Below you will discover our artists' history - how, what, and why they paint, or create.

  Pat Flachbart

Martha Mauney

Born in St. Louis, Mo, Pat moved with her husband and children to Paris, France in 1986.  During this time, she was able to resume her artistic endeavors.  Working with a group of International artists from Brazil, England, Holland, Germany, Japan, as well as the U.S. Pat painted both in oil and watercolor throughout Europe.  For the three years she resided in France, Pat refined both her style and interests in painting.


Upon returning to the U.S. Pat and her family settled in Monterey County, CA.  After eight years of being surrounded by the beauty and the “fog” of the Bay area, Pat and Dick sought the sun and serenity of the Sierra Foothills and made this beautiful area their home for the next five years.


Having received a BA in Studio Arts from San Jose State University, Pat expanded her artistic explorations to include the most unusual processes of creating Handmade Paper and Raku Pottery.  In making paper and Raku pottery Pat incorporates the very old and traditional methods along with her own innovations, resulting in unique and beautiful art pieces.  She has studied and adopted many different variations in her work over the last few years and both thoroughly enjoys and respects the dramatic and unpredictable results of her labors.  Each and every attempt seems to bring both new challenges and awesome fascination.


Pat’s work has won prestigious awards and has also been purchased for display in several corporate offices including:  IBM, San Jose, CA, Seagate Magnetics, Fremont CA, and Hyundai Electronics, Milpitas, CA.  Additionally, her works have been shown in the U.S. Embassy, Paris, France, The American Church, Paris, France and many of the Town Halls and Exhibition Centers in the suburbs of Paris.  She is thrilled to have her work shown in commercial enterprises and private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe.


Just a few years ago Pat and her husband moved to Hickory, NC.  The backdrop of the Western Carolina Mountains and the country roads of the Piedmont have provided Pat with inspiration for her future art which has taken a bend toward expressive and representational abstract.  A new environment always lends itself to new attitudes in one’s work.


Pat offers classes in pottery and painting at her home in Hickory, NC and teaches painting classes at Catawba Valley Community College.


Her work is currently exhibited in several venues in Hickory, NC.



Susan Grant

For a full bio, visit Susan's page at:

Chris Witherspoon

As a native of Hickory, North Carolina, I love everything this state has to offer. From the majestic Great Smokey Mountains to the ever changing coastal Outer Banks; there is no better place to draw inspiration for my art. Generally, my art is meant to create a feeling of overwhelming calmness and peace.

         For me, art is a great stress reliever. My occupation is in the field of healthcare. I have worked in the laboratory at Frye Regional Medical Center for 30 years. I truly love my job as a medical technologist. In 2010, I was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. I overcame that battle and began to look into ways to de-stress myself. I found yoga, meditation and my art to be just what I needed.

         In 2015, I was introduced to alcohol based ink by renowned artist Cathy Taylor and fell in love with this media. I love the freedom of the inks as they flow together to form skies and mountain ranges. There is a certain energy created with the inks.  The vibrant, bold colors are very pleasing to the eye. Experimenting with this media has led me to try watercolor. I find both extremely relaxing. 

         Although watercolor has been challenging, I am absolutely in love with the fluidity of this medium as well. I find that the softness of my creations create a sense of peace. This is something we all can use.

         As a graduate of Lenior Rhyne University, my degree was in health science, not art. I am totally a self taught artist. I have taken lessons from only a few artist which include Judy Ryder (watercolor), Linda Meyer Browning (watercolor) and Pat Flachbart (multi media.)

         I often participate in the local Hickory Art Crawl, which is a great venue for local artists. I also have had month long single artist showings at Carolina Vines in Newton, North Carolina.

         And I have participated in a juried exhibition of my alcohol inks at Lenior Rhyne University, where I received an honorable mention for one of my pieces.

Background: I am originally from Bryson City, NC.  Growing up in the mountains fueled an appareciation of the beauty of my surroundings.  An interst in art and photography began in childhood.


Education: I received degrees from WCU in Cullowhee NC.  A career as a Registered Dietitian brought me to the foothills in 1984.  A trip to the balloon rally in Statesville inspired me to begin taking painting classes at CVCC in 1987.  Retiring from dietetics in 1999, I began devoting more time to painting and exhibiting my work in local and regional shows.


Method: I paint exclusively in watercolor.  I love the transarency and pure colors that medium provides.  My realistic and detailed style depics the beauty of the natural world. My subjects have included flowers and landscapes and recently I have developed a passion for painting birds and animals.


I am a Signature Member of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina.  I am also a member of the Uni4 artists.

Meredith Janssen

Meredith moved to the Hickory area from her original longtime home in Monmouth County, NJ in 2007.  She received her art instruction and training at Sophie Newcomb College of Tulane University, New Orleans (1967-1969) and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from George Washington University (1971).


The years 1971-1979 were spent living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where she continued her photographic and drawing work.  While there, Meredith became involved with the up and coming video art scene, working on the technical side of video for such internationally well-known artists as Nan Hoover and Raul Marroquin.


After returning to the United States, Meredith received an Associate of Arts degree in Media Communication and worked as a producer and cameraperson for a cable news magazine show.  She also renewed her interest in oil painting, taking courses at the community college.  Her studies in the arts were enhanced while working toward a Master’s degree in creative arts education at Rutgers University.  In an effort to diversify her technique, Meredith began studying watercolors  and has been active in that media for about 15 years.


Formerly a member of various art societies in New Jersey, Meredith’s work has been exhibited in Amsterdam, Washington, D.C., New Jersey and around North Carolina. She is currently an active member of Full Circle Arts, Hickory, Watercolor Society of North Carolina, the Rock School, Valdese, Foothills Painters Group, and Uni4Artists.


“Art, to me, is a means to escape the rat race world we live in and go to a more tranquil, pleasant and, sometimes, whimsical place.  It can take us back in time to a memory or project us forward to the next season’s beauty. It expresses the joy of life as well as the melancholy.  It is capturing the essence of the moment whether experienced in life or devised in our imagination. When most artists create, time stands still for them—an afternoon can pass in an exhaled breath.   And yet, in that time spent, something comes to life that can touch a chord in viewers and speak to the inner souls.  This is the gift of art.”


Meredith has received many awards for her work.  At present she is concentrating on watercolor, oil painting and printmaking and retains a keen interest in photography.  She also creates original designs in copper and silver jewelry. Her work is in private collections from Australia to Spain and the Netherlands and across the United States. Several of her works are in the collection of Preston and Sandra Bryant of Hickory.