in DC, though she is a Charlotte native and current Charlotte resident which makes her one of our Charlotte artists.
The path that led Marcy Gregg to her artwork was long and arduous. Delivery of her third child left her in a coma with slim chances of recovery. When she ultimately awoke, most of her memory was gone, but the path of rebuilding her life resurrected her passion for art. She now creates abstract oil paintings that hinge on linework.
Charlotte artist Ashley Sellner creates abstract and landscape paintings and collages inspired by the idea of divine pilgrimage. When not painting, Sellner is photographing. Her photography has been printed in publications like Savor, Four, and HGTV Magazine.
Lauren Bolshakov’s work, inspired by movements and nature, features elegant line work complemented by soft colors to create abstracts, figures, and landscapes. You can find her work at Isabella Style, The Art Salon, and online.
Susan McAlister’s impressionist oil paintings and abstract mixed media designs speak to her love of the natural world. She has exhibited throughout the Southeast and, in Charlotte, at the Hidell Brooks Gallery and Mint Museum.
Sarah Helser is a North Carolina native who, according to her artist statement, “creates each painting in the hope to reshape the familiar into the numinous and magical essence of what it carries. It is the brief glimmering speck of a dream, made permanently tangible before it is lost in the waking hours.”
Ruth Ava Lyons
Ruth Ava Lyons’ beautiful creations are scattered throughout Charlotte. Find them across the street from Workman’s Friend in Plaza Midwood, throughout NoDa, along the light rail, and elsewhere. She has also exhibited throughout the country, including at the Met. Nature inspires most of her pieces.
Molly Wright’s paintings are impressionistic, sometimes verging on abstract, and are characterized by bright colors and, often, repetition. She has exhibited throughout the Southeast, but her work is currently online.
Photographer Chris Austin has captured some of Charlotte’s most iconic and breathtaking skyline photos. His fine art photography portfolio also includes landscape shots from around the country. Although he has exhibited his work, you’re most likely to find Austin’s photographs on his website.
Amy Herman, who is a co-founder of Goodyear Arts and photography instructor at CPCC, has exhibited her work locally at the Mint Museum and the Light Factory, as well as nationally. Her photography is provocative and each collection creatively explores a theme or concept.
Amy Bagwell, co-founder of Goodyear Arts and the Wall Poems project, writes first, then produces assemblages inspired by her poetry. In Charlotte, she has shown her work at the Mint Museum and Papercut Gallery. She spearheads many projects organized by and for Charlotte artists.
You may have seen the work of Charlotte artist Tina Alberni at Charlotte Douglass International Airport, on Artpop billboards in and around the city, and inside the Charlotte Legacy Union Sky Bridge. She has also exhibited at Sage Salon and Gallery, Ciel Gallery, and the McColl Center. Her work often revolves around repetition, patterning, and geometric shapes and is often inspired by sustainability efforts.
Stott is somewhat of a mover and shaker in the Charlotte art community, curating events and bringing artists together. Her own work is one-of-a-kind. Stott creates small-batch ceramics, handbuilt and glazed with whimsy to spare, in addition to mixed media paintings.
North Carolina native Carolyn Johnson paints abstract acrylic works out of compelling color palettes and featuring a balanced composition. Her portfolio and information about commissions are available on her website.
Nicholas received his MFA in painting from Radford University. He now resides in Charlotte, where he has developed his career as a professional artist and lead instructor at Braitman Studio. He finds much of his visual inspiration for his work from cathedrals and stained glass windows.
By Sunny Hubler and Eleanor Merrell