Rebecca N. King graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature. While at Montreat, King studied ceramic art and painting with Jim Southerland in 1998 and then began an apprenticeship with Benjamin Long IV, the master fresco artist who completed the Prodigal Son in the Chapel of the Prodigal on Montreat’s campus. In 1999, while a student at Montreat, King traveled to the South of France to study landscape painting under Ben Long. Rebecca N. King began selling works of art in 2000, at a senior show at Montreat College, where over 75% of the works shown were placed with collectors. Long founded the Fine Arts League of the Carolinas in 2001 and King continued her apprenticeship there, became a teaching assistant, and eventually, became a member of the faculty, teaching, drawing and painting from 2005-2012. The value of King’s paintings have increased over the last decade by 55%, with over 180 works of art sold.
King continued for a number of years to return to the Uzes and Nimes area of the South of France for painting trips of four weeks or more. By 2003, King was taking solo trips to Europe to study in museums and produce paintings. In 2005 King traveled to Tuscany for the first time to produce original paintings for collectors in the United States. In 2006, King returned to Italy, visited London, the Snowdonia region in Northern Wales, and Cumbria, England’s Lake District. In 2007 King toured Scotland with her husband, and in 2008 painted in Ireland’s Southern and Western Coasts with her 3 month old son Ezra, and her mother Jeanine King. In 2006, King assisted on Ben Long’s fresco project at Crossnore school in the Linville, Boone area.
In January of 2013 King opened a studio in Black Mountain, where she continues to create original paintings, sell to collectors and teach students privately.
“While at Montreat College, I had the opportunity to study painting and literature, and even take business classes. This provided a unique environment for me to develop both technical drawing and oil painting skills, and skills in communication, and research. I was encouraged to exercise freedom, and to explore philosophy, art history, and art criticism. Small class sizes, relationships with professors, and a unique Appalachian setting allowed me to nurture an enduring artistic drive that has lasted through the life changes of marriage, starting a sole proprietorship, and now mothering. The business classes I took also gave me a starting point as I started my career as a self employed artist, considering issues of business ethics, the global economy, and fiscal responsibility, with an under-girding of a Christian worldview.“
King goes on to share, “it’s your life, so what do you want to study? What do you want to be? Who do you want to be while you work at your studies and begin to see your story unfold. There is something special about Montreat as a place of spiritual reflection, learning, personal growth, and the freedom of personal academic pursuit that acts as a buffer for students, professors, and staff in an age of cynicism, commercialism, and materialism. The cove is a haven for the mind hungry to grow. Your college years are a unique window of your life where you make choices that will affect the whole trajectory of your adult life into your twenties and thirties. Resist the temptation to waste the days, and instead, work hard planting seeds for your future.