Art of the State

Celebrating the Visual Art of North Carolina

By Liza Roberts

Foreword by Lawrence J. Wheeler. Photographs by Lissa Gotwals.

272 pp., 8.5 x 11, 132 color plates, index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-6124-7
    Published: November 2022
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-7176-5
    Published: September 2022
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-5413-1
    Published: September 2022

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This beautiful and informative volume illustrates the vitality and importance of North Carolina's contemporary art scene, showcasing the creation, collection, and celebration of art in all its richness and diversity. Featuring profiles of individual artists, compelling interviews, and beautiful full-color photography, this book tells the story of the state's evolution through the lens of its art world and some of its most compelling figures. Liza Roberts introduces readers to painters, photographers, sculptors, and other artists who live and work in North Carolina and who contribute to its growing reputation in the visual arts. Roberts also provides fascinating historical context, such as the influence of Black Mountain College, the birth and growth of Penland School of Crafts, and short histories of North Carolina's art museums, including Charlotte's Mint Museum, Raleigh's North Carolina Museum of Art, Winston-Salem's Reynolda House, and those flourishing at universities. Artists featured include Stephen Hayes, Mel Chin, Cristina Cordova, Beverly McIver, and Scott Avett. The result is the most comprehensive, informative, and visually rich story of contemporary art in North Carolina.

About the Author

Liza Roberts is a journalist and founder of Walter Magazine. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
For more information about Liza Roberts, visit the Author Page.


"Art of the State offers a sprawling, vital survey of North Carolina art now. . . . Impressively designed and rich with captivating images of art that are often paired with profiles of artists and collectors. These cutaway sections—separate from but interspersed with the main text—give the book the feel of a well-curated gallery, with individual pieces hanging on the wall and coalescing around a holistic theme."—INDY Week

"Using extraordinarily beautiful photographs of the artists and their work, Roberts shows their diversity and their charm. The photos and the book’s description of the artists’ different approaches gives its readers and viewers a spectacular introduction to the importance of North Carolina and all that it offers artists and art fans."—D.G. Martin, ChapelBoro

“A joy to read. . . . In well-researched prose, thoughtful interviews, and stunning photography . . . Roberts juxtaposes traditional and contemporary art, craft, and fine art, established institutions, and grassroots organizations, offering an examination of the art of the state that is as complicated and exciting as the population itself. The two hundred interviews she conducted paint a dynamic and multifaceted portrait of our statewide arts community.”—North Carolina Literary Review

"Art of the State gathers and presents the fertile cultural wellspring of artists, the communities they thrive in, and the diversity of support and philanthropy that broadens visibility and ensures access to citizens across our state. Liza Roberts offers an inspiring historical account of the evolution of art in North Carolina. Poignant text and captivating images illustrate the magnificence of artists creating and preserving perspectives beyond form and craft."—Jaki Shelton Green, Poet Laureate of North Carolina

“Visual art in North Carolina has long needed a map of its beautiful constellations—the people, the mediums, the long, deep history. Liza Roberts traces the humility and world-class production growing across the state, as well as the secret history of just how good it is to create work and life in North Carolina.”—Tift Merritt, singer and musician

"An impressive overview of contemporary art in North Carolina, written by one of its most passionate supporters. This is an excellent comprehensive resource for readers who are perhaps not aware of the vast and diverse artistic talent in our state."—Zoe Starling, NC State University's Gregg Museum of Art & Design