Catherine Lea

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Catherine Boykin Lea was born and raised in Wilson, North Carolina. She studied dental hygiene at UNC-CH and moved to Wilmington in 1982.  While practicing dental hygiene in Wilmington, she became involved with the local arts council’s Piney Woods Festival, beginning a long love affair with the arts community of Wilmington.  She served on the board of directors for the Arts Council of the Lower Cape Fear for nine years and as president her last year on the board.  She chaired the Piney Woods Festival twice, along with the council’s St. Thomas Festival for the Arts.

In 1985 Catherine left dentistry and became the first company manager of Opera House Theatre Company.  Raising money and awareness for art became a passion.  In 1989 she received the first Student of Achievement Award given by Cameron School of Business for MBA candidates.  Catherine received the Woman of Achievement Award for the ARTS from the YWCA in 1991.

It wasn’t until January 2007 that Catherine even considered becoming an artist herself.  With her mother’s encouragement, Catherine contacted local artist Pam Toll who had served on the Arts Council with her.  Pam is co-owner of Acme Art in Wilmington, an instructor at UNCW, and co-founder of  No Boundaries International Artist Colony.  Catherine studied with Pam privately for several years; a fast friendship developed and she gives full credit to her former teacher for her new passion and any success she attains.  Catherine has enjoyed several European painting expeditions, including a trip to Monet’s garden in Giverny, France, and Umbria, Italy.

Her favorite subjects include landscapes, flowers and animals. Catherine works in acrylic and oil.