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Vista Studio Artist Michel McNinch Honored With Art Spirit Achievement Award

The South Carolina State Fair is proud to announce the eighteenth (18th) recipient of the annual South Carolina State Fair Fine Art Spirit Achievement Award is Michel McNinch of Irmo, SC.

Michel McNinch followed her creative desires to pursue a life as a professional artist. She has seen the artistic inclinations she had as a child grow into a successful career.

She has been educated largely by inspiration.

While many art classes in high school and college taught her the basic elements and principles of art, other artists and the world around her continue to teach her how a painting communicates. “I am hoping that the viewer will connect emotionally to my paintings.”


(Above: Familial Fronds. 2008. Oil on linen, 30″ x 30″.)
Michel specializes in portraits, landscapes, and works in series.

She enjoys painting realistically with an interpretive style. In her portraits, she strives to create figures that are realistic and uses symbolism to reflect the personality of her model.


(Above: Fierce, Pierce.)

Constantly inspired by the life and beauty found in everyday surroundings, McNinch conveys that inspiration onto the canvas and seeks to connect with her viewers in the resulting images.

Michel has won numerous awards. Her work received “Best in Show” awards at the Hub City Exhibition – Spartanburg County Museum and the Belton Center for the Arts Annual Standpipe Exhibition. She is represented in corporate and private collections all along the eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida and also in Germany, Sweden and the Cayman Islands.

McNinch is dedicated to sharing the pleasure of making art.


(Above: Fleeting Finale. Oil on canvas. 24″ x 36″.)

Inspiring others to create is a favorite pursuit. Michel has a successful history teaching art to all age groups. Her lessons are taught with the principle that everyone can learn to communicate visually. She developed an art program at District Five’s Alternative Academy where she taught part time to at-risk middle and high school students. She taught art at Midlands Technical College to adults in the Continuing Education Program where she was selected as Adjunct Faculty of the Year. She was also the instructor for the Caring Colors Program, sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association and the South Carolina Arts Commission. For the last four years she and Donna Rozier have developed the Corley Mill Artists Group at Corley Mill Art Studio where she instructs beginner and intermediate students.

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