The artists’ place

People The Arts

July 31, 2023

Carolina Fine Art in Cotswold Village makes shopping for art easy and accessible, with an added attraction: You might just meet the artist whose work you admire.

by Sharon Smith | photographs by Caroline Boulware

For many, the shopping center at the corner of Randolph and Sharon Amity Roads is an all-in-one place to grab groceries or get a haircut. Now, you can also pick out a painting or piece of pottery to take home.  

Carolina Fine Art opened its doors less than two years ago with a business model unlike most galleries. It’s operated by local creatives whose artwork fills the space. The gallery relocated from Dilworth to Cotswold in November. The idea: Visitors get the chance to connect with artists and learn the backstory about what inspires their work and process. 

Amy Murphy Curlis and her husband, Shawn, stand outside Carolina Fine Art in Cotswold.

Shawn Curlis and Amy Murphy Curlis

Founder Amy Murphy Curlis says it’s a meaningful way to support local artists, both emerging and established. “Sure, you want a beautiful painting that is the perfect size for your wall … but we think you should also want to know the story behind the painting and meet the artist who created it,” she says.

Her inspiration to open the gallery came from anchor artist Terry Thirion, from whom Murphy Curlis bought her first original painting in Charlotte years ago. Her own travels also framed the decision. “When my husband and I travel, we always check out the local art galleries and love to meet the local artists in that community,” she says. On one trip, they met an artist-proprietor in a little gallery in San Antonio and walked away thinking Charlotte needed something similar. “We think Carolina Fine Art has a bit of that same character … but it’s definitely more Charlotte-style.”

Carolina Fine Art features about a dozen artists, from Manuela Strada, known for her abstract landscapes, to John Komisin, who paints familiar cityscapes. And they have a story to share.  SP

The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. It hosts monthly art shows and events, including a Sip & Shop on the first Friday of each month in partnership with The Butler’s Pantry. Learn more at

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