Located in the maritime village of Swan Quarter on the Pamlico Sound, just a half mile from the Ocracoke Island ferry landing, the Mattie Arts Center established its hub in the old Hyde County courthouse in October of 2012 with a vision to expand throughout the county with resident art studios and additional teaching studios as other artists relocate temporary or permanently to teach, learn, and work.
Pamela Cahoon lives here in Swan Quarter but grew up in Fairfield. A retired hairdresser, she loves working with her hands. Whether it's gardening, soap making, sewing, crocheting or painting, she always has a project in the works. If she's not taking a class here to learn a new skill, she's teaching one.
Ed Clarke is a legend for his wood workings, wood burnings, decoys, both in wood and stretch canvas. Married with 3 children, Ed makes his living as a master carpenter and commercial fisherman. Ed is working diligently to become a full-time artist.
Cathy Clayton grew up in Engelhard and now resides in Ponzer, a little hamlet on the edge of Hyde County. She is a multi-talented artist that is not afraid to try something new. From drawing and painting to clay works to jewelry, Cathy has done it all. But her specialty is wood burning, also know as Pyrography. She starts by drawing her design on carbon paper and transferring it to the wood. Then with wood burning tool, she creates amazing art that seems to come to life when she highlights parts with a colored pencil. Some of her creations have taken more than 180 hours to complete. Cathy's love for wood burning began around the age of 11 when she would take a magnifying glass out in the sun and burn initials in the top of the old cistern. Today her works in wood (and gourds) are truly an amazing sight to see. Her plans for the future are to build furniture of her own design and delve into chain saw sculpturing.
Jeannie Dozier is our stained glass instructor and is in high demand these days. She hails from Rocky Mount, but keeps a camper at the local campground near Lake Mattamuskeet where she and her husband stay when the weather warms up. After taking some classes at Nash Community College because she "loved stained glass, but could not afford it", she found that it gave her a chance to do something creative. And creative, it certainly is. From flip flops (her favorite) to beautiful framed pieces, Jeannie's eye for color and design is outstanding. She's usually working on her craft 3-4 days a week and her current project involves blue crabs, which we hope to see in the gallery very soon. Her next endeavor will be etched stained glass, and we are certainly looking forward to that, so stayed tuned!
Jim Gallucci has been a sculptor for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of LeMoyne College, where he received a BA in English, and of Syracuse University, where he received a BFA and MFA in Sculpture. He has worked as an art instructor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Presently, Jim works at his Greensboro, N.C., studio. Most of his pieces are commissions for public, corporate and residential spaces around the country. He was one of 7 leading southern sculptors selected to exhibit in the first phase of the Sculpture for New Orleans public outdoor art exhibit project which opened for Super Bowl 2013. In that same year he learned of the MATTIE Arts Center and made the magnanimous offer to build and consign one of his famous interactive "gateway" sculptures to the center in an effort to further it as a tourist and art destination. Seen here and dubbed the "Gateway to the Arts" is the sculpture designed and created by Jim at the MATTIE Arts Center.
Jane Gibbs, a native of Hyde County, went to school in Virginia Beach and now resides in Fairfield. She is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Friends of the 1854 Hyde Countys Historic 1854 Courthouse organization, the non-profit organization, which oversees the operations of the MATTIE Arts Center. She has been involved with the art center for over 3 years. Jane has always loved art and specializes in landscapes and portraits in oil. "I love it because I can forget about everything else and just create; it's very relaxing." Averaging 2-3 days a week at the easel, she divides the rest of her time between running Jane Cuts, Curls, and Colors and being a grandmother. She is also a talented fruit and vegetable carving artist.
Elizabeth Gurganus is a Swan Quarter area resident who sews just about anything you can imagine. From purses to dolls to wedding gowns, her craft keeps her busy 6-8 hours a day, but she is always looking for something new for her next project. Her mother taught her at the tender age of 9 and she loves to sew, wedding gowns being her particular favorite. She is also an accomplished photographer with an emphasis on the natural beauty of the Lake Mattamuskeet area and you will find some of her works on display in the gallery.
Mark Hierholzer, a professional artist and instructor in "Impressionism", shares his time between his homes in Richmond, Va. and Swan Quarter. MATTIE owes its beginnings to his encouragement and support. Mark conducted our very first painting class and continues to teach here on a monthly basis. Each class begins with a college level education in art history and the Renaissance masters who gave birth to Impressionism as an art form.
Becky Jones spent 33 years in Dinwiddie, Va before moving back to her home town in Belhaven and now lives in Pantego. She specializes in acrylics and enjoys painting birds, flowers, and animals in particular. Finding joy and inner peace in the creation, she spends 3-5 hours a week perfecting her wonderful talent. Becky is a student studying impressionist oil painting.
Carolyn Jones, another Hyde County native, is a hand crafter of fine jewelry currently working with granite stones to incorporate into her necklaces. She is a self-taught artist who has been at it for about 4 years, exhibiting in arts and craft shows on a regular basis. She sometimes spends most of her day on projects, when her health allows, and enjoys the benefits of having something to do; and we are pleased to gain the benefit of her gifted talents.
Andy Mann is tracing his Native American heritage to a tribe on Lake Mattamuskeet. He has an innate talent for woodworking and specializes in model boat building. Andy will build one to your specifications up to 4 feet in length and color to your preference. His goal is to become a full time professional artist.
Karen Midgett lives in Stumpy Point (Dare County) about 10 miles from the Hyde County line and is a professional in fused glass using her finds from the shores of the Pamlico Sound.
Pearly Moore, from Engelhard, is a great grandmother and accomplished basket weaver, a craft she learned while living in Fayetteville years ago.
Tom Phillips is probably out on a boat somewhere moored in some quiet bay writing his book after having put down his paintbrush. Tom is a talented, self-taught artist and his numerous paintings grace the walls of the gallery and Studio. His specialty is acrylics, mostly of landscapes near and far and his eye for catching natural light is quite remarkable.
Laura Hayes Rodrigues resides in Engelhard and is a young mother of 2. A true multi-media artist and instructor, her works include painting, faux stained glass and scratch-art, all original designs. She maintains a robust business on FaceBook. When asked how much time does she spend at it?, she replied, "Too much!", working until 1:00am almost nightly. Laura also did our store front and studio lettering.
Staci Sawyer's mom still lives near her native Scranton community. After graduating from East Carolina University, she settled in Raleigh as a full time jewelry artist working primarily in sterling silver. Her successful business is known as Juniper Bay Metals (www.juniperbaymetals.com).
Carolyn Sleeper is a very successful clay artist from Washington, NC and has taught many classes here. Her popularity as a teacher is exceeded only by her delightful personality. She is the owner of Slatestone Studio and is known for her whimsically styled, hand-built clay creations
Rene St. Hilaire resides in Raleigh. She and her husband have bought land on the shores of the Pamlico in the Scranton area where they eventually plan to move. Rene works in acrylics with Hyde County as her subject matter.
Judy Swindell lives in Fairfield but came from Virginia. Her specialty is water colors capturing wildlife and still life subjects, but you may find her talented hand on local mailboxes by special order. She says she mostly enjoys painting because it's realistic and relaxing. Quilting is another craft that she has mastered, making quite a few for the family. At the age of 9 she began painting with watercolors and has been back at it for more than 11 years learning the basics from Pat Boyd of Washington, NC