Visiting Artists and Poets
Alexandra Giannell, Artist
Artist, Alexandra Giannell is an American artist born in New Jersey and spent many years growing up in Europe. She attended North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC before earning a BFA in Painting with a minor in Art History from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received her MFA in Painting from Clemson University in 2015. Her two-dimensional studio practice is grounded in drawing and painting, and is deeply concerned with physicality and mark-making.
Christy Kirk, Artist
Artist, Christy Kirk received her Master of Fine Arts from Washington University in 2014. She has also received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and an Associates from Central Piedmont Community College. Her primary subject is the human form and condition depicted through a variety of media including painting, drawing, and sculpture. She currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina.
Elizabeth Spotswood Alexander-Spencer
Elizabeth Spotswood Alexander-Spencer has a Bachelors of Fine Art from Murray State University, Murray KY, and a Masters of Fine Art from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Dartmouth Mass. She also attended the Savannah College of Art in Savannah, GA and Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC.
Alexander-Spencer’s work is included in the permanent collections of The Helms Gallery at Wingate University, Wingate, NC, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA, North West School of the Arts, Charlotte, NC, the Whangarei District Council, Whangarei, New Zealand and the Whangarei Airport, New Zealand.
Spencer’s work deals with concepts revolving around the human condition, emotional space, and the balance between what is absolute and what is wished for. She collages wood, paint, paper and a variety of other materials to create layered and visceral narratives. Her work has been described as rich, dramatic, wooden and mixed media narratives that construct a fantastical reverie.
Currently, Alexander-Spencer is a studio artist and Instructor of Fine Arts at Craven Community College in New Bern, NC.
Larry Sorkin, Poet
Businessman and published poet, Larry Sorkin is a supporter of the arts of writing, painting, music and dance.
Nan Covert, Artist
Nan R. Covert, chair of the Art Department of Bridgewater College in Virginia, returns to the Farm Class from 2008. Her paintings reflect her passion for color and the process of painting. The subject matter for this session was found in the local habitat: hills, streams, plants, and animals. Students used both oil and acrylic.
Nan was awarded Bridgewater College’s Martha B. Thornton Faculty Recognition Award which honors faculty who “provide caring concern for students well beyond the role as teacher.” Covert’s enthusiastic teaching will inspire both the beginning and the advanced painter.
Suzanne Stryk, Artist
Suzanne Stryk was born in Chicago and currently resides in Southwest Virginia. She has had solo exhibitions in locations throughout the country. She received a Bachelor of Arts (art history) from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL. and a Master of Arts in Painting, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.
Her drawings capture the essence of the small and numerous properties of nature enhanced by the surrounding environment. Her paintings have hung in over 60 group shows and her artist’s images have appeared in numerous publications. In 2013 she exhibited her “Notes on the State of Virginia” at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Va.
Thomas Heffernan, Poet
Thomas Heffernan is presently a professor of English at UNC Pembroke, Tom is an author of many publications of poetry.
Tom Thoune, Artist
Tom Thoune moved to Charlotte from California in 1981. He studied painting and ceramics at Central Piedmont Community College and was a McColl Center for Visual Art Artist-in-Residence in 2001. He is a recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Visual Artist Fellowship and a Charlotte Mecklenburg Arts and Science Project Grant in 2002. Themes Tom incorporates into his artwork range from the mundane acts of everyday life, portraiture and travel to mythology, dreams and spirituality.
Tom is very passionate about using materials that will sustain their natural structure in outdoor environments. His works include large and small mosaic installations, commissioned paintings and teaching.