The Cleveland County Arts Council is pleased to present an exceptional exhibit featuring artwork by recent Cleveland County Regional Artists Grant Recipients: Regina Bos, David Caldwell, Beth E. Coiner, Matthew Duffus, Darrin Griggs, Allegra Klett-Wilson, Doug Knotts, Ron Philbeck, and Chrys Riviere-Blalock.
The Artist Support Grant, funded by the N.C. Arts Council, provides the opportunity for regional consortia of local arts councils to award project grants to artists in their regions. These grants support professional artists in any discipline and at any stage in their careers to pursue projects that further their artistic and professional development.
Over the past 26 years Cleveland County has had 42 artists receive this grant, some of them multiple times. The artists who are part of this exhibit received the grant during the past 10 years. Join us to celebrate these artists and their accomplishments.
The exhibit will be up through Sept. 29. The Arts Council is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 – 400 and Saturday, 10:00 – 2:00 and is located at 111 S. Washington Street in Shelby.
Darrin Griggs, 55, is a printmaker producing primarily woodcut but also lino prints. All his prints are from his own original drawings, mostly of his environment on the family farm in Grover, where he is at least the fifth generation to live on the same property in Cleveland County. Darrin moved back to NC in 2019 after 24 years in Oslo, Norway, where he worked as journalist for a global business newspaper, while traveling Europe, Asia, and the Mideast as a specialist in the sector for offshore oil and gas.
A graduate of Shelby High School, Darrin began drawing well before grade school and has continued all his life. He originally started his studies at Western Carolina University as a drawing student for several years before focusing on creative writing. After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in English, writing and editing, at WCU, graduating summa cum laude, Darrin went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing at UNC Greensboro. After 31 years as a journalist, he is now spending his time switching back and forth between his twin loves of writing and drawing, by working on a novel, drawing, and producing art prints.
Matthew Duffus is the author of the novel “Swapping Purples” for Yellows, the collection Dunbar’s Folly and Other Stories, and the poetry chapbook Problems of the Soul and Otherwise. He was born in Pennsylvania and spent time living in Maryland, Indiana, Mississippi, Minnesota, and Tennessee, before finally settling in North Carolina, where he has lived for the past fifteen years. Along the way, he received graduate degrees in English and creative writing from the University of Mississippi and the University of Minnesota and worked as a graduate instructor and research assistant, apartment caretaker, bookseller, concessions supervisor, and residence hall director. Matthew taught at Gardner-Webb University, but has recently accepted a position at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana He can be found online at https://matthewduffus.com
& on twitter https://twitter.com/duffusmatthew
Beth E. Coiner is a modern dancer turned jeweler. She approaches each design much like a piece of choreography, drawing from the inherent movement found in natural and architectural landscapes. Her tiny sculpture designs are textured and intimate, creating wearable urban and rural vistas. She finds specimens in the natural world and transform them into wearable art. Her bespoke jewelry process refers back to an old style of jewelry making. It’s an intimate, tailor-made process of repurposing under-worn, or family heirloom jewelry into a re-imagined design for my clients. Each project has their own unique stories, little memories. Memories that remain after the sentimental materials have undergone their transformation into a new design.
She likes to think there are similar parallels along the idea of intimacy with both her dances and jewelry for her collections and bespoke projects. When choreographing a solo or duet, instead of a large group, the dance is scaled down to focus on gestures and an unspoken narrative to tell a story. With her jewelry, the dance piece is present on a very macro scale. It reveals itself in the curvature of a tiny shell, or the repetition of shapes and textures, as well as how each piece relates to the body. In my creative process, the jewelry is the solo dancer, and the wearer is the stage. When Beth isn’t at her workbench making jewelry, she’s usually dancing.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Vancouver, BC, Canada, Allegra Klett-Wilson made her way south via Seattle WA. She had been designing & crafting jewelry for over 20 years and officially established Allegra Nichole Designs in 2014 in Kings Mountain. In the fall of 2021, she moved her studio and home to Union Grove, N.C. where she is surrounded by 6 acres of woods. The area is rich in culture, history, and is so peaceful and inspiring. Allegra’s work embodies a unique and eclectic collection of jewelry combining silversmithing with natural stones. Self-taught and not liking to follow the rules, she creates intuitively, letting her materials do the talking. Having previously received a Regional Artists Project Grant, Allegra purchased a hydraulic press that changed how she creates her designs. She discovered the long-lost art of Die Struck Jewelry and is now able to create timeless and modern heirlooms to be passed on for generations. Her designs combine natural gemstones, pearls, Czech glass, and die struck impressions in sterling silver.
Doug Knotts has been making pottery since 1972. When he was a sophomore in college, his major was English. “I decided to switch to an Art major after a couple of ceramic courses,” he said. After graduation, Knotts worked as a park potter in Alabama. It was production, but he was able to teach children that came through the park. He then worked at Toe River Arts Council in Mitchell County NC and after that he joined the NC Visiting Artist Association. He was placed at a Community College and worked at different schools in that area teaching and producing. Eventually he became known for his bird pots. He got the idea of birds from his grandfather. “He worked at a hospital, and he would carve birds out of wood and give them to the sick children in the hospital. I make bird pots because of those experiences; also, to continue to sell pots I needed something different.” Today, he is Associate Professor of Art at Gardner-Webb University.
Studio Woodcarver and Sculptor since 1994, David Caldwell’s experience includes carving for the Shelby Carousel restoration, Cornel Zimmer Organ Builders, and Bob Trotman Studios. His work can be seen in churches from New York to San Francisco. He is a three-time recipient of the NC Regional Artist Grant. Exhibitions include: GreenHill (NC), Gardner-Webb University (NC), Tryon Fine Arts Center (NC), Lauren Rogers Museum Of Art (MS) Teaching: Penland School of Craft, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Cleveland County Arts Council.
Regina Bos is a graphic designer, painter, and small business owner. A graduate of Monmouth University, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Computer Graphics and Design. Regina has always been creative with exploring artistic mediums and began focusing her work within the Encaustic Medium in 2014. Mainly self-taught, she has also attended numerous workshops around the country. In 2018, the Encaustic Museum of Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, added her art to their Permanent Collection. Regina was a featured artist at the Propeller Art Gallery in Toronto during the International Layers of Meaning Encaustic Exhibition and received an award in the Annual Visual Harvest Exhibition with the Gaston Art Guild in the Rauch Gallery at Gaston College. Most recently, Regina was a grant recipient from the North Carolina Art Council, Mecklenburg Arts & Science Council, and the Cleveland County Arts Council.
Ron Philbeck is a potter specializing in wheel thrown, sodium vapor glazed pottery. The limited production and one-of-a-kind pots are created at his studio in Shelby, N.C. Ron believes that pots should be well made, pleasant to look at, and easy to use. His work can be found in collections and kitchens around the world.
Painter Chrys Riviere-Blalock studied at Meredith College, Parsons The New School for Design, and Appalachian State University. She has taught studio and art history classes in colleges and universities for over 25 years, served as an exhibition juror and visiting artist at colleges in North and South Carolina, and led undergraduate art travel/study programs in France. She is a 2011 and 2014 recipient of the NC Regional Artist Project Grant from the NC Arts Council. Her work was selected for a solo exhibit on view 24/7 at the Hearst Tower Plaza during the 2012 Democratic National Convention and has been shown in NY at Artists Space and the Prince Street Gallery, in MS at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, in NC at GreenHill Center, the Bascom, the Hickory Museum of Art, & by the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission. Artist residencies include Mountain Gateway Museum and the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences, where she is a 2014 Hambidge Fellow.
In 2020 she was invited by the US State Dept. to exhibit work at the US Embassy in Riga, Latvia as part of their “Art in Embassies” program. Her work is in both national & international public & private collections.
For more information about the exhibit, call the Arts Council, 704-484-2787 or visit ccartscouncil.org.
Artists who are interested in applying for the an Artist Support Grant can receive more information at:https://artsandscience.org/artist-support-grants/
Artists representing visual, craft, performing, traditional, and interdisciplinary art forms are encouraged to apply. The Artist Support Grants will support projects occurring between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023, but all funds should be expended by June 30, 2023. Artists may request up to $3,000. The deadline is Noon, September 12th.