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Meet Our Artist in Residence

The beautiful paintings in The Fearrington House Restaurant have delighted guests for many years, so we’re thrilled to welcome as Fearrington’s artist in residence. Read more about Jeff below, and check out his beautiful artwork throughout Fearrington!

Tell us a little bit about your background?
I moved to North Carolina to work at Duke University Museum of Art in 1994 after meeting my wife to be in an Atlanta art gallery where I was working. We later moved to Florence, Italy on a UNC Study Abroad program where I studied gilding and fresco restoration, and painting and contemporary art history. After returning to Chapel Hill, I completed my BFA at UNC and later my MFA at Maine College of Art in Portland, where I worked for the past 10 years. Our family relocated to Chapel Hill last summer and I am thrilled to be in a new studio space and developing artwork for Fearrington.

What inspires your paintings?
I seek an emotional resonance from an image and I’m interested in how we feel connected to the landscape, our locale and how the conditions of our local environment shape our thoughts, memories and expressions about place. I’m often drawn to the drama of the luminous atmospheric conditions of calm diffuse light of in early morning or at dusk. I enjoy quick observational studies, but often work from photographs and historical images or so I tend to work between harsh contrasts of photographs while aiming to develop my own connections and interpretations through imagination and memory.

Do you currently have art throughout the Village? If so, can you tell us about some of the pieces?
I have a few drawings and paintings in McIntyre’s and in the Fearrington House Restaurant, and I think a few other locations. Paintings in the restaurant were developed from observation and photographs I took of the Fearrington House. And there are some other drawings and artwork sourced from photographs belonging to Jesse Fearrington’s family, UNC’s Wilson Library and the photography of Eudora Welty and Bayard Wooten that were part of an exhibition.

What is your favorite Fearrington scene, or what Fearrington scene do you mind most inspiring?
The original barn structures are appealing as references for a connection to agrarian past and the unique community here now. The scale of these barns and their proximity to the gardens, pastures, livestock and other contemporary buildings offer interesting and varied compositions. And I’m attracted to the character of the giant oaks at Fearrington as well as areas of open wilderness that elicit more timeless landscape imagery.