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Tidewater Gallery is located at 107 Front Street on the historic Swansboro waterfront. The two floors of the 1901 W.E. Mattocks House offers an eclectic collection of fine art and fine crafts by local artists as well as those from around the United States, Canada, Peru and Haiti. 

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My passion for clay developed during my time as a student when taking my first life modeling class and while earning my bachelors degree in Landscape Architecture at the College of Design at North Carolina State University. For over 18 years I have been expressing myself through clay. My forms are heavily influenced by texture and pattern. I begin with a slab or coil of clay, then twist or tear or pinch and a unique form emerges. While shaping each creation I feel the connection between the clay and the subject, thus allowing each piece to have its own individual voice. MORE...

End of Day
Jon Kolkin has had a lifetime of experience pursuing a balance between his personal and professional life. His unique strategies have allowed him to achieve a high level of success as a professional fine art photographer, physician, educator, global humanitarian, international speaker and course director on topics related to “Finding balance within our lives”.
Each of Jon’s photographic bodies of work tends to focus on topics that deal with personal growth while promoting dialogue, understanding and mutual respect. Every project requires at least 3 years of concentrated focus and refinement.Jon's work is often described as meditative or “Zen like”, capturing the emotion of his subject rather than a literal documentation of what might be noticed by the casual observer. His captivating images have won numerous national awards and have drawn the attention of private and corporate clients such as Sony, Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox, Bank of America, and The Ritz Carlton. His artwork has also been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the country and in many prominent photography magazines.  

Sand Storm
Jon presently serves on the faculty of both the Santa Fe and Maine Media Photographic Workshops where he leads seminars for photographers on practical approaches to finding time for photography while reducing stress, being more effective in our chosen profession and achieving greater contentment in our personal lives. 

Claude Monet’s Water Lilies in the Garden at Giverny was
the inspiration behind the creation of the Tide Pool Series. "Just as Monet painted the same subject matter time and time again, I have repeatedly photographed the same tidal pools on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Monet had a unique ability to give new life and meaning to a theme by painting during different seasons and weather conditions while also constantly shifting his point of reference. In a similar way, I have tried to capture the essence of these tide pools.

Pensive Woman
"However, there is a second driving force behind the creation of this body of work. The Tide Pool Series attempts to create a Zen-like experience through the intentional distortion of scale and loss of reference. For some observers the art might be interpreted as a close-up, intimate representation of elements within the tidal pool while others have the sense of viewing a panoramic landscape. I am attempting to challenge our perception of what constitutes 'truth.' My hope is that this exercise will encourage more people to step outside of their comfort zone and examine daily situations from multiple angles, thereby promoting tolerance and understanding."


Nancy Thayer's works are about motion - air, water & earth. They have an imprint of the elements as if caught by a still camera, or what you see when you blink your eyes fast. Their visual presence represent tactile pressure, cutting and bending to express undulating secret movement sometimes of sound, surfaces, or textures and other times of memory and conjecture.


Taking inspiration from the animal menagerie on her family's Scotland Neck farm, Mandy Johnson began her art work at a young age. Her passion was expressed in her childhood drawings—her peaches were always hot pink!  

A college and real-world art education at Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida, got her rolling. She took a brief twenty-year break to seek higher education, teach art to middle school students and to raise her daughter.

Since 1998, Mandy has returned to her painting passion full-time, conveying her vision of every day life in the south.Her use of negative space, strong sense of design and figure ground relationships all contribute to the success of the work. The freedom to mold and distort, to create motion and mood, to highlight and compliment by color—these are signature qualities of Mandy's work.

Beaufort, NC resident Jenifer Crowell is a self-taught artist, poet and writer. She spent her childhood in the New England area. Through her father's job, however, Jenifer was able to tag along and visit Hong Kong, Guangdong and Bangkok, where she was exposed to a variety of artists and modes of expression. Although her initial calling was to the theater, Jenifer always dreamed of having an art studio.

After living in New York City and Chicago, Jenifer headed south,
making Carrboro her home. During that time, she worked at Duke Hospital as “Sky Blue the Clown” and as a “standardized patient,” but also found time to perform in many plays. Her love of theater and the sea then took her to Wilmington, NC, to explore the film industry. In 2004, she moved to Beaufort.

In her home studio and around town, Jenifer finds herself drawn to express herself in paint, exploring and recording her responses to people and places. Although she draws inspiration from the nearby sea, Jenifer is greatly inspired by the people and scenes in her neighborhood, Beaufort's traditional black community—residents whose ancestors were a vital part of Beaufort’s maritime culture beginning in the 18th century.

“I am always spellbound by the loving spirit of my neighbors, who truly look out for each other, and also take the time to sit down and share their special stories. They seem to naturally know how to pause and smell the roses. There is joy and deep strength in these friends.”

Beth grew up in rural Michigan. Her professional art schooling was obtained at Austin Peay State College and Christopher Newport College.

In 2006 Beth was awarded an Honorable Mention for oils in the ACMC Festival. in 2008 she was awarded 1st place in oils at the ACMC Festival for the large landscape “Water Lilies." In 2009 she was awarded Best in Show at the juried Artist League of the Sandhills Pot of Gold Show. Beth and her husband Tom live on their farm in Vass, NC with 3 horses, 3 cats and a dog.

“Oil painting is the means I use to express how I see the world. I look for the play of light and shadows then encourage the contrast between them. I want that thrill of chiaroscuro in every work. Landscapes, animals and small children are my preferred subjects because their body language can express a story. Oil is also a very forgiving medium. It lets you play with multiple colors and express moods effortlessly. I enjoy capturing depth to my paintings by using a foundation of transparent colors. I want the eye to be drawn to that secret hint of under paint while the opaque colors bounce light back to the viewer.”

Eric McRay - Jazz Series

McRay earned a BFA degree at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, where he received a four-year scholarship. In 1998, he was juried into downtown Raleigh's prestigious Artspace. Eric has served in the offices of Vice-President and President of the Artspace Artists Association, as well as served on Artspace's board of directors. McRay has been featured on TV and radio, and in numerous newspapers and magazines. The Raleigh News & Observer named him one of the "Artists to Watch" for 2001. He was featured in the June 2002 issue of Southern Living Magazine. In 2008, McRay was anointed by Metro Magazine, "Best Local Artist".

Also, McRay has consistently participated in and supported many charitable art exhibits and other community art events. Some of McRay's corporate collectors include American Tobacco Campus, Duke University Medical Center, NC State University, UNC Chapel Hill, SAS Institute, and Western Wake Hospital, as well as many private collectors locally, nationally & internationally.

Tidewater Gallery is fortunate to be handling McRay's trademark Jazz Series works. 


Joyce Ross - original watercolor
A graduate of Meredith College and a native of North Carolina, Joyce maintains studios in Enfield and Swansboro. Having traveled, taught art and studied with well known artists such as Charles Sharpe, Becky Patman and Tony Couch, Joyce continues to be inspired to capture a moment or place in time - and tell a story.

Joyce Ross Prints

You may know Michael E. Waller from his collaboration with Kirk Davis in Carolina Shuckers Oyster Knives. However, Michael is more notably a professional sculptor. Born in Kinston, he graduated with B.F.A. in sculpture from East Carolina University in 1997. Michael has worked as a professional foundry technician, mold-maker, metalsmith and has created numerous large commissions. Michael and wife Leah Foushee have collaboratively created public art projects for the city of Durham, the North Carolina School of the Arts, Duke Corporate Education,the American Tobacco Historic District, as well as other public and private institutions.

"The notion of a three-dimensional landscape inspires my work. I am interested in the natural environment of North Carolina that has fascinated me since childhood. With metal as my media, organic forms, textures, and spatial relationships are utilized to represent the moments of a landscape remembered."

Anne Fiske received a B.A in art and printmaking at Antioch College, attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Univ. of Washington School of Art,Seattle, where she earned an M.F.A in painting. Anne presently has a studio in Newport and is an art instructor at Carteret Community College. Anne's works have been included in many selected exhibitions and are in many collections. Works below are prints.