February 2017 Artist Intros

artGuide Magazine featured these 8 juried artists in our Artist Intros in February. Our art news art blogger picked up the article and posted it on artguidemag.com. These artists share their biographies and stories behind their art.

Three times a year artGuide sends out a call-for-artists to thousands of artists across the region.  With hundreds of responses artGuide goes through the task of choosing 8 artists to be featured in artGuide’s Artist Intros.

artGuide is excited to bring these artists to the attention of our patrons from across the Southeast and mid-Atlanta.  From hundreds of gallery owners to thousands of patrons, our readers anxiously await Artist Intros to see the new selection of artists and their artwork. 

The purpose of Artist Intros is to introduce artists who create wonderful works of art.  artGuide tries to select a true mix of artworks, from photographs, to paintings, to ceramics. Some artists are established in their own right, while others are emerging. For us the stories behind the artwork and artists are just as intriguing as the artwork itself.  Our collector-readers take this to heart and routinely ask us for more information about each artist.

In the following pages you will find the selection of artists for artGuide’s February 2017 Artist Intros.  Here you can read about the artists and their artwork, while viewing a very small sampling of their works.

We encourage you to investigate their websites so you can view more of their portfolio and get to know the artists.

Bill Abramson
Asheville, North Carolina

As Bill reminisced about his heritage, he felt the strong desire for the Torah to be a greater part of his life. He spoke to his rabbi and requested permission to photograph the open Torah. The result, a 36” x 36” canvas is truly inspired.  Notice the warm colors and the yad (hebrew for hand) lying across the parashah (hebrew word for a section of the Torah).  Bill donated it as a gift to Rabbi Skolnick and the South Orlando Jewish Center.  A copy hangs prominently in Bill’s home providing him with inspiration and good feelings, bringing Ha’Shem to mind frequently.  Since then he has received accolades from many people. This piece of work is currently hanging (or soon to be) in Bradenton, Clearwater, Orlando, Asheville NC, and several private homes. 

In this image, the Torah is opened to the parashah Terumah, which describes the construction of the Holy Ark.  


Mike Basher, Beaufort Inlet I, 2015, silver gelatin photograph, edition 3/5, 40” x 50”

Mike Basher, Beaufort Inlet I, 2015, silver gelatin photograph, edition 3/5, 40” x 50”

Mike Basher
Beaufort, North Carolina

Working exclusively with black and white film, Mike Basher captures the drama of scenes from the sands of Death Valley to the mountains of Alaska, and of his surroundings in the Outer Banks, where he calls home. His quiet compositions breathe an immense amount of energy, often while incorporating the subtlest of elements.

“I work rigorously toward the exact photograph I have in my mind, and when I feel I have composed it, I make one exposure.  It is rare that two exposures or different compositions are made of the same scene.  Each moment is meticulously crafted, carefully exposed and completely individual as I pour myself into them.  They are my best offering.”  It is in this way that his work is highly limited, and carefully curated, even before the shutter is released.    

Basher’s editioned silver gelatin photographs are printed using archival darkroom methods, and are exquisitely custom framed by the artist to his exacting standards.

Mark Bettis, City Visions,  oil/cold wax on wood panel, 48” x 24”

Mark Bettis, City Visions, 
oil/cold wax on wood panel, 48” x 24”

Mark Bettis
Asheville, North Carolina

Mark Bettis went from art director to artist. After 20 years in the advertising field he is living his dream of just painting.  He started in a small 200 square foot studio in the River Arts District in Asheville and now has a large gallery and studio on the first floor of the Wedge building.  

Mark paints daily and also manages the gallery from behind his painting table, talking with customers and going over his process.  

He now carries over five artist other than himself and business is great.  Throughout the year he also teaches workshops and has openings in various galleries across the country.

Visit Mark at 123 Roberts Street, Asheville, NC. www.markbettisart.com and www.markbettisgallery.com.


Deane Bowers
Charleston, South Carolina

Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Deane relocated to the Lowcountry almost 10 years ago and now calls Charleston home. She is passionate about being an environmentally conscientious artist making it her mission to create eco friendly art. While Deane’s eclectic collection includes pieces in mixed media collage, clay and paint, her work in found object sculpture brings her the greatest joy and satisfaction. 

As a self-taught artist, Deane’s creative process is guided by two principles. First and most importantly, produce art that makes people happy. Second, strive to be an environmentally conscientious artist whose work has a positive impact on the environment and celebrates recycling as an art form. Using mostly discarded, abandoned, and reclaimed materials, her “environmental folk art” honors those forgotten things. Their interaction with one another is accomplished through detailed layering in a graphic and interesting medley highlighted with bold, vibrant colors to create an unusual balance of industry and art.

Teresa Jones, Charleston Steeples, oil on lines, 14” x 11” 

Teresa Jones, Charleston Steeples, oil on lines, 14” x 11” 

Teresa Jones
Charleston, South Carolina

Having lived in South Carolina most of her life, Teresa Jones is extremely familiar with the subtle beauties of this region.  Her passion for capturing a glimpse of such beauty is what makes her paintings truly southern and uniquly realistic.  From coast to countryside to the mountains, Teresa offers the viewer a private window to the landscapes and scenery familiar to both South Carolina residents and visitors alike.
Although she has had a life long dream to paint, she only began her career in 2004 after moving to Charleston. Throughout the years, while raising three children, Teresa studied various media and has selected oil as her medium of choice.  She has studied with many local and nationally known artists, in formal classes, as well as workshops.
Her original work, as well as commissioned work is in private collections across the nation. She is also represented by Spencer Gallery I and The Charleston Artist Guild Gallery.

Jim Killen, Break Time, 2016, acrylic, 24” x 36”

Jim Killen, Break Time, 2016, acrylic, 24” x 36”

Jim Killen
Owatonna, Minnesota

A master artist, avid sportsman, and dedicated conservationist, Jim Killen has reaped national and international awards, including being honored three times as “International Artist of the Year” for Ducks Unlimited.  Jim merges his passion for the outdoors into every facet of his life.  He spends hours with his camera recording the beauty and serenity of the great outdoors with his own sporting dogs by his side.  “I feel a closeness to dogs... I have hunted with some great dogs and painted them as well... I know the dedication that exists between an owner and their dog.”

The distinctive style and quality of Jim’s original paintings, along with his wealth of knowledge and experience makes for an extraordinary combination.  His art has generated millions of dollars for conservation groups such as Ducks Unlimited International, Pheasants Forever, Quail Unlimited, and the National Wild Turkey Federation.  He was named Southeastern Wildlife Expo “Artist of the Year” in 1987.

Jim’s studio overlooks the 160 acres he developed into a wildlife management area focusing on waterfowl, pheasant, wild turkey, and deer.  Contact information can be found at www.killenoriginals.com.

Barbara Rohde, Mountain Lake, 2016, watercolor on gesso, 15” x 22”

Barbara Rohde, Mountain Lake, 2016, watercolor on gesso, 15” x 22”

Barbara Rohde
Durham, North Carolina

Barbara is a watercolorist. She paints what she sees and feels about this incredibly compex world.  Painting full time since 2004, she loves the freedom to grow as an artist.  She is a Signature member of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina, showing her work in juried exhibitions throughout the region, and marketing her work through her studio, gallery representation, and website.

Barbara paints many different subjects: landscape, architecture, wildlife, florals, and others. Often working in a representational way she uses processes that emphasize light and shadow resulting in a kind of stylized realism.  She works from many different inspirations: her own photos,  still life arrangements, on sight landscape, live models, prepared specimens, or her imagination.  She pays attention to value, expressing both the visual image and mood in darks, medium tones, and light color, using transparent watercolor layering. 

See Barb's art on her website and showing at the Cary Gallery of Artists, 200 S. Academy Street, Cary, NC. 

Regina Voncannon
Seagrove, North Carolina
Pottery Juction Studio

Regina was born in Tacoma, WA to a military family and spent her young life traveling all over the US and Europe.  Regina met her husband, Eddie, while she was studying at Central Texas College.  They moved their business to Seagrove, NC, known as “The Pottery Capital of the World” and opened their studio Pottery Junction in 1989.

Regina has perfected her art over the years, focusing on shape and form. She is a prolific artist not tied to any special type of ceramic style, she works in a variety of techniques ranging from Raku to porcelain and stoneware. Regina makes beautiful hand turned works which range from abstract flowing designs with eye catching textures to fully functional, yet beautifully utilitarian wares. Currently she is moved by metallic surface and whimsical form working with mixed mediums as part of her finished designs such as beads, metal, plastic shapes, and other materials which aid in the look and expressions the finished works express.