ArtFields 2022 Portrait Contest Winners


1st Place: Emma Hartman

Emma Hartman (b.1992) is a visual artist and painting professor working in Greenville, SC. She received her undergraduate degree in Studio Art from Bob Jones University and pursued an MFA in painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, GA, graduating with honors in 2018.

Hartman’s work explores her own faith journey, acting in legacy of the Western world’s inheritance of religious art. Realized on canvas and wood panel, her current body of work features acrylic and oil images synthesizing contemporary palettes and brushwork with Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque motifs. Her pieces have been widely exhibited, including the Palazzo Velli Expo in Rome, San Diego’s False Cast Gallery, and Povos Chicago, as well as several online exhibitions like Young Space’s juried show Where We Once Were Someone and I Like Your Work’s Drowned Neon Rose.

When she’s not in her studio, Hartman teaches various painting and drawing courses at Bob Jones University and periodically curates for Ground Level Gallery at Leaf Institute in Greenville, SC.


2nd Place: Paul Walters

Paul Walters is a Detroit-based artist, currently teaching visual arts in Greenville, SC. Having been academically trained with a BFA in Studio Art, Paul focuses primarily on figurative painting in oils and acrylic as well as digital portraiture in the original Microsoft Paint program. His love of art came to him in his mid-20’s when he was asked to draw on the white board by his second grade students. Ever since then, Paul searched endlessly for newer inspiration for his white board drawings, leading him to a love of art history and a passion for art itself.


3rd Place: Chris Bilton

Chris draws, paints, and sculpts. He also designs and builds musical instruments, plays and composes music on many of them, teaches sometimes, and inspires others always. He grew up in a small southern town, and then moved to be an artist in New York City for a time, where he received his M.F.A. from The Graduate School of Figurative Art of The New York Academy of Art. He returned home to the place, family ties and culture of the south again, revisiting the setting of his many stories from youth with a new perspective. He now lives and creates art in the small rural town of Eutawville, SC, where he has a great yard and multiple studio work spaces for his many artistic endeavors.

He exemplifies the Renaissance spirit, living a philosophy that interweaves all arts and life. He works using the most traditional of fine art materials, creating art with great technical mastery infused with a modern sensibility; while he also uses technology to create contemporary animations on the computer, combining the newest methods with those of pre-digital animation. The focus of his art is on humanistic issues, often featuring the human figure as subject, with most of the figures drawn from his imagination. His current work is varied, and ever evolving. Chris Bilton’s art has been exhibited in New York, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, and France. He paints portraits and takes commissions between his many other projects.