Raised in a small southern town, Joyce Watkins King spent Saturday afternoons in Leggetts Department Store choosing patterns and fabrics with her seamstress mother, eventually learning to design and fashion her own creations by age 10. While studying design at NC State University on a full scholarship, she earned a minor in textiles in addition to her degree in Environmental Design/Visual Design. In her first career position she designed upholstery fabrics for high-end NC furniture makers.
In 2004, Joyce received a scholarship to study with Clarence Morgan at Penland School where she developed a passion for abstract work. Her mixed-media compositions have been featured in 18 one-person exhibitions and more than 100 regional and national group exhibitions. She has received four scholarships/grants and been featured in several arts publications including ArtSync, ArtSee and Walter.In 2011, Joyce reconnected with her childhood roots. With encouragement from artists Steven Lock, Alison Saar and Susan McClelland during an artist’s residency at the Vermont Studio Center, she began developing a new body of work—layering textiles over 2-D forms. She is exploring use of dimensional surfaces, encaustic, and lighting in her latest compositions. Joyce’s love of pattern and texture comes through in paintings that explore themes of community, isolation, the environment and more. These highly graphic, tactile pieces beckon to viewers to discover their own points of meaning and connection with the work.