Melvin Morris - Founder/Curator
This passionate and enthusiastic advocate for the arts is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Studio Art. Learning and working in a variety of art studies, painting became his primary concentration while incorporating sculpture as a secondary concentration.
“Painting is the medium that I use to express feelings that I would normally suppress and hide. My art revolves around personal experiences, memories and subjects that reflect or make reference to my culture, past and present. By immersing myself in these relationships, I am able to learn more about myself and the world around me.”
Sara Voecks - Director of Art and Marketing
This rural Cass County, Iowa native found her passion with art and photography while studying graphic design as a non-traditional student at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs. After receiving her Associate in Applied Sciences - Graphic Communications, she worked for 5 years as the lead graphic artist for a high-volume commercial garment decoration company, A Plus Designs, Inc., in Atlantic, IA while continuing to work freelance as a photographer, designer and stage fighting choreographer with Spotlight Entertainment/The Royale Pirates of Tortuga in Omaha, NE. Sara has had the opportunity to shoot and create in a range of settings from portraiture, weddings, live music and theatrical performances, and in many performance venues. Her freelance portfolio includes a wide range of clients from universities to professional theatrical production companies and work on various projects from the Midwest to L.A., Dallas, TX and New York City.
Now located in Lumberton, NC with husband and artistic partner Eric Voecks and youngest daughter Chloe, this mother of 3 is the resident photographer and Director of Marketing for Inner Peace Center for the Arts. Some of her personal work is currently on display at IPCA in our gallery and past work can be found online here...
Burritt “Bucky” Benson III - Resident Artist
This Lumberton native studied painting and digital arts in the Art Department at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke under professors Tarleton Blackwell and John Antoine Labadie. In 2011, his painting titled “Winning” was showcased at the “State of the Art/Art of the State” exhibition at Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, North Carolina. In 2012, Burritt contributed an original three dimensional painted work to the “North Carolina Cow Parade” which was then exhibited at the Ackland Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Bucky’s “cow” art is now in the permanent collection of the North Carolina Zoo in Ashboro, North Carolina. Benson’s art has been the subject of international interest. In August of 2013, his paintings were featured in “The Lakeview International Journal of Literature & Arts, Vol. 1, No. 2.” In 2014, Bucky was commissioned to create original art for the NBC Sports Network Charlotte studio where Nascar America is produced. His original drawings and paintings have been in numerous exhibitions and arts publications and also reside in various private collections. Visit his website here to learn more.
Eric Voecks - Resident Artist and Lecturer with UNCP Theatre
Born in North Dakota, raised in Fremont Nebraska, Eric holds a Bachelor of Science in Theatre from Kansas State University and dual MFA’s in Lighting/Projection Design and Technology from the University of Missouri Kansas City. For the last three decades, Eric has primarily worked in the professional theatre world as a designer and technician, providing scenery and lighting for venues coast to coast and even internationally, completing a four month residency at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, UK, in 2012 while designing lights for two Off-East End productions. Currently Eric works at UNCP as a Lecturer in the Theatre Program, where he also serves as the Technical Director and Lighting/Projections and occasional scenic designer/performer. When not educating the next generation of theatre professionals, Eric is active with the yearly production of Strike at the Wind both on and off stage, adding the role of Hector McCord to his artistic and technical duties. He is also resident Designer and actor for the Uprising Theatre Company located in Pinehurst, NC, who produces an annual Shakespeare in the Pines season. When he finds extra time between all of that, he enjoys producing art pieces which include poured spin and UV reactive painting, Shibori inspired tie dye clothing, and recently began to take an interest in lapidary crafts, just to keep things interesting.
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