Circle 10 was the start for me.
In the mid-1990’s, I was making airbrushed paintings and some watercolors, but I’d never had work in a gallery before. In fact, I’d never had work in a frame before joining the gallery. The woman at Circle 10, particularly Janet Adkins and Marguerite Garrett, showed me the ropes and offered bundles of encouragement. That made me want to pursue art more deeply.
Bolstered by the confidence they instilled, I went with my portfolio to the head of Painting at ECU and announced I would like to attend their graduate program. Three years later, I’d switched to oils, received my MFA, and was asked to stay and teach. This became my real education as over the next twelve years, I instructed freshman through graduate students in drawing, painting, illustration, and artistic anatomy. I was also invited to their art program in Italy and spent two semesters teaching in Tuscany.
In the early years, I was too intimidated to include figures in my work and used still life objects, like gloves or dolls, in place of humans. Now, my work centers on portraits and figures, often with implied narratives, and has won recognition in several national figurative competitions. My work has been shown around the country, including at the Steamboat Art Museum in Colorado, the Sedona Art Center in Arizona, the Ridgewood Art Institute in New Jersey, and the Portrait Society of Atlanta. Locally, I have won Best in Show awards at the Imperial Center in Rocky Mount, the Raleigh Fine Arts Society, the Wayne Arts Council, and the Bank of the Arts in New Bern.
But I doubt any of that would have happened without the training and support I got during my five or so years as a member of Circle 10.