In recognition of social distancing and the new challenges that we are facing as a community, local artist Cordelia Norris will be debuting her new exhibit, “Wild Cape Fear,” online. The exhibit was slated to open at The Art Council’s Aces Gallery this 4th Friday.

This online exhibit is a way of showing support for the Arts Council while Aces Gallery is closed and 30% of any online sales will benefit the Arts Council.

Wild Cape Fear reflect hundreds of hours spent in the field, serving as a bird steward for NC Audubon, walking the beach and nest sitting for the Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project, and exploring the region on foot and by kayak. The paintings and photos are a distillation of the region and its diverse coastal ecologies, from marshes, rivers, and swamps to beaches, estuaries, and maritime forests.

Artist Statement

As homogenous development claims more of Wilmington, local artist Cordelia Norris spent the last year exploring our remaining wilderness to capture the essential wild nature of the North Carolina coast.

In preparation, Norris spent hundreds of hours in the field, serving as a bird steward for NC Audubon, walking the beach and nest sitting for the Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project, and exploring the region on foot and by kayak.

The exhibit, “Wild Cape Fear.” is an artistic distillation of the region and its diverse coastal ecologies, from marshes, rivers, and swamps to beaches, estuaries, and maritime forests. Dramatic, funny, and powerful, the paintings and photographs in Wild Cape Fear capture the colors and moods, the skies and the waters, and the sense of place that makes this region unique.

From the artist: “I’ve spent the last year in something of a fever dream, overjoyed by what I’ve discovered through patient observation, research, and by being in the field under all conditions. Spending time in nature can be a transcendent experience. The more I slowed down to understand what I was witnessing, the more I appreciated the natural world that surrounds us. I want to convey that sense of wonder at the power, grace, and fragility of local wildlife and wild places in this exhibit.”

About the Artist

Cordelia recently received a regional artist grant and just released her second coloring book, “All Along the Atlantic,” co-authored by local naturalist and educator Cathy Meyer. All Along the Atlantic is an educational coloring book celebrating the stunning array of life on the North Atlantic coast. 25% of book sale proceeds benefit North Carolina Coastal Federation.

Cordelia earned a Masters in Illustration from SCAD, Savannah College of Art and Design, and undergraduate degrees in Graphic Design, Interdisciplinary Studio Art, and Art History. Her graphic design and illustration studio, Luna Creative,, just celebrated its 10th anniversary in February.

Cordelia specializes in working with companies and organizations that create a positive social or environmental impact. Her work has been recognized with awards from American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA), the American Advertising Federation (AAF), Applied Arts, and exhibited around the country.

She lives in Wilmington with her adorable family.


About Sonja Griffin Evans

Sonja Griffin Evans is an international  Cultural Artist born and raised in Beaufort, South Carolina. Growing up in the Lowcountry, which prides itself on its ability to preserve its culture and heritage, has heavily influenced Sonja’s artwork, and gives her an uncanny ability to capture the beauty, spirituality and purest representations of the Gullah Sea Island and of African American culture.  As a prolific mix media artist, she incorporates items such as tin, wood and other materials in her art. She is also adept at painting the vibrantly colored art on canvas that is acknowledged as the traditional Gullah style;  however by applying texture to her canvas and masterful choice of color, she takes her art a step further to convey more depth and feeling. In both mediums, Sonja is careful to express her culture in its purest form. Evans believes that everything that God has created is not only beautiful, but has a purpose and states nothing should be wasted. She further believes she merely holds the paint brush and God ultimately creates the art.

Sonja is a master storyteller, bringing to life, through art, important historical and cultural heritage events, people and destinations that evokes emotional responses to her artwork. She is also known for her ability to see the beauty in found items and selects each item and unveils the alluring stories these pieces hold within them; reflecting the spirituality of the people of African descent. With her masterful use of color and perspective in her work, Griffin Evans’ artwork is constantly evolving. Each piece has a story or inspirational quote that invokes spiritual and cultural insight.

Sonja Griffin Evans is the founder of the National For Artists – By Artists Society and a major contributor in the development for the  ‘Forgotten Communities Art Program and Director of the Gullah Arts Initiative for the Pan African American Cultural Heritage Intiative, which is a program designed by the Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute Inc. to preserve and promote the culture and heritage of people of Pan Africa -via the arts. Evans is the President of the South Carolina Cultural Heritage Society and serves on the Board of Directors for the Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute, Inc. and the National Cultural Heritage Tourism Society.

Sonja Griffin Evans and her Gumbo e-Gallery have won many prestigious awards. In 2013 her gallery received the African Diaspora World Tourism Flame Keepers Award for honoring the culture and heritage of people of African Descent.  Sonja has personally been named Honoree, Mamie Till Mobley Woman of Courage Award, and was an Onyx Award Nominee. As a highly sought after speaker and advocate for the arts, Evans has been featured on television and radio broadcasts, and in publications; such as DuPont Registry, Southern Lady Magazine, Coastal Lifestyle Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Hilton Head Monthly, From Imagining to Understanding the African American Experience and more.   Her artwork is  in prestigious galleries, private and corporate collections, nationally and abroad. Sonja’s work  was selected among 150 artist woldwide by Loupe Art, a global live streaming art gallery available in 80 countries. She was invited to exhibit internationally on a solo three city tour in France, including Tour Saint Aubin, Angers France. She has been featured by the National Park Service, selected by the Westin Hilton Head Spa and Resort to display permanently commemorating historic Mitchelville and as the Historic Penn Center 2014 Heritage Days featured artist of the year.    






Photographer Arrow Ross has lived in the United States for 50 years, since arriving in New Orleans from Denmark in 1968.  He has lived in Wilmington for the past 25 years.

Besides commercial photography, he has documented the first 10 years of the No Boundaries Art Colony on Bald Head Island.  He has lived in India twice, documenting the lives of orphan girls rescued from the streets, living in foster homes provided by Homes of Hope.

This retrospective exhibition coincides with his 80th birthday on May 23.  Proceeds from the show will be donated to Homes of Hope.

Wilmington has become home to a large number of artists who have relocated to the region from other areas, adding to the rich tapestry of our community. Curated by Vermont transplant Paul Stone, the exhibit features the following artists:

Carl Bistrack

Jeff Chase

Elaine Cooper

Mary Craig

Cheryl Crane-Hunter

Mari de Moya

Mary Donahoe

Christine Farley

Harriet Forbis

Joanne Geisel

Jason Hill

Janet Johnson

Melanie Kebble

Kirsten Koromilas

Gaeten Lowrie

Rachard McIntyre

Joan McLoughlin

Randy McNamara

David Pascua

Lori Joy Peterson

Owen Wexler

Five student artists are graduating from Wilmington Early College High School and Cape Fear Community College after working together for five years. Each artist has their own section devoted to a unique topic. Harry Antoniades examines film industry practices, Robby Carl showcases printmaking techniques, Sarah Miller portrays the spiritual nature of animals, Jessie Robertson promotes frog conservation, and Holly Woodcock opposes feline claw removal. This will be their last art showing together before they graduate, and we are thrilled to share what they have learned these past five years!


Carolina Corona was born in Veracruz, Mexico. As a child, she did not receive an art education but she looked for ways to express her creativity and free spirit through craft making and exploring her backyard. When she was ten, she moved to Wilmington, North Carolina. She struggled to settle in her new home, but one thing she loved was receiving art classes. After graduating high school, she moved to Winston Salem and enrolled at Salem College. She graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts and Art Education. She taught for two years before deciding to dedicate herself to her art full time. She is a painter and photographer. Her passion is nature and the beauty it offers. She started traveling after college and saw places she never imagined she would see. She enjoys going on road trips around the US, always recording the surroundings through her camera, paintings, and writings.

Artist Statement

“Keep close to Nature’s Heart” -John Muir

My show El Primer Elemento (The First Element) embraces the element of water. Water is life not only for the Earth but for the entire human race. Through explorations of different landscapes, I have admired the beauty of water and the way it creates life all around us. This series of paintings expresses feelings of peace, enlightenment, mirth, and romance all embodied in the natural world. Through rich color and textures, I create a world full of life and beauty which must be preserved and cared for just as water preserves us.

Nature welcomes me with her strong embrace every time I dive deep into her world. I admire the Earth for its beauty and I fear her passion. Each of my paintings represents a vision of nature, a sight forever frozen in time by the touch of paint. The colors and textures of each of the Earth’s elements dance on my canvas to create a visual celebration for her. Every brushstroke is guided by the memory of the Earth. Done with acrylic and watercolor paints, my body of work is diverse, inspired, and personal. I hope to share the natural world that I so love and aspire to be a part of.


Carolina Corona nació en Veracruz, México. De niña no recibió clases de arte pero buscaba maneras de  expresar su creatividad por medio de proyectos y al explorar su jardín. A los diez años de edad su familia se mudó a Wilmington, Carolina del Norte. Se le hizo difícil acostumbrarse a su nuevo hogar pero le encantó empezar a recibir clases de arte en la escuela. Después de graduarse del bachillerato se mudó a Winston Salem donde asistió a la Universidad de Salem. A los cuatro años recibió su maestría en artes finas y educación. Ella fue maestra por dos años antes de decidirse a dedicar su tiempo al arte por completo. Es una pintora y fotógrafa. Su pasión es la naturaleza y la belleza que ofrece. Empezó a viajar después de la universidad y a visto lugares que nunca se imaginó. Le gusta viajar por todo el país tomando fotos, pintando, y escribiendo sobre sus experiencias.  

Proposito del Artista

Mi exposición, El Primer Elemento, reconoce la importancia del agua. El agua provee vida no solo al mundo natural pero también a toda la raza humana. Por medio de exploración de diferentes paisajes, yo eh admirado la belleza del agua y de la forma en que la cual crea la vida a nuestro alrededor. Esta serie artística expresa sentimientos representados en el mundo natural como paz, iluminacion, felicidad, y romance. Por medio de colores vivido y texturas, eh creado un mundo lleno de vida y hermosura que se debe preservar y cuidar así como el agua nos preserva a nosotros.

Lo natural me recibe con un abrazo acogedor cada vez que me aventuro en su mundo. Yo admiro la tierra por su belleza y temo su pasión. Cada una de mis pinturas representa una visión de la naturaleza, una imagen por siempre preservada por el toque de la pintura. Los colores y texturas de todos los elementos naturales se unen en un baile armonizado en mi lienzo. Cada trazo de mi pincel es guiado por un recuerdo de la tierra. Creado con pinturas acrílicas y acuarelas, el cuerpo de mi trabajo es diverso, inspirado, y personal. Espero compartir el mundo natural que amo y del que deseo formar parte.

About Kirsten Koromilas

Artist Bio

Kirsten is a native of Staten Island, New York. She received her BFA cum laude from The Art Institute of Boston and her MFA from Western Connecticut State University where she was the recipient of the WB Connor Trust Academic Scholarship. She has exhibited her work in New York, Boston, Connecticut, Los Angeles, and most recently in her new home of Wilmington, N.C.
Recently, Kirsten was invited as a Visiting Artist/Scholar to the prestigious American Academy in Rome as a student of Artist-Philosopher Dr. Amber Scoon,and German philosopher Wolfgang Shirmacher. Traveling fuels Kirsten’s work and she loves to frequent Greece with her favorite explorers – her husband and two amazing children.

Artist Statement

Drawing is a search and a surprise, an examination and discovery of not only the world around me, but the immensity of an internal landscape. It is an attempt to connect myself with the unnameable world, that of the past, present, and future.
That of my ancestors, whose stories I have heard so often, they are now a part of my own memories. My memories are hundreds of years old. We are all connected in this way, and continue to affect and change each other even after parting ways. We deserve a space for these changes to breathe, to expand us, and enrich us. We need space. My work is an invitation to the viewer to explore this place within themselves; an opportunity to stay, to look, to sit and daydream. It is good to be still.
“The world is large but in us, it is deep as the sea.” – R.M. Rilke