Instinctively creative, Stephanie Slack is already an accomplished artist despite her young age of 20 years.

The Raeford native began her formal art training at the age of 11 after a family friend recognized her talent and introduced her to artist Frank Pierce, the owner of Eye Candy Gallery in Southern Pines. As a child she was consumed by all things artistic and, according to Pierce, her focus and desire to learn was unusual for one so young.

Slack attended Fayetteville Christian Academy, graduating as the class valedictorian in 2019. While in high school she interned at Eye Candy Gallery and was eventually hired on to the staff as a framing and design associate. She will earn her Associate of Arts degree from Sandhills Community College this spring and then head off to East Carolina University in the fall to pursue her BFA degree with a concentration in painting.

Thinking long-term, Slack intends to pursue a MFA degree with the intention to teach art in a college or university setting.

“I enjoy working with people, I enjoy speaking with, teaching people things,” she says, adding that “since I’ve had such a wonderful art mentor, I’d like to be able to so the same for others some day. I’d like to be that person for someone.”

Slack is a self-described traditional painter with a style that leans toward realism. Her work is mostly in oil paints, but she also periodically works in watercolors.

Subject matter varies as show attendees will discover but her preferred subjects come from the natural world. American Western scenes are among her favorites. She also loves to create paintings based on photographs she has taken during her various mission trips. As a senior at Fayetteville Christian Academy, she participated in a two-week mission trip to Botswana. Several of her recent works are based on her photos from that experience.

The public is invited to meet the artist during the opening day of the show to be held Saturday, April 17, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibit will remain on display through May 31.

Eye Candy Gallery & Framing is located at 275 NE Broad Street in downtown Southern Pines. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

For more information, call the gallery at (910) 246-2266 or visit the website at www.eye-candy-gallery.com.

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