Skip Rhodes

After serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy for over 22 years, Skip Rhodes returned to school and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with a concentration in painting, from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He graduated in 2003 and opened his studio in Asheville's River Arts District. His work quickly began winning recognition in solo, juried, and curated exhibitions across the eastern half of the country. In addition to producing his own artwork, he was the courtroom artist for WLOS-TV and taught in his studio and in UNC Asheville’s College for Seniors. He also served as the first President of the River District Artists for three years, establishing the foundation for what is now Asheville’s premier organization of professional artists.

Skip’s “Meditation on War” series of paintings, about the lasting effects of conflict, led to a deployment as a civilian program and project manager with the State Department and Army Corps of Engineers in Baghdad, Iraq, for 18 months. While in-country, he continued to draw and paint. His experiences resulted in a series of paintings depicting his journey both physically and mentally after his return home.

In 2011, Skip deployed again, this time as a civilian governance advisor with the State Department in Afghanistan. He served for a year in Kandahar Province, one of the most volatile areas in the country, and one that had been the heartland of the Taliban insurgent movement.

Skip regularly attended meetings with government officials, district elders, international aid organizations, and local villagers, and would often sketch the participants. Approximately 50 of these drawings are currently being exhibited as the “Faces of Afghanistan”. Currently, Skip has re-established a studio in the Asheville area. He continues to make new artwork while mentoring high school students and running a small consulting business.