Jay grew up in a small farm community in New Carlisle, Ohio. His parents first discovered his talent when he drew Mickey Mouse at five years old. They encouraged him to develop his skill by supplying him with art kits and books. After high school, Jay went on to study at Central Academy of Commercial Art in Cincinnati, and the University of Cincinnati. He was picked up later as a freelance artist with Penny Lane Publishing. During those years, he had designed over 100 images for trends in the decorative art market but have since evolved into abstract art.
A native of Charlotte, NC, Anne Harkness is an alumnus of the Atlanta College of Art and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from The Maryland Institute, College of Art. Her work as an art director in New York City for 15 years has impacted her style with a graphic aspect which can usually be seen in her paintings. As a contemporary artist, Anne looks for a unique point of view and often finds some unexpected beauty in what many would consider an ordinary or unattractive setting.
Joseph Bardani was born in Imperia, Italy, and grew up in New York City. He was drawn to art and design from a young age, sketching and painting often, then began his formal art studies at Huntingdon College in Alabama. Since then, he has studied at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta, and the Art Institute of Charlotte, North Carolina. He pursued a career in the corporate world for many years before returning to his first love of art.
Now a full-time painter and art teacher, Joseph currently resides in Carolina Shores, North Carolina. He works in several distinct styles including heavy impasto landscapes, still lifes, and abstracts.
Esther Moorehead was born in Toronto, Canada, but spent her childhood in Northern Ireland. In Ireland she discovered her passion for adventure and travel, nature, curiosity, and creativity. She studied Art Education in Greenville, South Carolina, then taught elementary and high school visual art in Toronto for ten years. After the birth of her second daughter, she decided to step back from teaching and focus on painting from her home studio. She draws inspiration from her travel experiences and a love for connecting people to memories of extraordinary places. She works primarily in acrylic on canvas and watercolor on paper, but her portfolio includes work in oils, wall murals, and theater set design.
Esther currently resides and works in Denver, North Carolina. She loves being involved in the growing creative community of the Charlotte area and she recently became part of the AVA Gallery team as the Events Coordinator and Social Media Manager.
Melanie Spinks has decades of experience in the museum and luxury design markets as an artist, builder, and exhibitions manager. She has also served in arts initiatives for underserved communities. She received an MFA from Georgia State Atlanta in Sculpture. She also received her MA from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Biblical Studies on the Arts. She is a fine artist and an art professor at Wingate University where she recently received a student-nominated Mentoring Award. Spinks has also taught at Charleston Southern and Georgia State in Atlanta.
In her work, Melanie examines themes of the sacred and profane in art and history, especially in spiritual contexts. Further and recent collaborations include InterVarsity’s Urbana, the Lausanne Movement, Leighton Ford Ministries and the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Committee on Initiatives in the Arts.
JONAY DI RAGNO
Born in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, Jonay di Ragno is a vibrant personality AVA is excited to introduce and represent. He grew up in Puerto Rico and received art schooling at the Escuela de Artes Plasticas in San Juan from 2000-2004. He enjoys learning about art history and his work echoes some influences of Picasso, de Kooning, and Pollock. His studio is currently located in Charlotte, NC.
Jonay expresses everyday life subtleties through the act of painting. Extending out of the abstract expressionist movement, his work speaks of the human experience such as pleasure, tension, and gratitude. He respects and welcomes the sensorial effects entailed in painting so his colorful formations result from the integration of inspiration, light play, and the material condition of paint—tint, texture, smell. His work often elicits movement, inviting wonder in the viewer. In addition to creating work for private collections, Jonay recently completed his second wall mural in the city of Charlotte.
Hilary Siber grew up in Canton, Ohio. In 2007 she received a BFA in Environmental Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art. In 2015 she received her MFA in Painting from Clemson University. Hilary lives and works in Charlotte, teaching part-time at CPCC, making displays for Anthropologie at Atherton Mill and exhibiting her paintings.
Hilary is interested in the formal cues used in spatial representation as platforms to both investigate and subvert our perceptions. Horizon lines, fissures, architecture and panoramas found within a landscape are opportunities that she uses to build new spaces within the field of her canvas. Her hope is that the finished result points towards something greater than the painting and opens a dialogue that lives beyond the picture plane.
The creation of Amanda Moody’s paintings is a form of meditation for her. She is moved by the colors, textures, and intricate patterns that appear in the details of nature. Much of her inspiration comes from cloud watching, mineral and rock formations, tree lines, ocean waves, the texture of sand, the cosmos, the mesmerizing interconnectivity between all living beings. She hopes that same hypnotic effect is evident in her work.
Linda Griffin has been painting and teaching watercolor for over 35 years. She began teaching in a private art school in Falls Church, Virginia, and branched out into her own gallery in Occoquan, Virginia, near Washington DC. She was represented by Miller Fine Art Agency in the DC area for several years and was commissioned to paint 28 original watercolors by the Marriott Corporation and 23 originals by a large corporation in Tokyo, Japan. In addition, her work hangs in several governmental buildings in the Washington DC metropolitan area.
Her work has been featured in many boutiques, design centers and decorator show houses in the DC, Virginia and Maryland. She was invited to have several one-woman shows at the University Club in Washington DC and her work was also featured in the opening of the Union Station.
David Aiazzi was born in Florence, Italy and raised in a small village in Tuscany. He studied under the painter and illustrator, Stano Dusík. Dusik is famous mainly for his childrens’ book illustrations. David also studied at Bottega Migliorini and received a degree in Restoration of Paintings (canvas and wood). David’s art has been exhibited in galleries and open spaces in Italy, as well as across the Eastern United States.
David currently works in the Charlotte area and he was recently voted “Best Local Artist” by Elevate Lifestyle for the city of Charlotte.
LINDSAY H. JONES
Lindsay Hawfield Jones has studied modern landscape and abstract painting at The Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria VA, The Carlton Gallery in Banner Elk NC and, most recently, at Braitman Studios in Charlotte NC. Lindsay minored in Studio Art at Wake Forest University and participated in an independent art study at Casa Artom in Venice, Italy.
Nancy Hilliard Joyce was born in Greenville, South Carolina. At the age of sixteen, she was accepted into the Governor’s School for the Arts. For five years, she served on the Board of Trustees at the Asheville Art Museum and was an active member of the River Arts District Association in Asheville, NC. Today, Nancy is a board member of The Governor’s School for the Arts Foundation, located in Greenville, South Carolina as well as The Cabarrus Arts Council Board located in Concord, North Carolina. She is the Art Curator for multiple boutique hotels and she regularly produces large-scale commission work. Nancy is passionate about giving back to the environment, women, and children in need and uses her art as a platform to raise money for charity and non-profit organizations.
Nancy’s paintings are intricate in form and filled with layers of color, perspective, gestures, and expression. Her contemporary, mixed-media art is often created with modeling paste, a range of synthetic polymer paints, various handmade papers and detailed with touches of oil paint. Nancy’s work is appreciated and widely collected throughout the United States in many homes, hotels, corporate offices, and airports. She is known as a contemporary, mixed- media artist with an Americana flair.
Sandra C. Gittleman is a local Davidson artist and resident, originally from Massachusetts, where she was a Phi Beta Kappa Art graduate from Mount Holyoke College. She’s skilled in working with both oils and acrylic paint, and her style marries Realism with Impressionism. Her creative process paints from dark to light, value to color. Sandra has a great love for nature which reflects her life’s philosophy that there is beauty in even the shadows. She is currently teaching art at the Community School of Davidson, while she pursues her passion in the fine art world.
Marlise paints from creative intuition rather than conscious reasoning. Through atmosphere and a little mystery, you may see curious mark-making and surprise use of color in landscape themes and objects. Her inspiration is that her work will speak and you will find treasures, connections and surprises along the way.