Arts Council of Carteret County | Featured Artists


Joan Hustace Walker

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Artist Bio

Joan Hustace Walker’s entire career has been spent painting stories… but not with a brush; rather, she has been illustrating with words or photographs–or both. Walker spent the first two decades of her career as a working freelance writer and photojournalist, and her body of internationally award-winning, published work has been featured in thousands of newspapers, magazines, journals and books. Walker’s recent photographic awards include: 2018 & 2017 ASP State Elite Award, 2018 & 2017 Top Ten Photographer (VPPA), 2017 Best in Show (VPPA), 2017 CPP Award, 2016 & 2014 Team USA/World Photographic Cup, 2016 Grand Imaging Award/3rd, and 2016 Gold Medalist/Photographer of the Year.

Walker’s love of light and color coupled with her unique gift of visual storytelling is evident in both her art pieces, as well as her client work. Walker also frequently combines digital painting in layers of her portraiture and art for a unique and distinctive perspective. Her other love is black and white photography, with its ability to draw the viewer in to the imagery without the distractions of color. In order to ensure that her artist’s vision is completed with all of her photographic pieces, Walker has become a print artist as well, and now exclusively hand-prints her work using the finest pigments on archival, OBA-free photo rag papers.

Walker holds the degree of Master of Photography (M. Photog.) as well as the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) certification from the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). She is a NIKON Pro and is an active member of ASP, NPPA, PIGOENC, PPA, PPNC, and VPPA. Walker’s photography studios are located at 700 Arendell Street #14: Joan H Walker Photography (a fine art portrait studio) and Woof Tracks Photography (an equine and dog portrait studio).

I'm a Rott'n One
Lining Up For A Fight
Never Cross a Ginger
Watching His Taillights Disappear

Chris Wagner

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Artist Bio

Chris Wagner has been painting for over 30 years, initially in watercolor before moving to acrylics. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Corcoran School of Art and Design in Washington, DC. Originally from Durham, he has lived in eastern NC for almost 15 years. He shows in several area galleries, including those in New Bern, Kinston, Washington and Atlantic Beach. The subjects that interest him most are portraits and landscapes, but he enjoys occasional forays into abstract as well.

Notes from the Artist:
I am a painter living in New Bern, North Carolina. I graduated from the Corcoran College of Art & Design in 1992; since then I have been selling and showing in galleries each year throughout North Carolina. I love living along the coast of N.C., but my works will often depict my travels throughout the country; I've never been one to happily settle on any one subject.

In the twenty years after I graduated from art school, I was strictly a watercolorist, but have recently branched out to expand my horizons and have been enjoying acrylics on canvas. I've loved the change, but won't be abandoning watercolors any time soon. I do love being able to paint over my mistakes though! I also enjoy the sizes that canvas affords me; I do have to admit it is fun to paint larger than life.

You can find my works in galleries in Morehead City, New Bern, Oriental and also online on Ugallery has been a great experience for me; I've sold paintings through them not only all across the country but across the pond to Europe as well.

Under the Canopy

Ann Etheridge

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Artist Bio

Originally hailing from Western Pennsylvania, Ann Etheridge has made NC her home since 1985, residing in Morehead City with her husband and rescue dog, Zeta the past five years.

“Coastal living and boating inspires my work from my color choices to spontaneous drawing of lines, shapes, raw splattering and dripping of paint. Living by the sea influences the energy of my work like the volatility of coastal weather. Calm serene days are reflected in muted blended paintings and the strong winds and rough seas generate heavy charcoal marks, bold quick paint strokes, and layers of heavy texture.

“I am best known for my large expressive paintings, using big gestures, bold strokes and experimenting with mixed media. My abstract paintings begin with free flowing energy through broad marks and text using graphite, charcoal and oil sticks. My process includes layering acrylic paint, experimenting with marks, texture and color, taking risks and finding my way to unpredictable finishes.

“I paint the energy I experience in my body, staying present, seeking the deepest truth, allowing authentic expression to flow through me, onto the canvas. It’s a healing dance, connecting my aliveness with letting my true self have a voice. l love the process of creating with no idea how the painting will unfold.”

In addition to her studio practice, Ann enjoys teaching abstract painting and collage workshops. She is a member of the Arts Council of Carteret County, and the Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, NC. Her work has been featured in North Carolina at the Progress Energy Performing Arts Center in Raleigh, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, Village Art Gallery in Oriental, Winston Salem Chamber of Commerce, Durham Art Guild, Wake County Visual Art Exchange, the Fine Arts League of Cary, and Maddie King Gallery in Beaufort.

The Color of My Mind
Adjusting Her Sails
Emerald Sea
Here, There and Everywhere

Sally Anger

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Artist Bio

Sally Anger grew up in the coastal town of Beaufort North Carolina, and is a full-time, professional artist. After traveling throughout the United States and in many countries including Europe and South Africa, she is currently residing back in her home town.

This is how one patron describes her art:

The paintings of Sally Anger offer a glimpse into a realm where the prosaic images of life are transformed into the exotic and the extraordinary. Her canvases are forged in realism and tempered with impressionistic and abstract elements, all subtly alloyed to present a compelling and intelligent look at her subjects.

In this realm a simple portrait becomes a window, a portal into a human universe captured in an expression or a tilt of the head, light of the eyes, the anticipation of imminent movement. These are real people, candid and vulnerable, frankly captured between heartbeats in an unguarded moment when secrets are divulged. They cipher your emotions back to you with ironic and intelligent redirection. – Gary Goldstein, 2006

Sally is a member of the Arts Councils of Carteret and Craven Counties, the Wilmington Art Association and the Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, NC. She is a former board member of the Arts Council of Carteret County and is past president of Arts for the Hospital at Carteret Health Care. Her artwork is on display at Craven County Arts Council & Gallery, Carolina Creations, and Fine Art at Baxter’s in New Bern, NC.

Golden Girl

Irene Bailey

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Artist Bio

In 1995 Irene Bailey received her Masters of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting. Her thesis show consisted of portraits of her professors. This show was the elevator of her success as a portrait artist as corporate and family portrait commissions started coming in. Bailey has continued to hone her skills studying under master artists. As an international award-winning artist, Bailey was honored in 2007 as one of “100 Incredible ECU Women of 100 years" in their Centennial Publication.

In addition to her paintings and portraits at ECU, Bailey is known for her official portraits of judges, lawyers, doctors, CEOs (Pepsi), as well as heirloom portraits for many families in the region.

Irene resides on Emerald Isle, NC, where she operates a studio, gallery and classroom for teaching weekly classes and portrait workshops. She also provides an open studio for artists to come paint from a mode. She hosts an annual Paint Out and Art Show and Sale on Emerald Isle with the support of the Seaside Art Council and Oil Painters of America. She has also donated portraits to charities such as the Greenville Museum of Art, the Children’s Hospital, ECU Alumni Association, Thomas Herriot College of Arts and Science, the Ronald McDonald House and the American Heart Association.

Irene Bailey's goal is to project her subjects true personalities through her portraits and to create works of art that will stand the test of time.

Catherine Moore
Archway in France
Samone in Hawaii
Dr. Paul Cunningham, ECU

Jody Merritt

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Artist Bio

My name is Jody Merritt of Jody Merritt Photography. I am based out of Beaufort, NC. My first career was with the NC State Parks system where I was able to see some of the most beautiful landscapes that NC has to offer. The love of nature and its beauty is what gave me the inspiration to start my landscape and nature photography when I retired in 2009.

Since retirement I have tried to do more traveling to experience the different types of landscapes and nature that is available not only in the United States but other parts of the world. I have been very lucky to have traveled to Africa twice since retirement. As Ernest Hemingway said “I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.” I must say that I totally agree with that statement. I hope to one day return to Africa and again hear the roar of a lion and witness the compassion that a family of elephants has for one another.

Even though I am experiencing new areas of the world and the United States, my work will still concentrate mainly on coastal North Carolina. I love the sunsets and sunrises here and all that our wonderful area has to offer. My work is mostly about nature and scenes found along the coast of N.C. Nature has a special way of making me relax and I hope my photographs express that feeling.


Michelle Johnson Fairchild

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Artist Bio

April 12, 2018 – Michelle Johnson Fairchild paints to capture moments in time. Whether that moment be a walk along the dunes with only the sound of the tide, the happy go-lucky sprit of a beloved pet, or the expression that define an iconic celebrity’s passion for music or film, Fairchild has an uncanny ability to use paint and canvas to evoke a strong emotional response.

Fairchild has an artist’s heart, hands and love for COLOR! A portrait artist, published illustrator, and painter with a passion for life, she is also a survivor of domestic violence. Fairchild survived an attempt to end her life as well as the butchering of nearly 100 paintings. Following her entire life’s work as an artist being destroyed in an act of violence, she began using her art and story to educate and empower victims and she has spoken nationally about her experience. The hope found in her survivor’s story has been instrumental in helping others escape violent relationships and find healing through artwork.

After resigning from a 23-year career of teaching high school art, Michelle has devoted the last year-and-a-half to honing her craft and painting daily. She and her family have called the Crystal Coast home for a little over a year and have recently opened a gallery and working studio in downtown Morehead City called Gypsybee Studios and Gallery. She continues to teach all age groups and host workshops in her studio. Fairchild recently won an Award of Excellence at Arts Council of Carteret County's Art from the Heart.

Visit the gallery at 801 Arendell Street Suite #3, Morehead City so see her “Larger than Life” display of celebrity portraits ranging from John Lennon to the Wizard of Oz.

Original Batman
Underwater Explorer
Vintage Beach

Stephen Moore

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Artist Bio

April 12, 2018 – Stephen Moore is an artist known for the color and light quality in his paintings. He is a native of North Carolina. He is a graduate of UNC in Chapel Hill and retired from a thirty-four-year career in family medicine in 2015. He was taught by Eleanor Seng, a North Carolina artist who studied with Emil Holzhaurer, a student of Robert Henri. Stephen was taught by Eleanor beginning in the fifth grade at a community art center in Burlington, NC.

Stephen has been painting and showing since 1980. He has traveled and painted extensively in Europe. Painting interests also include coastal and other North Carolina scenes with an emphasis on local color. Though primarily a landscape painter practicing plein air techniques and a studio painter, he is also interested in portrait, figurative, and still-life genres. He works in his studio in Pine Knoll Shores, NC.

He is a regional painter and is associated with Artsource Art Gallery in Raleigh, NC, with the Mattie King Davis Art Gallery in Beaufort, NC, Carolina Creations in New Bern, NC and the Village Art Gallery in Oriental, NC. His work is held in the corporate collections of SAS, Jordan and Price Law firm, Rex Hospital, Family Medical Associates of Raleigh, Hospice in Raleigh, and Duke Raleigh Hospital to name but a few. He is represented in numerous private collections across the state.

St. Tropez Reflections
Monterosso Street
Shadow Dance
Marshallberg Work Boats

Verena J. Murvin

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Artist Bio

April 12, 2018 – I was born and raised in England in the beautiful area of Suffolk county. My love of art started as a very young child. I studied the flowers and plants in my father’s garden and used pencil and crayons to put them on paper. There is nothing like a true English garden to inspire a budding artist.

I married and moved to the USA. Like many women artists, I spent many years raising my family with little or no time left to draw or paint, I knew one day I would paint again.
When I retired and moved to the East coast of NC, I started studying watercolor. I am a self-taught artist. I started with a few tubes of watercolor paint, a sheet or two of paper, a couple of brushes and art instruction books for their valuable information. I still use my books as a reference library today.
I prefer to work from my photos, so I can capture the play of sun and shadow which is critical in the design of my paintings. I get a lot of pleasure from painting my paintings and hope people who look at my paintings get pleasure from looking at them.

I keep painting and enjoying my life with my husband Richard and cat Fara.

“The earth has music for those who listen” -William Shakespeare

Glory of the Morning
Purple Haven
Skippers Rest
Unexpected Visitor

Dixie Leibert

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Artist Bio

January 23, 2018 – Dixie Leibert's first exhibited painting was at Lord & Taylor's high school artwork show in New York City in 1948. After high school, Dixie completed a two-year commercial art program at the State University of New York at Farmingdale and was later accepted into a newly-launched art education program at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

After graduation, Dixie married and taught for five years on Long Island. Once their children had grown, Dixie resumed teaching K-12. Twenty-eight years later she and her husband, Bob Leibert, retired to Morehead City. In retirement, she began to focus on perfecting her skills with her favorite media–watercolor–facilitated by techniques taught by the well-known Raleigh artist, Charles Sharpe.

Dixie began showing her work locally including the Beaufort Library, the Mattie King Davis gallery, and Art from the Heart, first entering in 1998. For several years running, her paintings were selected for the Richard Zuch watercolor award. In 2002, Enchanted by Harry was awarded the Timberlake Art in the Schools award at the North Carolina Watercolor Society show in Gastonia. This painting was chosen by students from the Gastonia High School for their library. Enchanted by Harry depicted a young girl sitting on a beach chair alone, engrossed in a Harry Potter book. Since then, her paintings have been accepted in both the North Carolina and South Carolina watercolor societies and she has attained signature status in both organizations.

Dixie also finds time to volunteer at Arts for the Hospital (as former president) and also the Carteret Community Theatre, which provides another outlet to express her artistic interests by collaborating with her husband in designing and painting sets for many productions. She may be contacted via email:

"Bottoms Up"
"Ice Cream Girls"
"Marks the Spot"
"My Grandpa"

Heather Sink

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Artist Bio

September 15, 2017 – Heather Sink was born in the northern region of England. She has always had a passion for the arts. As an adult she worked and travelled all over Europe taking in the diverse sights and cultures of the various countries.

The subjects which draw her are vignettes of the coastal area of her beloved Beaufort, North Carolina. She also paints from her Plein Air studies created during her travels when she returns to the studio. Heather is acutely aware of moments in time and tries to bring those elements to her work. Heather feels that the emotional connection to a piece of art is personal to each viewer.

She earned her Fine Arts and Education Degree from Meredith College. Heather retired from teaching art in the North Carolina public schools and now teaches at her working studio, Craving Art Studio. Her love of teaching and travel have come to fruition, taking students to paint in Mexico, Italy and England. Visiting artists from around the US also teach at Craving Art Studio, Beaufort, NC.

Many of her works are in private collections around the world.

Heather is a board member of the Arts Council of Carteret County, as well as an artist member with the Visual Art Exchange and a member of the North Carolina Museum of Art

Little Miss Busy Body 24x24 oil
Gardenias 20x20 oil
San Miguel 12x16 oil
Harker's Island Workers 36x36 oil