Our 2020 Artists in Residence

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Feb Feb 24 thru Feb 29

Sam Jones

Sam Jones represents the third generation of his family to cook traditional whole hog barbecue at Skylight Inn in Ayden, North Carolina. With humble beginnings, Jones’ family opened Skylight Inn in 1947, and the restaurant has remained a standard bearer for wood-cooked eastern North Carolina-style barbecue ever since. Over the years, Jones and Skylight Inn have been counted among the greats when it comes to the country’s legendary barbecue joints and pitmasters. As early as 1979, National Geographic proclaimed the Skylight Inn some of the best barbecue in the country. In 2003, the restaurant was honored with a James Beard award for “America's Classics.” In the fall of 2015, Jones expanded the family’s tradition with the opening of Sam Jones BBQ in Winterville, North Carolina. The new restaurant keeps the integrity of the region’s traditional BBQ intact, with no freezers and a detached pit house turning out freshly smoked meats. In 2019, Jones’ first cookbook, Whole Hog BBQ: The Gospel of Carolina Barbecue, was published, preserving the pitmaster’s passion for the craft and the legacy his home state’s cuisine.

Jul Jul 20 thru Jul 24

Nick Weaver

Raised in the Mississippi Delta, Nick Weaver is the COO of Blue Delta Jeans. Nick's roots run deep in the cotton industry—his parents are third generation cotton pickers—so a career crafting blue jeans in Mississippi felt like second nature. After graduating from college, Nick and his childhood friend, Josh West, came together to form Blue Delta Jeans, where Nick’s background in sales and former role at a Fortune 100 company has contributed to the company’s rapid growth. A true Southern entrepreneur, Nick has continued to expand the business, always focused on the success of the Mississippi economy.

Aug Aug 3 thru Aug 7

Cassandra King Conroy

Cassandra King Conroy is an award-winning author of five bestselling novels and two nonfiction books, in addition to numerous short stories, essays, and magazine articles. Her latest book, Tell Me a Story: My Life with Pat Conroy, is a memoir about life with her late husband, author Pat Conroy. Born in Lower Alabama, Cassandra now resides in Beaufort, South Carolina, where she is honorary chair of the Pat Conroy Literary Center.

Aug Aug 24 thru Aug 28

Leigh Webber

Leigh Webber is an award-winning photographer based in Charleston, South Carolina who specializes in fashion, travel, lifestyle, and underwater photography. Webber’s underwater photos span the commercial and fine art worlds; the images have been exhibited throughout North America and are held in private collections across the globe. Webber is also a contributing photographer to various publications including Garden & Gun, Coastal Living, and Charleston Magazine, traveling regularly for commercial shoots (especially those where it’s warm and sunny). Her mantra, “Dive In,” permeates every aspect of her work. In her own words, “Dive In is an invitation to the viewer, and a command. It's a reminder to take risks, to go deep, and to get beneath the surface. It is a summons to seek uncertainty, possibility and to find the silver linings in the chaos.”

Sep Sep 21 thru Sep 25

Emily Pelton

Veritas Winery was started by Andrew and Patricia Hodson in 1999. Born out of their love of wine and commitment to producing quality wine, Veritas has grown into a 20-year-old family business that is on the leading edge of the Virginia wine industry. With over 50 acres in the Monticello wine region, and producing a complex portfolio of wine ranging from sparkling to beautifully balanced red wines, Veritas wine quality starts in the vineyard, and the terroir of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Winemaker Emily Pelton, daughter of Andrew and Patricia, has been the winemaker at Veritas for over 15 harvests and continues to author the beginning chapters of a young and vibrant wine region. Her philosophy is simple - she strives to give each varietal natural, balanced expression by focusing on attention to detail and cultural practices. Her old-world principles of viticulture and vinification are met with her innovative take on winemaking using state of the art technology and principles to capture the true essence and character of each varietal.

Oct Oct 5 thru Oct 9

Amanda Wilbanks

Raised in the kitchens of her mother and grandmothers in rural Georgia, Amanda Dalton Wilbanks’ fondest childhood memories involve baking. In her early twenties, one recipe changed the trajectory of her life. After learning how to make her mother-in-law’s buttermilk pie with its buttery pâte brisée crust, Wilbanks dove deeper into the family recipe box and began selling her pies at farmers' markets. In 2012, Wilbanks founded Southern Baked Pie Company using family recipes and a signature all-butter crust. She opened her first pie shop in Gainesville, Georgia, followed by two more locations in Alpharetta and Buckhead. Today, her e-commerce site is also thriving, shipping pies to patrons all over the country. The pies, still made by hand in Georgia, are now carried by the likes of Williams-Sonoma, Garden & Gun Mercantile, and Dean & Deluca.

Oct Oct 26 thru Oct 30

Vishwesh Bhatt

Vishwesh Bhatt was born and raised in Gujarat, India and moved to the United States with his family when he was seventeen. Living in Austin, Texas, Bhatt discovered the many connections between Indian and American cuisines and in 2001 joined James Beard Award-winning chef John Currence’s staff. Bhatt quickly put himself on the map as one of the South’s most talented new chefs, and in 2009 he was named executive chef of Currence’s Snackbar. Combining Southern and subcontinental influences, Bhatt’s unique menus have gained him culinary fame; the chef is a six-time James Beard Award semifinalist and in 2019 he received the highly coveted James Beard Award for Best Chef: South.

Nov Nov 9 thru Nov 13

Mike Stewart

Mike Stewart is the president of Wildrose International, a collection of full-service kennels in Oxford, Mississippi, Dallas, Texas, and Hillsborough, North Carolina, with additional training facilities in Colorado and Arkansas. Stewart and his dogs have appeared in more than seventy-five national television programs on hunting and training gun dogs and other sporting companions. A respected expert in the field, he conducts retriever training workshops throughout the United States and has released two comprehensive DVDs and a book on The Wildrose Way, his signature training methodology. In addition, Stewart is publisher of the Wildrose Journal, the largest online magazine dedicated to the sporting dog lifestyle, and founder of the Wildrose Service Companion Foundation, a Mississippi-based non-profit providing therapy and service dogs to individuals with special needs. In 2018, he was inducted into the Mississippi Wildlife Hall of Fame.

Dec Nov 30 thru Dec 4

Dorothy Shain

Dorothy Shain is a Greenville, South Carolina-based artist and creative entrepreneur with a dynamic portfolio. Her work is an exploration of mediums reflective of the colors, textures, and patterns drawn from travels and adventures, revealing inspiration and influence from countless people, places, and cultures. After graduating from Southern Methodist University in 2012 with a B.A. in Studio Art, Shain launched her brand in September of 2014. The business has continued to grow ever since, now encompassing a number of collaborations, licensing, print sales, and most recently, textiles and wallpapers. From a line of swimwear with Anthropologie to custom-designed products for SPANX, Shain is passionate about partnering with companies that share similar values, most importantly, value philanthropy.

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