Emerson Christopher Carlton Holt was born and resides in Asheville, North Carolina. Raised in the mountains, his genuine personality and exposure to nature underly much of his artwork. An organic sensitivity as well as a modern feeling of simplicity energize his work, giving it an eastern quality while also embracing his education in the realm of classical realism.
A lifelong artist, he grew up drawing and painting with after school and high school teachers before finding his way to the art department at UNC-Chapel Hill where his attention was captured by the Native American Artist Kimowan Metchewais. Here he learned much about the creative process, and about the nature of telling stories through the work. After Chapel Hill, his travel lust took him throughout Central America and Mexico where he was exposed to ancient sites like Copan in Honduras and Chichenitza in Mexico. He also found his way to the fresco paintings of Diego Rivera.
Upon arriving back in Asheville, NC in 2003, his path crossed with the legendary artist Benjamin Franklin Long IV, who was founding a school in the mountains dedicated to the study of drawing and based on his experience studying in Florence after the Vietnam War. Christopher quickly became a devoted student, focused on improving his study and observation of life. Over time he became an integral part of the school as well as the fresco work of Maestro Long. After a decade of work with Long, the school, and its outreach programs he founded through the school, Holt moved along to his own studio work as the end of the school’s tenure came to a close.
Throughout this partnership, Holt’s inspiration in the landscape from the mountains to the sea grew. He found much time to work throughout the Charleston area, as well as the mountains of Western North Carolina. He also continued traveling and finding inspiration abroad while always returning to his native land to show his work, teach, and inspire.
His most recent travel has taken him to Cairo, Egypt where he spent 5 weeks painting in oil and watercolor and making drawings in ink on papyrus. Then, on to the Dominican Republic where he facilitated the painting of 2 murals in a small village where children of Haitian decent worked alongside Dominican children to complete pictures of peace and community in a country caught up in racial injustice.
60 Union Chapel Road
Weaverville, NC 28787