Who is this "Conn-Artist?"
Curriculum Vitae - "Course of Life"
Art, Humor, Loving Family & Friends,
Having Fun, Discovering, Traveling & Chocolate
(in no particular order)!
Even though this self-taught artist has seemed to re-create her life yet again; the above list has always loomed large in her life--
"Life is not a Spectator Sport! You have to MAKE your life happen!" ---says this so-called "Conn-Artist." And so she has. From figuring out how to apply paint to canvas-- to get her art, "out there" for others to view, this artist is well on her way.
Born in Buffalo, New York - she is old enough to have seen the Beatles perform in 1964 and young enough to see McCartney (her favorite!) 40 years later and have a ball dancing the night away!
In 2003, after a 17-year stellar Real Estate career in Rochester, Michigan where she sold her way into the Top 1% of Real Estate Sales in the country; Constance Vlahoulis and her husband Bill, relocated to the Asheville area. After umpteen visits to Western North Carolina see her Mom, Step-father (who gave her the 'Conn-Artist' moniker), Sisters & Aunt & Uncle; "It started to feel like we were leaving home when driving away from the mountains instead of going home to Michigan when we would visit, " explained Connie. So a major life change was underway. Now firmly settled in the South, Connie feels blessed to be really home.
"And finally, I returned to my creative roots and my first love which is ART."
Before the move she studied Pastel Painting with August Gloss of Romeo, Michigan and attended workshop training with Doug Dawson. After winning several art awards she began selling her work in Hendersonville at
The Art Market Off 7th. After relocating to North Carolina, Connie joined, serving as membership chairperson for The Art League of Henderson County.
Discovered by Harry Sparshott, her Folk Art was represented by Wickwire Fine Art/Folk Art Gallery on Main Street in Hendersonville, North Carolina before she opened a studio. She occasionally demonstrated Collage-Art at the Arts & Heritage Gallery in The Historic Grove Arcade in Asheville. Connie is now represented by the Mountain Made Gallery in the heart of the Grove Arcade and also by The Design Gallery in charming Burnsville, NC, about 35 miles North of Asheville.
Connie & her favorite "muse," (her Mom!), Barbara Hipwell attended workshop study with fabulous Plein Air oil painter Sarah Sneeden. Oils then became a favorite painting medium for both mother and daughter.
In May 2008, a group of 14 Henderson County Art Galleries joined together to help promote arts in the community and in their studio/galleries. Connie created a website for the group: The Gallery Guild of Henderson County- Best Art Destinations in Western North Carolina. (The plan is to reinvent the GGHC to include other WNC area galleries as many of the original 14 have closed.)
Connie and Ann Oliver, another Gallery Guild member, served as judges for the "Art on Main" August 2008 show. Connie also served as a judge for the 2009, "Chalk It Up!" sidewalk art show. This annual event is always featured in Southern Living Magazine.
Connie was a charter member of the Appalachian Pastel Society. Her pastel of "Hazy Summer Sunset View from Jump Off Rock" was accepted at the groups first juried show. The Conn-Artist Studios sponsored the APS Members with a show that filled the entire gallery November through December 2011. Three national award winning pastel artists works were included.
Connie recently won ribbons for second place in two categories of Henderson County's 2011 Silver Arts Show; "Aw Pears" (Oil Painting) and "Hilton Head Beauty Parade" (Photography).
Travel has always been a muse for Connie. A trip to Greece inspired, "Life-Lines," which is featured on the Family Heritage/Commissions page. Other trips to Asia helped with the creation of collage work and other mixed-media images used for the "Passages" show and for her one-of-kind photo note cards available at the studio.
Constance Vlahoulis' art-passion is evident on Wednesday "Open Studio" where area artists gather to work and share experience. We have so much fun!
The OPEN STUDIO is considered a "godsend" to area artists who rely on Connie's aMUSEing nature and Barbara's rock solid experience, practical advice, and kindness to all. Artists have been moved to tears to find this venture open to them. It is truly one-of-a-kind.
On-going painting classes given by top-notch area artists are held weekly that provide further growth and inspiration. The Conn-Artist STUDIOS have become a favorite stop for area artists and art lovers. Neighborhood news outlets have taken notice! The Conn-Artist Studios is the ONLY Art Gallery listed in the Hendersonville BIG BOOK for 2011-2012. Watch for 2/2012 articles in The Laurel of Asheville and Bold Life.
2011 was a banner year at the studio with Open Studio and Art Instruction. During the summer, Connie was invited to submit a painting for one of the most coveted juried prizes offered in Asheville. Saying she, "was in it to win it" - she did just that! "Hope Rising" was chosen to be the 2011 Signature Work for The Western North Carolina AIDS Project- Works of Heart Gala .
Traveling around North Carolina is her current interest with camera and sketchbook in tow....
A pinch of joy, a cup of love, and the reflection of everyday experience is not only the recipe for
Connie’s creations; it is her life’s formula. She says, "Make Your Life a Masterpiece, A Work of Art..."
See Constance's work on her personal art website~
click here--> www.ConstanceFineArt.com