Josh Holt
Self-Taught/ Charcoal Artist

Charcoal is very forgiving and charcoal is not very forgiving. It is messy and chaotic but at the same time can bring order to an image. You can form it into neat and nice portraits that sit on paper, or you can create ever-changing, constantly moving and formless clouds that somehow float off paper. I enjoy using charcoal for all these reasons but my favorite is being able to see the array of light and dark that one can create with it. My most recent works will exhibit these qualities and hopefully show how light and dark can be represented in the form of clouds.

I was born and raised in Atlanta Georgia and from a very young age began drawing power rangers and cartoon characters. I drew all the way through high school then I stopped for a few years. I picked back up the second semester my freshman year at Wofford college. After becoming involved with different philanthropic initiatives on campus I began heavily drawing again, this time using charcoal and for a cause.

My work    
My first Gallery was during my senior year at Wofford College. I won a fellow scholarship the summer going into my senior year at Wofford to study under a charcoal artist, where I created about 16 pieces on paper and plywood. I wanted to tell a specific story with each peace centering around the issue of human trafficking. These pieces ranged from 3’x2’ (on paper) to 4’x8’ (on plywood). The show exhibiting the work was a huge success in that four to five pieces were purchased, including one that Wofford College President Nayef Samhat and First Lady Prema Samhat purchased (The piece is till this day hanging in their foyer). The experience was truly philanthropic as all sales were donated to an organization known around the word for ending human trafficking.

A Few years later, and after selling numerous commissions of animals, loved ones, newlyweds, and abstract charcoal drawings I had my first pop up show in New York City, the Tribeca area. This show included a few of my older originals and some newer work.

My newer work is a bit untypical in regard to what I have normally done in years past, but I believe it truly begins to expose my talent and technique for what it has become since beginning with charcoal. I am currently working on seven to nine cloud studies that will be in an up coming solo gallery back at my alma matter, Wofford College. These pieces started out as basic studies as I wanted to test the level of my technique by mastering (to a degree) the ever-exchanging forms of clouds and their striking spectrum of light and dark. The show will start this summer and will be held at Wofford’s new Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts and will interestingly be the center’s first alumni exhibit since opening. I am looking forward to completing each piece as they each will challenge my aptitude to capture or represent detail that can be enjoyed by the Spartanburg community.