November’s Featured Artists: Creative Exploration of Earthly Themes and Provacative Family Ties

November’s Featured Artists: Creative Exploration of Earthly Themes and Provacative Family Ties

This month, Artsville highlights our Virtual Gallery Artists: ceramicist Candice Hensley, printmaker Jean McLaughlin, and painter Selene Plum. These three women have powerful voices and years of experience.  Each speaks with inspirations from the earth and compelling ties to the past

November Featured Virtual Gallery Artists

As part of Artsville’s Virtual Gallery exhibits and marketing program for our current curated group of nine artists, we had the pleasure of our first in-person meet-and-greet this past week.  It was a joy to see all of their smiling faces in one place, and to hear from them personally about their vision for their work and the forces that drive their creativity. We met our expectations of sharing goals and ideas as our cohort builds a team as well as encouraging individual roadmapping to find their career path forward.

For a fuller picture of our talented artists, to enjoy our virtual Holiday Catalog of their work, or to apply to our spring VGA program, subscribe or apply at  You can also visit their live exhibit of Small Works for holiday giving at the Ferguson YMCA at 31 Westridge Market Place, Candler, 28715. Artsville is a NO COMMISSION online gallery.

Artist: Candice Hensley

Various mugs, Candice Hensley, $45/each

Candice Hensley, hailing from the outskirts of Stanford, Kentucky, initially aspired to be a broadcast journalist before a poignant shift in 2005 when her father passed away from cancer. Driven by a quest for personal happiness, she discovered solace and expression in the Art Barn at Centre College, delving into ceramics post-graduation at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Joining Pigeon River Pottery, she gleaned insights from non-artistic colleagues, enriching her knowledge. Settling in Asheville in 2010, Candice immersed herself in North Carolina's pottery heritage, culminating in the establishment of her studio in 2018. Presently, she crafts porcelain pots, fired in gas and wood kilns across Western North Carolina, infusing elegance inspired by her love for food and flowers. Rooted in the pursuit of happiness, her evolving studio practices at the potter's wheel aim to bring joy to others through her creations.

Various works at Candice’s home studio

Find Candice online at or on Instagram.

Artist: Jean McLaughlin

Jean McLaughlin at work on lithograph

Jean McLaughlin, having retired in 2018 after a distinguished 20-year tenure as the director of Penland School of Craft, transitioned to a studio practice, focusing on printmaking, and meaningful volunteer work in the arts. Now a member of the artist-run Mica Gallery in Bakersville, NC, she explores printmaking, monotypes, woodcuts, lithography, watercolor, and book arts. Jean serves on the boards of the Community Foundation of WNC and Wildacres Retreat, and is part of the planning effort for Handwork 2026, celebrating 250 years of craft excellence sponsored by Craft in America. Jean has been honored for her exceptional work in the arts, receiving North Carolina’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2017 and the James Renwick Alliance's Educator of the Year in 2016. Her distinguished career grew from an undergraduate degree in studio art and a master's degree in liberal studies, bringing passion and purpose to her career. Through her printmaking focus, she uses abstracting, layering, and patterning to express her observations and interpretations of the environment.

Jean McLaughlin, Watching for Iguanas, 2023, 9w x 12.5h inches, $150

You can connect with Jean online at her website or find her on Instagram.

Artist: Selene Plum

Close up of work in Selene Plum’s studio at Riverview Station in the River Arts District

Selene Sepsey Plum, a School of the Art Institute of Chicago graduate, previously centered her art in a century-old Wisconsin farmhouse, working in oil paint and wax as well as cultivating herbs. As the cooperative director of Chicago's Las Manos Gallery, she nurtured a diverse artist community. With two decades in set design and prop styling, she co-owns a renovated Chicago firehouse, now a multi-purpose venue including a film production sound stage and event space. Loving her relocation to Asheville and her studio in the Riverview Building, she now explores the Blue Ridge Mountains, capturing daily journals of sky and earth with wax and fire. Surrounded by vintage elements, her art, including the series "Woman's Work," reflects familial influences. Selene hopes her work fosters a connection to the earth and the eternal connection between ourselves and the past.

Close up of work in Selene Plum’s work in her studio at Riverview Station in the River Arts District

Find Selene online at her website or on Instagram.