Matthew Smith's passion for art began in high school when he would occasionally skip school to visit the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL.  As a student at Florida State University, his photography instructor sparked his interest in the absurd by exposing him to artists such as Sandy Skoglund, while his printmaking professor furthered the technical and graphic design aspects of his work by introducing him to a variety of serigraphers, including Andy Warhol.  After graduation, he headed out to Northern California to be an advertising coordinator and graphic designer.  Working in the real estate industry in Santa Cruz (a beach town near Silicon Valley) at the hight of the dot com boom was an eye opening experience.  In 2001 he moved to back east, this time to Hendersonville with his soon-to-be wife.  He spent nearly 8 years managing Mountain Graphics, an Asheville based screen printing and graphic design firm.  In 2002, Matthew merged his Graphic Design and Advertising degrees with a Masters degree in Project Management from Western Carolina University.  In 2010, with a bequest from his late grandmother-in-law, Daisy Koenig, a life long professional artist, Matthew opened The Starving Artist.  At The Starving Artist he has strived to offer the artists of Western North Carolina a local shop to get all of the materials they need.  And, of course, he gets to play with those materials too.

Rob Bolt

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Deborah Chase

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Rachel Vera

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Costanza Knight

The watermedia and mixed media paintings, drawings, and prints of Costanza Knight are contemporary expressions that explore and celebrate the human form and the landscape. These images often take place in gravity free worlds and portray humankind in both states of joy and pathos.  Poetry and narratives are often her inspiration. She dramatically interprets them by creating a series of paintings that actually tell a story. In a sense, they are poetic art. As a former speech and language pathologist, she sees a direct connection between teaching communication and interpreting the human experience through her artwork.

A Floridian by birth, Costanza spent her summers in Saluda, North Carolina, where she took painting lessons from her father, an artist. Her first realization that she wanted to formalize her interest in art came when she was attending university in Florence, Italy. She took a figure drawing class and fell in love with the process of breathing life into her drawings. She studied art there and at the University of North Carolina in Asheville. Costanza is currently working out of her studio on Whitehall Lane and teaching at The Starving Artist Art Supply Store.

For more information, click here to read the artist's statement and here to read Costanza's resume.

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