Jason Rafferty ’18
Jason Rafferty is a professional painter and draftsman who earned his BFA / French minor at UNC Asheville. A recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, Jason has pursued classical training at Studio Escalier in France, the Fine Arts League of the Carolinas in Asheville, NC, and has apprenticed with professional landscape painter John Mac Kah in the River Arts District of Asheville. Jason first attended UNCA in 2009-2011 and returned in the fall of 2016. Since his freshman year in 2009, Jason has pursued his art as an entrepreneurial business, developing relations with collectors locally, across the country, and internationally. He was a featured emerging artist at 4Bridges Arts Festival in Chattanooga in the Spring of 2017 and has exhibited extensively in the region, including the December 2016 Winter Show at Greenhill center for NC Art in Greensboro, NC, “a comprehensive survey of the best fine art and craft being produced in the state.” His art has been featured on the cover of Capital at Play magazine, as well as in publications such as the Asheville Citizen-Times, Mountain Xpress, Asheville Grit, the pencils.com blog, and on WLOS New 13 and WPVM 103.7 “Asheville & the Arts”. He was featured as a sketch artist on the Travel Channel’s The Dead Files in August 2016, and produced prop drawings for the feature film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, in May 2016. He has donated artwork to Asheville nonprofits such as Open Doors, Western NC Aids Project, and Brother Wolf, and has helped organize exhibits benefiting River Link (Of Time & The River) and Pisgah Legal. In addition to his UNCA studies, he currently works and teaches drawing and painting at JMK Studio in the Riverview Station in Asheville’s River Arts District.
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Kari Koty ’17
During her time as a New Media major at UNC Asheville, Kari found that her pursuits in video, photography, and artistic direction could serve her beyond the experimental work she was accustomed to creating for herself. Since her preteen years she had gained experience navigating the web, participating in various social media platforms, and using them to make connections and friends from all over the world. She found that when combining her online marketing knowledge with the artistic integrity and limitless creative freedom she was taught by the faculty at UNCA, she was able to position herself as a self-starter in the commercial world. Upon graduation she stepped out into post-grad life working as a freelance artist. She provides her artistic services to clients of all varieties and happily works from home as a full-time freelancer.
Nathan Singer ’16
Nathan Singer ’16 is an Asheville theatre artist specializing in management, theatre technology, and design. After attaining his BA in Drama with Theatre Arts K-12 Teaching License from UNC Asheville, Nathan spent his time further collaborating with local theatre companies, including: The Magnetic Theatre, Attic Salt Theatre Company, NC Stage Company, Montford Park Players, Asheville Community Theatre, and Parkway Playhouse. For the past year, he has worked exclusively as the Production Manager for Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective, where he coordinates staff communication, scheduling, and marketing distribution alongside Managing Artistic Director Stephanie Hickling-Beckman. DS!PAC is a nonprofit theatre company dedicated to creating professional works of social relevance, by striving to provide opportunity for the stories and performances of marginalized peoples to take the stages of Western North Carolina, and simultaneously giving back to other nonprofits seeking to heal and educate.
Kate Averett ’15
Equipped with her BA in Art History from UNC Asheville in Spring 2015, Kate Averett attended UNC Chapel Hill where she graduated with her MA in Art History in 2017. While at UNC, her research utilized a feminist psychoanalytic approach to horror films as a means of understanding contemporary fears surrounding spectatorship, the female body, and maternity. During this time, she was awarded a Teaching Assistantship in addition to her work at Chapel Hill’s Tyndall Galleries. Kate has returned to Asheville to serve as Project Coordinator for the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center’s Performance Initiative, a project that furthers UNCA’s relationship with the Museum as well as the downtown community through programming, performances, and workshops.
Becca Morello ’14
Becca Morello ’14 graduated UNC Asheville with a double major in Drama and Mass Communication. After graduation, Morello returned to her hometown in the Chicagoland area to pursue a career in the arts. In the time after graduation, Morello interned at O’Connor Casting Company, worked as an acting instructor and stage manager for Your Performing Arts Center and contributed articles to Technical Innovation in American History: An Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. Now, Morello works full time as an actor and model and is represented by multiple agencies in Chicago. Most recently Morello took the stage as Ilsa in Buffalo Theatre Ensemble’s production of “Improbable Fiction” and she just completed filming the role of Emily in “The Most Important Thing,” a short film by Second City film student, Alex Mangen. Morello has also had the pleasure of working as a background actor for many of the TV shows and films produced in Chicago and can be spotted on “Empire,” “The Exorcist,” and “Shrink.” In addition to her acting credits, Morello has also had the opportunity to model for a variety of brands and designers such as Itzy Ritzy, Lewis N. Clark and fashion designer and “Project Runway” finalist, Shernett Swaby. Although she’s built a team of wonderful agents who represent her across a variety of areas within the entertainment industry, Morello assumes a very entrepreneurial approach with her acting and modeling career. She’s created and consistently manages her own website and social media accounts to promote her projects. Morello designs and updates her own business cards, postcards and other marketing materials to distribute to potential clients and new agencies. In truth, most of the gigs Morello has worked on she’s booked herself through her self-promotion and marketing techniques.
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Blog: Quarter Century & Beyond