Center for Visual Arts

Center for Visual Arts Board

CVA Board of Directors

John Acorn

John Acorn was born in New Jersey. He received his BA from Montclair State College in New Jersey in 1959 and his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan in 1961. He joined the faculty at Clemson University in 1961 as an assistant professor teaching sculpture. In 1969 he received a grant as a Fulbright Scholar in Creative Arts at the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunst in West Berlin where he spent a year making his work. Since 1961 he has played a major role in establishing and developing support for the visual arts at Clemson University and in South Carolina. In 1998 he was awarded the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award, South Carolina's most prestigious honor given to an individual artist for commitment to developing the arts within the state. In 1997 Acorn retired from Clemson University after thirty six years, twenty as the Department Chair for the Art Department. He is presently serving as a member of the University Advisory Board. John Acorn has dedicated his life to enriching the experience for every individual at Clemson University.

Marcia Barker

Marcia Barker was born in Kingsport, Tennessee. She began her studies at Winthrop College and went on to Georgia State University, receiving her BA in Elementary Education in 1972. Barker taught kindergarten for 17 years. In 1999, she was the Director of the Fort Hill Presbyterian Kindergarten program in Clemson. At this time, she also became Clemson’s first lady. In 2001, Barker was named an honorary member of both the Clemson University Alumni Association as well as the Blue Key Honor Society. Barker was also recognized as the 2001 volunteer of the year for Clemson University. She is presently serving on several community and regional boards including America Reads and the Friends of the Center for Visual Arts. Barker is currently the Chair of the Fort Hill Kindergarten Board, as well as a member of the Board for the Clemson Child Development Center.

Patricia Howard Briel (Pat)

Pat Briel was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She graduated from Coral Gables High School, and then attended the University of Georgia in Athens, majoring in Math and Education. She married husband Ernie Briel and moved to Clemson, SC, where he was attending Clemson A&M, a male military college. After Ernie’s graduation they went to Mobile, Alabama, then a tour of duty in the Army. After the Army, they moved back to Florida with their family of four sons.

As the boys grew older, Pat became involved in the community. She was active in the Satellite Beach Florida Women’s Club and was President the year the club instigated the building of the town’s library. She was privileged to serve on the library board for seventeen years and serve as chairman for a number of those years. Pat was also District Director for the State Federation of Woman’s Clubs for a district encompassing three countries and was also active in the Junior League of South Brevard, serving as President for one year. She became involved with the local art museum as a docent, and served on the Museum’s Board of Directors for 20 years, serving as President 3 times. It was a thrill to be President the year they renovated and moved into their new building. She has also been involved with a local conservation group and with fund raising and the allocation of funds to the local charities of United Way, a very fulfilling job.

Pat is a member of the Clemson Library Ambassador Board. She has served on the Lee Gallery Gala committee for a number of years and has enjoyed working for the advantage of the arts at Clemson.

She and her husband live in Melbourne, FL for half the year and Rosman, NC the other half of the year. They have four sons and their families consisting of seven grandchildren and spouses and seven great grandchildren.

Christopher Lee Cartledge

Chris Cartledge was born near Raleigh, North Carolina before coming to Clemson University in 1985. He received a BFA in History and minored in Fine Arts studying under Ireland Regnier. After graduating in 1990, he returned to Raleigh to start a printing company. Since then he has started two custom illustration companies and clipart services one of which he is still a partner in RivalArt.com. Rival Art is the leader in custom sports and mascot art and designs. His images can be seen on shirts, posters, and logos all over the world. Chris enjoys painting, drawing and playing guitar in his Jazz band SoulFetch in his spare time. He lives locally on lake Keowee with his wife Jennifer and two children, Hank and Hannah.

Martha Grigsby

Martha Callahan Grigsby was born in Utica, New York and raised in South Carolina in the small town of Piedmont. She graduated from Winthrop College with a BA degree in Spanish and from USC-Columbia with a Masters of Ed. degree in Higher Education Administration/Student Services. After a career in education at both the secondary and college levels, she retired as Vice President for Development at Midlands Technical College in Columbia, SC.

Interested in the arts from childhood, she has served on visual and performing arts committees and boards wherever she has lived over the past fifty years. Since moving to Clemson nine years ago, she has served two terms as an officer on the Board of Directors of the Clemson Downs POA and as an officer of the Clemson University Woman’s Club. As past co-chair of the CVA Celebration Committee, current treasurer of the CVA Board of Directors and as the newly elected President of the Friends of the Brooks Center Board of Directors, she continues her work with the arts.

Martha is the widow of Robert Grigsby and step-mother to his son Robert, III. Her hobbies include collecting Pueblo Indian Pottery and jewelry, playing bridge, traveling, and reading.

Catherine Hayes

Surrounded by the rolling hills of Chester County, PA and the fame of artists along the Brandywine River, Catherine Hayes became enamored with art and art collecting at an early age.

Educated in engineering, Catherine had the opportunity to work in Germany and to travel extensively throughout Europe, gaining exposure to European art from the Old Masters to contemporary installations. Living in Italy, Catherine pursued her passions in Italian cuisine and art history, taking full advantage of the museums, the multitude of exhibits, and the international galleries.

Today, she frequents Europe to attend international exhibits, to foster relationships with the artists, and to select new works. "Visiting the studios of dedicated artists and learning about their techniques and their inspirations rejuvenates my sense of wonder and fascination. I thrive on the creative spirit of an artist that emanates from their work and I strive to share that energy with my clients."

Katherine Kennon

Katherine was raised in Sumter, SC. She received a Bachelor of Art in Design (’86) and a Master of Architecture (’88) from Clemson University. Although work at Lee Hall kept her very busy, Katherine was also a member of the Clemson Dancers and taught dance classes at the Clemson Recreation Center during her time at Clemson. Katherine became licensed as an architect in Pennsylvania (1991) and Tennessee (2001). Katherine’s architectural projects have ranged from commercial, healthcare and residential. In addition to her architectural pursuits, Katherine has also served on the faculty at O’More College of Art and Design (1994 – 2005) and Watkins College of Art and Film (2005 – present) in Tennessee as an adjunct professor. She has taught on the subjects of building codes, art history, theory and design. She is co-author of the book The Codes Guidebook for Interiors which is used as a primary codes text in many design programs and a reference for practicing professionals. Katherine has had multiple opportunities to present seminars throughout the US for design professionals on various code issues. She is currently a planner/architect for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Katherine is a member of the American Institute of Architects. Her husband, James Kennon, Jr., is also an architect and graduate from Clemson. Katherine and James currently reside in Nashville, TN with their two teenage sons, Drake and Noel.

Debbie Lee

Debbie Crawford Lee was born in Aiken, SC. She has been married to Ronald Lee, D.M.D., for 36 years. They have three children and 3 granddaughters.

Debbie has a B. A. in Secondary Education, Clemson University, 1976. Her previous professions were a school teacher; Student Services Coordinator, College of Health Professions, MUSC; and Dental Office manager for her husband’s practice.

Currently retired, Debbie has been an active member of Aiken Jr. Woman’s Club and Sand River Woman’s club for 18 years, serving in several offices including Second Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Chairman of Ways and Means Committee. Debbie worked on the Aiken Center for the Arts major fundraiser, Antiques in the Heart of Aiken, for 10 years. She served on the Café Committee, Preview Party Committee, Printing Committee including serving as Co-Chair of the Preview Party Committee and Chairman of the Printing Committee. Member of Pine Needle Garden Club, she has served in many capacities including President for two years.

Current interests of Debbie’s include machine embroidery, smocking, and gardening, particularly container gardening. She feels the greatest and most fulfilling role she has is that of wife, mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother.

Rebecca Lehde

Rebecca graduated from University of Florida’s College of Architecture with a Bachelors Degree in Interior Design in 1998. She also studied at the VIA Vicenza Institute of Architecture in Vicenza Italy during her senior year and spent time traveling throughout Europe. After graduation, Rebecca and her husband Mitch moved to Naples, FL where they worked together at an architectural firm for several years. Rebecca formed and led an interior design firm as a sister company and Mitch served as the liaison between the two firms. In 2005 they moved to Greenville and started Inspiro 8 Studios. They have 2 children and just recently moved into a 100 year-old historic bungalow in downtown Greenville. They continue to work together on multi-million dollar residences, where Rebecca is able to work on projects from the initial design concepts through the minute details of completion. She designs many custom furniture pieces for her clients as part of this process. Her love of art and photography has always woven through her design and is a driving force for many of the projects that she and her husband create. Many residences are designed around the owner’s art collection and she enjoys assisting her clients in procuring additional artwork as a way to promote local artists and is thrilled to be able to serve as a liaison to the Clemson Visual Arts program as well.

Mike McGregor

Michael Allen McGregor was born in Clarksville, Tennessee on a working farm surrounded by livestock and wildlife. He makes his home on Lake Hartwell in Townville, SC.

He received a BS in Electrical Engineering from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN; continued graduate studies in management. He remains fully employed at the Jacobs office in Greenville, SC.

In the past, Mike has lead and served on Engineering related professional boards and a financial institution board.

Mike’s passion is for the genre of Wildlife Art, both painting (including Miniature) and sculpture. He has pursued this interest for almost 30 years and is a collector of fine art pieces. He has traveled to most of the premier Wildlife Art Shows in America, meeting many of the renowned artists. Recently he gifted a sculpture that he and the artist collaborated on the design. The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury, Maryland is the recipient of “FALCON7”.

Ronald W. Oakley

Mr. Oakley has built a successful career in the engineering, construction and development business since his graduation from Clemson University with a degree in Building Construction. He began his career with the Charles H. Tompkins division of J.A. Jones working on the National Gallery of Art and then moving on to work for the Architect of the Capitol on the Madison Memorial Library and pre-planning for other future Capitol Hill projects. During his 24 years at Fluor he held project management, sales, general management and executive assignments for Fortune 500 clients as well as public sector clients including many Federal, state, and municipal government agencies. Mr. Oakley progressed to become a Fluor operating group executive responsible for a variety of business sectors, including Industrial, Infrastructure and Government.

Mr. Oakley has also held leadership positions with Lend Lease as the America’s CEO, Skanska as USA Building CEO and The Shaw Group. At Shaw he served as President of the Environmental & Infrastructure Group and as Shaw’s Managing Director of European Operations. He is currently Chief Operating Officer for M+W Group US.
Mr. Oakley has also been a member of the Clemson University President’s Advisory Board and The Clemson University Board of Visitors. He also served on The Palmetto Business Forum and was a Founding Board Member of the Design Build Institute of America and a Founding Board Member of The Drummond Center for Statesmanship. He is an active member of The Moles, an association of leaders in the heavy construction business. He has also been a member of numerous other professional, industry, national and community organizations.

Dr. Philip H. Prince (Phil)

Philip Hunter Prince was born in Bostic, North Carolina. Before attending school, Prince served two periods in the United States Army, including an overseas service in the Philippines. He received his BS is Arts & Sciences from Clemson University in 1949. He went on to attend Columbia University, NYC School of General Studies as well as King College for graduate studies. In 1967, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a graduate of the executive program. Beginning in 1951, Prince held various management and executive positions with Milliken, becoming Vice President of Milliken and Company. He then became Senior Vice President of American Express Company. Before retiring, Prince was President of Synco Properties, Inc.

Prince’s accomplishments include Jaycee “Young Man of the Year” and being on the Board of Trustees for Alpha Omega National Endowment Trust. He was on the Board for The Palmetto Project to promote community efforts in education, leadership, and self-improvement. He is a member of the Washington Business Group on Health and a Charter member of the Human Resources Roundtable. Prince’s accomplishments at Clemson University include being class President of 1949 and a Clemson Life Trustee. In 1994, he was elected as Clemson’s Acting President, becoming the 12th President. He was Co-Chair of the CVA Celebration Gala for two years, as well as a founding member of the CVA Board.

Prince married Celeste Orr Prince (now deceased) in 1950 and had two sons, Kevin Hunter and James Bryan. He is a current member of Fort Hill Presbyterian, Clemson, South Carolina, where he once served as deacon and Sunday School teacher.

Lou Rainey

Lou is originally from Columbia, SC. She has been living in Anderson, SC since 1980 with her husband Robert and they have three children, Weston, Clarke and Caroline. Lou graduated with a BA in Anthropology in 1974 from Sweetbriar College in Virginia, where she also studied Art Studio and Art History. She has her Masters in Education from the University of South Carolina and taught Art at Liberty Junior High and High Schools for one year while her husband was earning his Masters in Environmental Engineering from Clemson. Over the past 30 years Lou has taken art courses in a variety of mediums from USC and Clemson, along with Horticulture, Landscape Design and Art History courses. For the past 7 years Lou has also been taking sculpture workshops at Brookgreen Gardens.

John Sisson

John has performed site selection and incentive negotiations worldwide over a 30-year career in following time in corporate finance with Ford Motor Company and Mallinckrodt. He has completed hundreds of successful site selection assignments for his clients with a total investment value exceeding $21 billion. With projects spanning the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa, John also has negotiated over $2 billion worth of incentives for clients locating new or expanding existing facilities.

John developed and implemented certified site programs in New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Maryland, and South Carolina, and has assisted several states in understanding their competitive position for industry attraction, most recently assisting the Arkansas Tax and Revenue committee on positioning for a Super Project against 10 competing states. John has a B.S. in Economics from University of Illinois and an M.S. in Economics from Wichita State University.

Elisa Kay Sparks

Elisa Kay Sparks has been teaching in the English Department at Clemson since 1978. Born in College Station Texas, she grew up in Seattle, graduated from Bryn Mawr College, and received her PhD from Indiana University in 1979. Since 1993 she has focused on studying the British author Virginia Woolf, publishing numerous papers on the relationship between Woolf and the American painter Georgia O’Keeffe as well as on gardens in Woolf’s life and work. She is halfway through a book on flower imagery on Woolf. While at Clemson, she administered the first-year composition program for five years and the Women’s Studies program for ten years, teaching a wide range of courses from science fiction and science fiction film to contemporary British and American literature to Women’s Studies and Feminist Literary Criticism and various upper-level and graduate courses on Virginia Woolf and her circle in Modernist London. Since 1995 she had been sitting in on Advanced Printmaking where she specializes in color-reduction woodcuts, often of subjects related to Woolf and O’Keeffe.

Sally Trapnell

Sally D. Trapnell is originally from Tupper Lake, New York. She received her History degree from Bernau College in 1963, and her MEd in Elementary Education from the University of Georgia in 1970. Sally taught school for 19 years in Atlanta City schools, Clarke County schools, and Wilkes County schools, all in Georgia, as well as St. Aloysius Parochial School in Baton Rouge, LA. She is now retired.

Sally has been active in her community as a Sunday School Teacher at Clemson First Baptist Church and Hyde Park United Methodist Church; she was formerly on the Pickens County Library Board, Parents Council at Daniel High School, a Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity advisor and House Corporation Board member at Louisiana State University and Clemson University. She has received Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity Service Awards and was named Volunteer of the Year at Daniel High School.

Sally has previously served a term on the Center for Visual Arts Board and has served as a Volunteer for the annual CVA gala for the past several years. She is also a member of the Clemson Women’s Club, Clemson Garden Club and PEO.

Sally is married to Jerry E. Trapnell.

Anna McNeill Welborn

Anna McNeill Welborn received her undergraduate degree from Erskine College with a BA in Education and her Masters of Education degree from the University of South Carolina. After a varied career in education and administration, she presently serves as Regional Career Specialist with the Piedmont Education and Business Alliance and the Western Piedmont Education Consortium, which serve the ten-county Upper Savannah Region. She lives with her family in Greenwood, SC.

Welborn has been involved with the Greenwood County Arts Council since the early days of its development in the late 1990s. She served on the board and became President of the Greenwood County Arts Council Board of Directors in 2000. During her tenure as board president, she founded, organized and chaired the Arts Council’s first fund-raiser event she named “Hearts for the Arts.” From the outset, this successful and popular community event placed the new Arts Council squarely on the communities’ cultural map. Welborn chaired the event for ten years during which time the organization undertook a capital campaign for the purchase and restoration of the Federal Building in downtown Greenwood. This beautifully restored historic building now serves as the home for the Arts Council’s Center for the Arts. In 2008, Welborn was asked to come on board as the Center’s Director of Development. Welborn’s enthusiasm and commitment to service extends not only to the arts, but also to other commitments in her community and state with service on numerous boards and committees.

Through leadership, fundraising, and service Anna has enjoyed reaching out to her community by encouraging involvement in the arts. Welborn strongly believes in the connection between a vital community-based arts program to economic growth and, in addition, the enhanced quality of life that the arts provide for our diverse population.

Welborn is married to John Hearst Welborn, a Clemson civil engineer graduate and former Tiger mascot from the 1960s. They have two children, Lyda and Jim, who are both recent Clemson graduates. A life-long appreciator of the arts through family influence, she enjoys traveling and visiting Europe’s art galleries and museums.

Lee Zavakos

Chief Operating Officer, Obsidian International
A graduate of Miami University (Ohio) with a BS in Business Management and Marketing, Lee is a lifelong, third-generation entrepreneur and is certainly no stranger to the challenges and opportunities that independent businesspeople experience on a consistent basis. Lee also has more than 25 years of personal experience in the entertainment and family recreation field. His peers have consistently recognized his acumen and expertise in all facets of that business including facility acquisition, industry relations, facility design and multi-dimensional business efficiency. Lee is extremely well versed in business, real estate and asset acquisition, having engineered complex transactions of all types for more than two decades. Lee is also no stranger to global travel. His experience in international markets is a terrific asset for a worldwide trading professional.

Lee and his wife reside in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and are the proud parents of three wonderful children. Humbly and quietly, they both are committed to making a difference in their local community and well beyond.

Emeritus Board Member

Patricia H. McAbee

Patricia H. McAbee (Patti) received her BFA from the College of Charleston and certificate in Arts Administration from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. McAbee served as the Vice President of Custom Development Solutions based in Mt. Pleasant, SC providing major gifts fundraising counsel to North American Charities. McAbee’s enthusiasm and passion for non-profits also extend to her various commitments where she serves on numerous boards of charitable organizations. As the founder and former executive director of the McCormick Arts Council, McAbee continues to serve as a life member of the Board. She is a member of the Clemson University Board of Trustees and is the first woman to serve on that Board.

Ex-Officio Members

Denise Woodward-Detrich

Denise Woodward-Detrich is the Director of the Rudolph E. Lee Gallery in the Department of Art at Clemson University. Before joining Clemson University, Ms. Woodward-Detrich served as a Master Instructor at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and prior to that as exhibitions coordinator at Clemson University from 1996-2000. She received her MFA in Ceramics at the New York College of Ceramics at Alfred University and has maintained an active exhibitions record having been invited to participate in seven national exhibitions in 2001. Ms. Detrich has given workshops in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee and has been included in publications such as Wheel Thrown Pottery by Don Davis, Best of Pottery, published by Rockport Publishers and Studio Potter magazine.

Dean Richard E. Goodstein

Dr. Richard E. Goodstein is Professor of Music at Clemson University and Dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. He served for 12 years as the Chair of the Department of Performing Arts and has been on the Clemson faculty since 1982. During his tenure at Clemson, he directed the Tiger Marching Band, Clemson University Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Band during this time.

Dr. Goodstein has music education degrees from Miami University of Ohio and Arizona State University. He is currently a consultant for the Walt Disney Company and served from 1987 to 1997 as the musical director of the All-American College Band.

Meredith Mims McTigue

Meredith has worked for Clemson University for 14 years. Before transitioning into her role as Marketing and Public Relations Director for the Center for Visual Arts and the Art Department, Meredith served as the Alumni/Development Manager for the College of Business and Behavioral Science. Her experience with planning, promoting, marketing, and obtaining funding for activities or events has gained her many professional recognitions and awards. A tireless volunteer across the university and for the local community, Meredith recently accepted a reappointment to the Women's Alumni Council board. In addition, she serves as a board of director member for Brooks Center for the Performing Arts and volunteered her time to help with the Center for Visual Arts Gala, 2012.Meredith and her husband Rory have a four year old daughter who already shows a love for the arts and is enrolled in art classes. Meredith is thrilled to be working for the Center for Visual Arts and the Art Department. Meredith has her BFA in Graphic Design from Lander University and her MEd from Clemson University. As a Visual Arts major with an emphasis in Graphic Design she feels that by taking on this new role she is truly “coming home.”

Greg W. Shelnutt

Greg Shelnutt’s sculptures have been exhibited in more than 350 solo, invitational and group exhibitions in galleries and museums such as Art in General in New York, N.Y.; Berlin Kunsproject in Berlin, Germany; C.A.G.E. in Cincinnati, Ohio; Color Elephante in Valencia, Spain; and COMUS Gallery in Portland, OR.

His previous teaching appointments were at the University of Mississippi and the University of Georgia’s Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy. In 1992 he was a visiting artist at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia.

Shelnutt has had residencies at the Community Council for the Arts in Kinston, N.C.; the Association for Visual Artists in Chattanooga, Tenn.; the New York Mills Arts Retreat in New York Mills, Minn.; and La Trobe University’s Visual Arts Centre in Bendigo, Australia. Grants supporting these residencies came from the Jerome Foundation, Mississippi Arts Commission, the Arts Council of Winston-Salem Forsyth County, and the Surdna Foundation in New York. Through the support of a Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts' 2009 BREATHE project award, Greg traveled to Houston, Texas and New Bern, Ala. to study Project Row Houses and the Rural Studio. He recently received a Mellon Grant to study at the Penland School of Crafts.