MEET THE ARTISTS: 2024 ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE
Every year the South Carolina State Parks Service hosts the Artist-In-Residence program. This program provides artists with the opportunity to gain inspiration from the natural and cultural resources of the South Carolina State Parks. In return for a week-long stay at a state park cabin, each artist produces an original piece of artwork that is presented to the park. This competitive program attracts outstanding artists from all over the state and beyond. Out of nearly 100 applicants, meet the 20 artists that were chosen for the 2024 Artist-in-Residence program.
*The Artist-in-Residence program application is released in the fall of each year. Subscribe to our newsletter or follow our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts for updates on when the 2025 application opens.
For more information about the program, visit our Artist-in-Residence page.
Kim Clark - Givhans Ferry State Park
Originally from Collingswood, NJ, Kim has lived in various vibrant cities such as Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; Waltham, MA; Seattle, WA, and currently calls Greenville, SC, home. Kim holds an impressive educational background with a BFA from Moore College of Art & Design, a Post Baccalaureate from Brandeis University, and an MFA from the University of Washington.
As an artist and Art Gallery Registrar for Koplin Del Rio Gallery in Seattle, WA, Kim's artistic journey is a blend of observation and expression. Her primary mediums are oil and watercolor, and her landscape paintings serve as a medium to articulate and share her experiences in nature. Kim is inspired by the sensations of color, the seasonal effects of light, and the intricate details found in the landscape.
While not an Ultimate Outsider, Kim frequently immerses herself in the wonders of South Carolina State Parks, with Paris Mountain being a local favorite for its hiking trails. Hunting Island holds a special place in her heart, a magical place where she and her fiancé have camped and explored throughout the years.
Kim's passion for the outdoors extends beyond her art. Whether camping, cycling, running, or hiking, she finds peace in exploring new landscapes, making her residency at Givhans Ferry State Park a perfect opportunity to connect with nature and translate its beauty onto canvas.
Mike Handley - Barnwell State Park
Mike Handley is a retired Magazine Editor and accomplished acrylic painter Originally from outside Birmingham and now residing in Montgomery, Alabama, Mike's journey into the world of art began when he left college at the age of 19 to become a newspaper editor.
Mike's preferred medium is acrylic paint, and his canvases come alive with a love for the outdoors, vintage vehicles, rustic locations, and portraits. His artistic accomplishments are not only recognized in his personal space; his paintings have adorned the covers of books and magazines, and several hunting lodges in Alabama proudly display extensive collections of his works.
Mike is a proud father and grandfather. Beyond his artistic pursuits, Mike is also a freelance writer and photographer. In his spare time, he enjoys assembling model cars.
His love for exploring state parks and national wildlife refuges is evident. The Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma stands out as a favorite, undoubtedly influencing and enriching his artistic perspective.
In addition to his artistic endeavors, Mike has curated the successful Facebook page "Whitetail Central" for deer hunters, fueling his freelance writing and painting businesses. His multifaceted talents continue to resonate in the creative and outdoor communities.
Robert Wilson Harrison - Lee State Park
Meet Rob Harrison, retired Emeritus Professor of Computer Science from Georgia State University. Originally hailing from the Northeast, primarily near Philadelphia, Rob's journey has taken him across various landscapes, and he now calls Huntsville, Alabama, home. With a diverse educational background, Rob holds a BS in Biophysics from Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University. These seemingly unconventional degrees for an artist and computer scientist actually align with his work in computational image science.
Rob specializes in digital photography, drawing inspiration from the natural world. He eagerly anticipates exploring Lee and Woods Bay State Park during his residency.
Beyond photography, Rob enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, backpacking, boating, and fishing. His business, "Playfulgallery by Rob Harrison," showcases his captivating digital photography.
Katie Heatley - Sesquicentennial State Park
Meet Katie Heatley! Originally from North Charleston, SC, Katie grew up in the picturesque landscapes of Cross, South Carolina. Currently residing in Charleston near Daniel Island, she is a true Lowcountry enthusiast with a deep connection to the natural beauty that surrounds her.
Katie's creativity knows no bounds as a photographer, educator, licensed massage therapist, and yoga instructor. She holds an Associate's Degree in Applied Science and Commercial Graphics with a Photography career path from TTC. Photography is Katie's primary medium, with a focus on creative portraits and Fine Art Photography. She occasionally delves into mixed media and digital art, keeping her artistic expression diverse and dynamic.
Nature, water, emotions, travel, and people inspire Katie's art. Katie's talent has earned her several accolades, including selections in prestigious juried art exhibits at City Gallery for Piccolo Spoleto and the MOJA Arts Exhibit. In 2023, she received 1st place at the North Charleston Arts Fest and 2nd place at the Charleston Artist Guild's Signature Show. Look out for Katie's Duo Solo Exhibit in February 2025 at the Park Circle Art Gallery in North Charleston.
While not an Ultimate Outsider, Katie has fond memories of camping trips to Edisto, Hunting Island, and Huntington Beach State Parks during her childhood. Hunting Island holds a special place in her heart for its serene atmosphere and nostalgic calmness.
In her downtime, Katie enjoys exploring new places, stand-up paddle boarding, and practicing yoga.
Kristin Holzer - Dreher Island State Park
Meet Kristin Holzer, a full-time artist with a passion for preserving the beauty of nature through her realistic acrylic paintings.
Originally from Dawsonville, GA, Kristin moved to Columbia, SC, in 2021. She holds a bachelor's degree in Marketing and Business Administration from the University of North Georgia. Kristin's artistic journey took a leap when she officially launched "Kristin Holzer Art" in January 2022.
Kristin's preferred medium is acrylic paint, and her art is a reflection of her love for landscapes, wildlife, and architecture. Her biggest inspiration is nature:
"Nature is obviously my biggest inspiration in my work. God has created so many beautiful things to paint!
But I don’t like to paint just any landscapes. I only paint from places that I have been and have memories
from. Painting is a way for me to capture my favorite and most meaningful memories in my life. Each
painting I do has a story behind it."
Aside from her art, Kristin enjoys anything and everything outdoor related, including hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, camping, and backpacking.
Kristin is married to her biggest supporter, Coleton. Together, they share a love for the outdoors, travel, and the artistic process. While Kristin is not yet an Ultimate Outsider, she's on a mission to paint every state park in South Carolina. Jones Gap State Park holds a special place in her heart, with Rainbow Falls and the park's overall tranquility leaving a lasting impression. Additionally, Paris Mountain State Park tops her list as her favorite place to mountain bike in South Carolina.
Kelly Kopacka - Poinsett State Park
Graphic Designer and Illustrator Kelly Kopacka grew up in Macon, Georgia. She has a bachelors degree in Art from Georgia State University and a Masters in Art History from the University of Memphis. Now living on Johns Island with her husband, Jake. Kelly dabbles in many art forms but prefers acrylic, gouache, and watercolor. She is a selected muralist, Piccolo Spoleto Juried Art Show finalist, Grant award winner, and participates in many solo and group shows.
Kelly recently started her own full time business, Charette.Design, an accessible design studio and art consultancy collaborating with individuals and institutions to spark ideas and bring creative visions to life that connect, celebrate, and educate our communities. She also paints original pet portraits with her business Hair of the Dog Portraits.
When not creating art, Kelly is avid reader and loves spending time with her dogs, taking long hikes and exploring the wildlife on Edisto Island. She looks forward to visiting Landsford Canal State Park this coming spring to view the Spider Lilies blooming during Lilyfest.
Jan Lane - Oconee State Park
Jan Lane grew up in rural Ohio and now lives in Lexington, South Carolina, with her husband. Her art career was put on hold while homeschooling her children and caring for her mother, however, creating has always been a passion for Jan which manifested itself in many areas in her life over the years. Whether designing and producing crafts, costumes, school projects, Sunday School displays, or Missions Conference decorations, she was able to satisfy this strong desire to create. Now, however, she fulfills that need at her easel either on location or in her studio and continues to be amazed at how a few strokes of paint can bring an object to life. Her paintings are inspired by the many beautiful places that she has traveled and by her love of nature, each giving a sense to the viewer that they are witnessing the scenes for themselves. Through classes, workshops, and coaching, Jan is constantly striving to learn new skills and is enjoying the challenge.
Teresa Mancuso - Devils Fork State Park
Born in Columbia, SC, Teresa spent her childhood in Ohio but returned to Columbia in 1984. Currently residing in Red Bank, SC, she finds inspiration in the scenic beauty that surrounds her.
Teresa wears many creative hats, working as an artist, illustrator, and baker. Teresa's art is a rich blend of acrylic and watercolor, with a special focus on impasto techniques that create vibrant, textured masterpieces. She also delves into the world of Orthodox iconography, painting in the traditional Byzantine style. Her work, including murals, can be found adorning the interior and exterior of St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church in West Columbia, SC.
The inspiration behind Teresa's art comes from her childhood memories of long drives through the countryside, appreciating the simplicity and rustic beauty of the landscapes. She seeks to capture the quiet moments of nature – the rushing water, humming insects, rustling grass, and the gentle breeze through the treetops.
Teresa's creativity extends beyond the canvas, as she wrote and illustrated the bestselling children's book, "The Sleepy Bear and the Golden Whispers".
Beyond her artistic pursuits, Teresa finds joy in gardening, raising chickens and rabbits, and singing. In 2022, she launched "Maypop's Cottage," a tiny business offering delightful "Cheese Buttons" at arts and craft fairs, along with catering private events.
Sarah Mandell - Table Rock State Park
Sarah Mandell is the owner of Once Again Sam and also an interior designer. Sarah grew up in Severna Park, Maryland and moved with her family to Denmark, where she first took interest in art and design. She attended the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she received her BFA in Environmental Design. Sarah works in many mediums but her main focus is fiber art, where she creates needle felted landscapes, punch needle and rug hook designs. She has visited 25 state parks, her favorite park so far has been Devil’s Fork State Park and the she looks forward to exploring Hunting Island State Park. When not creating art, she enjoys running, hiking, traveling, writing, photography, and is an aspiring naturalist. Sarah currently resides in Greenville, South Carolina, with her husband Josh, and feels very lucky to be able to make art every day for a living.
David Mebane - Hickory Knob State Resort Park
David Mebane is an Atlanta, Georgia native. He received a BBA from Georgia State University and now works in operations at a financial institution. David says that the beauty of nature inspires him. "I try to create realistic drawings that you can step into and feel the calmness of that memory," he says. His favorite mediums are colored pencils and ink.
"My favorite medium is colored pencils and ink.
I love to create drawings of the parks my wife, Sam, and I have visited using reference photos we both take. I also like the challenge of portraits. My style is photo realism and I work on a smaller scale since colored pencils involve so much delicate layering of color."
David says his favorite park is Edisto Beach State Park, where he enjoys riding his bike on the trails and viewing wildlife. David and his wife stayed in a cabin at Table Rock State Park for their honeymoon and have been hooked on state parks since then. He would love to visit them all at some point, he says. Check out some of this drawing at the links below!
Bailey Miller - Givhans Ferry State Park
Meet Bailey, an artist with a passion for adventure and landscape painting. Originally from Southern California, Bailey now resides in Southwestern Idaho. With a Bachelor of Fine Art from California State University Fullerton, Bailey specializes in landscape painting primarily using oils, occasionally venturing into watercolors, especially en Plein air.
Adventure serves as Bailey's muse, and each painting is a narrative capturing the highs and lows of the artistic journey. The canvas becomes a shared story, with each viewer adding their memories to the scene. Her talent has been recognized with awards, including First Place at the 6th Annual “Art That’s Small” Exhibit in Eagle City Hall, Idaho, and the Talent Prize Award in a Landscape Art Competition at Art Show International Gallery.
While not an Ultimate Outsider, Bailey has a list of South Carolina State Parks awaiting exploration, including Edisto Beach, Jones Gap and Devils Fork.Beyond art, Bailey enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, from hiking and running to paddle boarding. Bailey's artistic journey is encapsulated in her business - Bailey’s Adventure Painting.
Karin Neuvirth - Table Rock State Park
Originally from a farm in Southern Minnesota, Karin's artistic journey has taken her from a career in software engineering to the vibrant world of acrylic painting. She and her husband raised their two boys in Rochester, Minnesota, and they currently call Boone, North Carolina, home.
Karin's education includes a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Winona State College, complemented by art-related credits from Augsburg University. Her preferred medium is acrylic on canvas, where she employs a palette knife to spread, drag, scrape, and scratch layers of thick paint, creating vibrant and textured landscapes.
Inspired by the Blue Ridge Mountains that surround her, Karin has received several awards for her art, including recognition at the Blowing Rock Plein Air Festival and juried exhibits in North Carolina. Her work is also part of prestigious corporate collections, including UNC Hospitals and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
As an avid hiker, Karin is most comfortable outdoors, with her favorite trail being the Boone Fork Trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway. She looks forward to her residency at Table Rock Park, where she hopes to capture the essence of the landscape through plein air painting.
When not in the studio or on the trails, Karin enjoys spending time with her grandson. Operating as a sole proprietor, her business, simply named "Karin Neuvirth," has been thriving since 2009, with Karin becoming a full-time artist in 2017.
Anna Newell - Barnwell State Park
Originally from Clemson, South Carolina, Anna currently calls Charleston home, where she is a Framing design consultant. She holds dual degrees—a Bachelor's in Studio Art and a Bachelor's in Psychology—from the College of Charleston.
Anna's artistic expression thrives on the intricacies of nature. She specializes in creating detailed, small paintings, while nature's details, textures, and colors serve as her muse. Her preferred mediums include gouache, watercolor, pen and ink, and sculpting.
Anna's talent has earned her recognition, including scholarships such as the Barbara Duval Endowed Scholarship for Studio Art and the MAYS Grant through the College of Charleston.
Outside the realm of art, Anna finds joy in cooking, playing video games, and engaging in the world of Dungeons and Dragons.
Karen Petta - Colleton State Park
Karen grew up in Wisconsin and moved to South Carolina in 2005. She has a Masters in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin and works as a Dual Enrollment Psychology Instructor at the University of South Carolina Sumter. She creates art using oil and acrylic on canvas and is inspired by the beauty of wildlife and nature in South Carolina. Her art is currently being featured in the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. Karen also enjoys to read, travel, swim, and spend time with her family and friends.
Kay Rugh - Dreher Island State Park
Kay is a Retired RN turned quirky whimsical artist. Originally from Houston, Texas, she has been a South Carolina resident for 35 years. She loves the outdoors and the beauty of the low country. In her art, she intertwines acrylics, watercolor, ink, and line to develop whimsical paintings inspired by the world around her. Kay has visited many state parks over the years and looks forward to visiting Dreher Island and Keowee-Toxaway state parks. When not creating art, she enjoys golfing, snorkeling, kayaking, water activities, cycling, and beachcombing.
Gwen Sullivan - Oconee State Park
Gwen is now retired after a fulfilling career balancing motherhood, artistic pursuits, and assisting her husband in their business. With a deep connection to South Carolina, the couple moved from Cheraw to Lake Murray in 2009.Gwen and her husband have raised three children—two daughters and a son—and now enjoy the joys of being grandparents to seven grandchildren.
Gwen completed her associates degree in Drafting and Design, then after raising her children and helping run their business, she started getting more serious about her art by taking classes and workshops.
"As an adult student, I took classes at Winthrop University and at [the University of South Carolina]. As a resident of SC, if you are 60 years old or older, you can take classes at a state college or university tuition free. I took drawing classes, painting, and portrait painting classes. I really enjoyed the younger students and being in the classroom. After we moved to Lake Murray, I also studied for 5 years with an artist from Columbia and continued to take classes and workshops with different artists."
Primarily an oil painter, Gwen's work extends into acrylics and watercolors. She experiments with unconventional techniques, including the "wipe-out method" learned from renowned artist David Dunlop, and creating paint from the pigments found in soil, turning it into a medium for her expressive landscapes.
Nature and the outdoors are Gwen's muses, with a particular penchant for landscape paintings. Her source of inspiration is often drawn from the photographs taken during visits to state parks, fueling her creative process.
Gwen's artistic prowess has earned her a place in prestigious exhibitions and programs. Notably, she has been selected as Artist in Residence for several state parks, as well as for National Parks like Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas and Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. Her accolades also include recognitions at the SC State Fair Fine Arts competition and an acceptance into the renowned Artfields exhibition in Lake City.
Gwen's passions extend beyond art to yard work, travel, reading, and cultivating orchids and rare houseplants. During the Covid lockdown, she embraced a new venture—botanical eco-printing, creating beautiful silk scarves imprinted with leaves and natural dyes.
Gwen's art is showcased on her website. Additionally, her botanical eco-printed silk scarves are available for purchase at various locations, including The Hickory Post in Rock Hill and gift shops on the grounds of the Biltmore House Estate.
Lynne Trotter - Devils Fork State Park
Lynne and Howard grew up in Gadsden, Alabama and have lived in Georgia and South Carolina before retiring in Lexington, South Carolina. Howard retired from manufacturing as a plant manager and Lynne as a social worker. They have two adult children and two grandchildren. Together, Howard and Lynne make up Trotter Arts. The duo enjoys creating different types of art but they primarily focus on photography.
"Lynne's love for photography and fabrics pushed us in the direction of dye-sublimation printing on satin fabric. We desired a finish that could be gallery wrapped without the glare of glass. After experimentation, we found a material and process that produces bright, deep color transitions with a light sheen and no glare. The gallery wrapped final product can be displayed with or without additional framing. We hand stretch and mount each piece in our home studio to ensure the level of quality that we expect. Many of our customers tell us that our products are unique and that they love the quality, vibrancy, and crispness of the satin prints. The Satin Print has a unique look, between a printed canvas and a print on metal, certainly most appreciated when viewed in person."
Lynne and Howard are frequent flyers in state parks and have many familiar scenes in their portfolio. They enjoy many other hobbies and stay active by biking, boating, exploring, painting, and golfing.
Cristin Fedina Wood - Calhoun Falls State Park
A native of Upstate South Carolina, Cristin's artistic journey has deep roots in the region. She holds a BA and MMFT from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, where her passion for art and nature intersected in classes such as oil painting, printmaking, and Botany, satisfying her profound love for plants.
Cristin primarily expresses herself through painting, employing watercolor, acrylic, and gouache, and occasionally venturing into relief printmaking. Her art is a reflection of her experiences en plein air, where she immerses herself in nature, slowing down to notice the intricate details often overlooked in a hurried journey.
"Painting en plein air has encouraged me to slow down and focus on details, and to notice small plants and animals that may go overlooked if I was in a rush to get to a destination like an overlook or 'the end of the trail.' I enjoy views and overlooks, too, but if I sit down to paint them, I can stay for hours and see how the light changes, what animals live there, and get some great people-watching in as well. My favorite animal interaction was a hummingbird that was checking me out and hovering around my head while I painted the jewelweed at Caesars Head State Park."
While not yet an Ultimate Outsider, Jones Gap State Park holds a special place in her heart. Its peaceful ambiance, running water, mossy rocks, and vibrant wildlife, make it an unparalleled haven for her artistic inspiration.
Beyond her artistry, Cristin finds joy in hiking. Additionally, she indulges in the simple pleasures of watching sci-fi movies and reading the works of Agatha Christie.
You can find Cristin's artwork at Earthly Minds Gallery in Saluda, NC, and on her Instagram linked below.
Olga Yukhno - Poinsett State Park