FINDING JOY IN THE MOMENT
Whether it's big or small, let's find joy in them all!
For me, my work is about the process of the painting. The brush work, texture, and layering of paint is used to give you a sense of emotion. I want to pull people in and make them feel what they see is familiar. The more they look, the more they feel like they have been there. People should feel they are walking down a path, sitting marsh side, or remembering a beautiful occasion, but mostly they should connect with the piece every time they walk by.
My goal is to bring the audience JOY and memories for a lifetime.
Holt Cleaver has loved to draw for as long as she can remember. Holt’s fate was sealed as an artist when she received the National Gold Key Scholastic Art Award during her freshman year in high school. Because of the honor, Holt's work was hung in the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. "Looking back, I think that's when I really decided that art would be my life's pursuit," Holt graduated from Appalachian State University in 2001 with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts with a major in Graphic Design. She decided to take a chance and move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in graphic design. Her dream was to work at one of the big studios in Hollywood, but fate took her another direction. She began training in the Mission: Renaissance Academy and soon became the Teens and Adult Program Director for Calabasas and Woodland Hills Fine Art Studios in California. During that time, she took another chance in the summer of 2003 when enrolled at the International School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture in Umbria, Italy. She learned from some great artists such as Dan Gustin, Martha Armstrong, and Ying Li. Later in 2005 she decided it was time to move back to her home state of North Carolina and was the Gallery Director for Green Rice Gallery in Noda, Charlotte NC. This is when Holt began making a name for herself by capturing the beautiful scenery surrounding her. Holt's works can be found in galleries throughout the Carolinas. In addition to painting, Holt opened Holt School of Fine Art in 2009. When Holt is not helping teach the young budding artists at Holt School or painting away in her studio, she and her husband can be found as a "taxi drivers" for their two young children!
Holt is Founder and Co-Owner of Holt School of Fine Art with Kate Stewart located in Charlotte and Pineville, NC. Holt School of Fine Art currently has over 300 students where children, teens and adults are taught the basics of drawing and painting. If you're looking to learn something new or refresh on some old skills be sure to check out what we're about!