Matt has been engaged in creative ministry for over 20 years in both in the US and internationally as a worship leader, speaker and visual artisan. He is the author of “Unlocking the Heart of the Artist”, “Crafting Your Brand”, "Creativity According to the Kingdom" and founder of The Worship Studio. His upcoming book is called "Created to Thrive" (March 2018 publication).
Matt is an author, worship leader, internationally-recognized award-winning contemporary basketry artist and member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. In 2011 he was listed by the Smithsonian America Museum of Art’s Renwick Gallery as an “American Artist Under 40″ and was a North Carolina Arts Council Grant Recipient. Married to Tanya, they live in Asheville, NC and have one son, Cameron.
Aeron Brown, Painter, Worship Pastor at New Creation Church, Banning CA, Recording Artist, Owner of The Threshold Art Gallery, Redlands CA.
Mixed media painter, working on canvas and wood with Acrylic and collage.
I love the journey of Creating with God as my Father, It's one of life's greatest passions. I love sharing the heart of the Father to the world, I have found nothing more beautiful for my life to offer the world. -Aeron Brown
Art that invokes the deepest part of a human being's spirit, art that can make a grown man cry, make a woman labor in thought and cause a child to pause in curious reflection has always been a compelling force in Aeron's life. Seeing through multi-colored lenses, everything becomes a source of inspiration and a form of raw creativity. Waiting, longing, groaning to be painted. It can be as simple as an outlined figure or as complex as precariously placed scripture, phrases or magazine clippings across a canvas to convey a message. Art is what inspires the soul and gives wings to the caged bird. This is just a small way to describe the art that issues forth from a man who creates out of the seasons of his life.
Jacob Daniels is a NC born artist whose art is focused on regional, spiritual, and humanitarian influences. His goal in art is to create thought-provoking imagery that is universally relatable, yet each viewer walks away with his or her own personal story. Being creative to him is discovering rather than contriving and striving. He focusses on the precise principles that are seen in nature and translates them through his style on canvas. He lives in the mountains of Boone, NC with his wife Melina and son Lucca where they run their arts based business Overflow Studios.
I am a contemporary abstract artist working in acrylics, collage and mixed media. Abstract painting is a vehicle to outwardly express the deep inner work of the Spirit in me. When I begin to work on a piece I do not usually have a finished work in my mind. I may have a shred of an idea to start from, but I never have a plan. I am inspired by emotions, relationships, current events, the natural environment, and most centrally, my faith in relationship to all of these things. I work intuitively, moving among my paints, charcoal and collage papers as the piece develops and tells me where it wants to go. I am not sure that my pieces are ever really 'finished' but they come to a resting place that seems to make sense within the framework of the story being told. Like my own story, there is always another chapter to move on to, but each piece of art captures one moment in time.
Lorie McCown is an American artist, and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Art, from California State University, Long Beach, Ca. and attended San Diego State University's Graduate Art program. She was formally trained in drawing, painting, and art history. She has made art all her life, mainly in the fields of drawing, painting, paper, textile and fiber. Her pieces are in private collections and public galleries nationally and internationally. Her work has been juried into local, national and international shows, including Quilt National, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and Mid-Atlantic New Painting. Lorie's art work has been featured in Art Quilting Studio Magazine, Quilting Arts Magazine, Surface Design Magazine, Fiber Art Now Magazine and Artist's Portfolio Magazine.
She teaches workshops and classes nationally in painting, mixed media and fiber arts. She lives in Fredericksburg Va. USA
Lonnie has been a professional graphic designer for over 20 years. A part of that journey has been the steady use of studio photography to capture a variety of products and items for over 10 years (both 3D/sculptural and 2D items). He loves to teach and has a strong technical understanding of the entire digital photography process â€“ from capture to editing and preparation for production. With a strong background in design for print and web, he's able to provide "insider tips" based on both education and experience.
Jeremy Ashburn has a unique blend of graphic design, web design, sales and marketing, business, and internet marketing experience. He's the President and owner of Pushleads.com, a marketing company with the vision to 'be visible and grow.' Be visible in Google and other search Engines and grow your business! After college graduation, Jeremy worked for a 'fast and furious' advertising agency then worked 8 years an Executive Recruiter in the transportation industry. After creating a tech blog in the mid 00â€™s, Jeremy spent years studying the art of ranking websites in Google (SEO). In the past five years with Pushleads, he's designed and created dozens of websites for his clients, become a pro at ranking websites for them, and has developed a keen understanding of how Google Works.
Alyssa Sacora is an artist that explores plant based mediums in the form of papermaking, book arts, basketry and natural dyes. She finds her place in the garden amongst the vast array of art supplies that she grows. By staying in tune with her natural surroundings, she finds inspiration and innovation while connecting with tradition. She brings clear instruction, patience, and creativity into the artistâ€™s classroom. Her home is in Fairview, NC where she resides with her husband, cats, and bees on their homestead, The Patchwork Underground.
Cindy Walton is a national and international award-winning artist who is represented by galleries throughout the country and teaches nationally. Cindy's classes focus intensively on techniques with cold wax medium and oil paint exploring the medium in an abstract format. Walton has instructed artists at all levels of expertise.
Melina LaVecchia Daniels
Melina is a ceramicist, art educator and creative entrepreneur advocate. She owns and operates a ceramic studio in the Blue Ridge mountains, as well as curates a modern handmade market in Boone, NC.
Her heart is to raise a generation of people that make a living from the life they create with their hands. She currently lives in Boone with her husband Jacob Daniels and 2 sons. For more information, please visit her websites:
Amanda Brannon has over 25 years experience in graphic design and illustration, and her artwork, books, and greeting cards are nationally distributed. Over the years she has done graphic design for national accounts, including AT&T and Turner Network Television's Cartoon Network. She was also Art Director for Alaska Magazine.
Amanda grew up in rural north Alabama on a 40-acre homestead. She spent her youth exploring nature and creating art. She studied Fine Art and General Education at the University of Alabama and then earned a degree in Visual Communications from the Art Institute of Atlanta.
She relocated back to her roots in the South in 2015, after spending more than 20 years in Alaska. She has spent much of her life living in nature and shares a passion for discovering the glory of God's creation. She believes in building foundational artistic skills, while encouraging a deepening relationship with God.
She and her husband enjoy living in nature and watching wildlife, where they live by Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee.
For over three decades, Lisa and her dancers have been changing the atmosphere through dance worship. What started as the Lisa Kidd Dance studio has developed into the international ministry of Arts Evangelica. Lisa incorporates Worship and all of the Arts into events that draw people into the presence of God (James 4:8). Lisa has an innovative approach to training that encourages her Company members to do great exploits. Most recently, Arts Evangelica ministered in South Africa, Nicaragua and Israel. Lisa has a passion for seeing people transformed and has countless testimonies of the salvation, healing and breakthrough that she has witnessed in her quest to point people to God. Her creative work has been recognized by Dance Teacher Now and Today's Christian Woman magazines and also by the TCT Network (Tri-State Christian Television). Passion for Jesus, Wonder and Adventure are the heart of Arts Evangelica taking the dancers beyond the studio to wherever God leads. The Company has a unique way of sharing a message visually, through excellence in dance, drama and music that is radiant with worship. Their devotion to God is evident both on and offstage. They live to be ambassadors of the Father's Love and reflections of the Glory of Jesus Christ.
Psalms 34:8 says “taste and see that the Lord is Good.” In pondering that verse I immediately imagine a fork of juicy food heading toward my mouth. Then comes the second part of that sensual description—the seeing. We are able to SEE God’s goodness! The character of God can be experienced by the senses...which gives me such encouragement to create artwork that brings Him glory—to express His goodness!
In our class “Letters to my soul” we will explore this concept further. We will be spending time in Scripture, writing in our journals, and mostly we will be painting. Through a spontaneous and intuitive method of painting we will see how creating can draw us closer to the Lord. We will experience art-making in a new way—allowing the Lord to use it for healing, teaching, comforting, and encouraging. We look forward to seeing what the Lord will do!
Diane Harris McFerrin was born and raised in Kentucky, she spent most of her early years in the beautiful foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. In 1989, Diane received a B.A. in Fine Art from Georgetown College. Following graduation, she moved to North Carolina where she received a second degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina in Asheville. Diane began her teaching career at Black Mountain Primary School where she taught for five years.
In 2004, she began studying plein air painting with local artist Jim Southerland. Later she took workshops in the River Arts District, Asheville, NC with artists: Mary Farmer, Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch, Rebecca King, Pattie Ann Hale, and Jo Ridge Kelly.
Jim & Pat Banks
Pat and Jim Banks are the founders of House of Healing Ministries which specializes in establishing/recovery of personal identity, trauma recovery. They have been involved in inner healing and deliverance for 30+ years, the last 16 of which have been full time. They have authored 11 books (available on Amazon) and the Trauma Prayer which has been downloaded/viewed over a million times by trauma sufferers all over the world, and approximately 18-20,000 people go to sleep to it every night.
Linette Penney-Gainham from 'Penney Lane Studios' in Ayrshire, Scotland has been a prophetic artist for over twenty years and is regularly booked to lead or be part of art teams for various organisations and events. Linette is also renkown as an international teacher and a worship leader, her latest e.p. 'God-Sized Dream' is a wonderful example of hers and her husband Keith's passion for releasing the Scottish sound in worship. All this and she is a loving wife and mother of three!
As an author coach and artist; Shelley Hitz is on a mission to help you reach more people with your message. She believes every person has God-given gifts and abilities to impact the world. Therefore, she encourages you to let your light SHINE!
Shelley was first paid for her writing in fifth grade after winning a nonfiction writing contest. Little did she know she would resign from her 12-year career as a Physical Therapist over 20 years later to write and coach authors full time. She is the owner of Author Audience Academy and TrainingAuthors.com with a passion to help authors succeed in writing, publishing, and marketing their books.
Thousands of authors have been coached through her books, training programs, online events, seminars, and more. She has over a decade of experience speaking to groups of all sizes; from small workshops to keynote presentations in front of thousands. And she teaches from personal experience, not theory. She has been writing and publishing books since 2008 and has personally authored over 40 books including print, eBook and audio book formats.
Connect with Shelley and download her free training.
Theresa Harvard Johnson
Theresa Harvard Johnson is the founder of The School of the Scribe and originator of the teachings on The Scribal Anointing, a 21st revelation of the office of the prophetic scribe. A rising scribal historian and sought-after speaker, she has dedicated her life to digging out this area of ministry prophetically and historically. Professionally, Theresa is a former award-winning print journalist and freelance writer. She earned a M.Div. in Biblical Studies, and is currently pursuing a MA in Professional Writing from Liberty University. She has published 19 books on prophetic scribes, prophetic writing and the arts, and is a visual artist who enjoys working in charcoal and oil pastels. Her passion, however, rests in writing poetry and spoken word where she collaborates with other creative artists to bring hope and healing to the broken.
John Almaguer first decided he wanted to try glassblowing in his early teens. But it wasn't until years later that he got a chance to try it out. When John took his first gather of glass he felt like a little kid in a candy store and has been creating with glass ever since. This fire dancer creates sculpture and blown forms through this substance that is much like lava.
John has received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Glass and won awards for his work, as well as, displayed in galleries all over the nation. Almaguer has trained with some of the best glass artists in the world. Many of these artists John trained with were from Murano, Venice where John lived and worked directly before he arrived in Asheville, NC where he currently makes his work and lives with his family.
Painting as always been a spiritual journey for me - a space to explore the breath of the spirit and depict it's ever present indwelling of truth. Each painting seeks to capture the essence of peace through elements of nature, by exploring the relationship between light and form. After graduating with my Masters in Art Therapy from George Washington University, my work began to focus on the correlation between the healing aspect of art and nature. Upon my grandfather's death, my passion deepened for creating art that would soothe the tattered soul. My prayer is that you will find a sense of hope and peace within my work.
Margie & Lonnie Johnson
Lonnie and Margie Johnson are a husband and wife creative team that share a passion for working in ceramic clay. For the last several years they have been collaborating on a variety of projects, including hand built ceramic floral pieces and wheel thrown vessels. They love to share their joy of the creative process and especially enjoy seeing others learn to create with the fantastic medium of ceramic clay.
Our Creative Adventure
I am a native of western NC, and have always loved the business of fine craft! My career has included 25 years as a gallery employee (mainly as a buyer for 2 fine craft galleries in Asheville). I have experience in sales, inventory, special event planning, promotion and marketing. I also worked briefly for a professional quilter in our region, and have been a show juror and judge on many occasions. In 2013 I began my own business offering curated artist studio tours in western NC. Art Connections gives tour participants an opportunity to see behind the scenes in this exciting craft destination!
Born in south Florida into a family of artists, Robin has painted since she was old enough to hold the brush. She spent a short time at Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL, and graduated as a cabinetmaker from Pinellas Technical College. Her favorite medium is oils and loves to work en plein air. She teaches painting both locally in Florida, and at John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina. She and her husband of 32 years enjoy farming outside Gainesville, FL.
Bee graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a BA in Art Education and after very successful career as an entrepreneur and florist, has been a full-time artist in Asheville's River Art District for the last 10 years. Bee is a vibrant and exciting teacher with a deep love for Jesus and contagious love for art.
Jill has been creating art for over 40 years and earned her BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of West Georgia in 1991. She works as a professional painter and is also an art instructor, currently teaching nearly 50 students weekly. Jill enjoy investing her skills into others while inspiring them to grow in their own creative gifts. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two teenage sons. You can see samples of Jill's work and learn more by visiting her website.
Bet Kindley is an artist and educator living in her native city of Asheville, NC.
A national board certified teacher, she taught digital imaging, website development, and desktop publishing until retirement. She then began her artistic career as a photographer---her favorite subjects depict her love of the mountains, lakes, and culture of Western North Carolina.
Wanting to take her photography to another level, she began incorporating her images into encaustic paintings. 'I love the scent of the beeswax, the surprises similar to water colors, and the many ways I can use images in this ancient medium which is now so popular.'
Her most recent works are encaustic waterscapes. 'I try to express in my new waterscape paintings the peace and tranquility I derive from my love of water' whether it be in the mountains of WNC or the coast.
Karen Mayne has been a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild since 1983. She is a lifelong resident of Western North Carolina. Her designs draw deeply from on the natural beauty of the land of her ancestors - stitching and weaving prophetic words into each piece.
Her fiber work has appeared in magazines, a series of books by Lark Publishing, and various galleries. She also has a piece in the permanent collection at the White House. Her most current piece of work was for Manna Food Bank. She interpreted their graphic logo for their Empty Bowls fundraiser into a fiber tile. It will hang permanently in their administrative building.
Currently she teaches sewing, quilting and fiber embellishment locally in the Asheville area. Her work has evolved from tatting, a form of lace making, to art garment and pattern design, traditional quilting and art quilting. One of her favorite areas of teaching is younger sewers and men . She loves to push the boundaries of the "normal" and explore the freer side of designing . This stems from her background with a degree in physics as well as the freedom found in her relationship with Jesus, the ultimate creator and designer.
Grace Carol Bomer
North Carolina artist Grace Carol Bomer is an abstract expressionist painter. Her concern is the human condition surprised by the grace of God. Her work combines abstraction and realism, because the visible world and the invisible world are equally real and important. All seeming dichotomies of artistic imaginative work are resolved and hinge upon the Incarnation. “In Christ all things hold together” (Col 1:16). Jesus is both God and man, Spirit and flesh, as well as Word and image. Carol’s artwork is described as incarnational because it gives form to invisible absolutes.
“The philosopher and the artist are close in their love and in their aims. Both are intimately concerned with seeing things as they are. But art divorced from philosophy becomes an exercise in narcissism. And the language of philosophy all too often becomes a dead husk when it loses its incarnational elements…” (Michael O’Brien, “Chesterton and Paganism,” The Chesterton Review, Aug-Nov 1990).
We live in a postmodern culture, which focuses on the manipulation of words and images where the World Is a Text, is a philosophy which rejects the possibility of any absolute truth. Bomer purposely juxtaposes image and text to create connections and metaphors, integrating word and image to entice the viewer to consider the epic, eternally relevant story of salvation as told in the Scriptures. She embeds layered papers, old texts, and detritus relevant to the piece, and overlays them with translucent beeswax or varnish. Then by making marks, layering, and stripping away, she attempts to find the mystery in a piece and to fathom the biblical mysteries of Creation, Fall, and Redemption.
Bending to Love is a series of paintings that deal with the Incarnation. It is her attempt to give meaning to biblical truth of grace and mercy.
Her work is collected nationally (she is the featured artist for Dec.2017 on CIVA’s website) and internationally. “Ready For Love” was selected for the Art/ Faith Invitational in Madrid, Spain to coincide with the Vatican’s World Youth Rally there. Currently she has three pieces in a gallery in Cairo, Egypt.
For a complete bio please visit her website: