Visual Arts Faculty

Doug KnottsJ Doug Knotts
Professor of Art
Chair Department of Visual Art 
Area: Ceramics and Sculpture 
Office: (704) 406-3812 


Mr. Knotts’ experience includes ten years as owner of Glenlaurel Studio, Spruce Pine, NC as well as teaching for Charlotte Mecklenburg School System, University of North Carolina Charlotte, and Gaston College, Dallas, NC.


Mr. Knotts continues an active studio practice. He is currently represented by galleries in Seagrove, Blowing Rock, and Spruce Pine, NC. His work has been exhibited in many nationally juried exhibits where he has been awarded for both painting and ceramic pieces. His work is included in several international museum and university collections, including the Roger D. Corsaw Collection of Functional Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, NY.


MFA, East Carolina University
BS, Auburn University
BFA, Western Carolina University


Susan BellSusan Calisle Bell 
Professor of Art 
Area: Art Survey, Art Education, Painting 
Office: 704-406-4473 


Susan Carlisle Bell has served Gardner-Webb University as Professor of Art since 1985. Quick mathematical calculations reveal that in this time she has taught an estimated 3,000 students in art survey classes opening up the world of art appreciation to them. She has learned more then a few things about teaching in her years of service and, as judged by student evaluations, has been awarded teacher of the year in Fine Arts for three different years. Susan has also established a Christianity and Art course that remains a popular course for students in all disciplines across campus. Her lectures in art are informed by personal museum studies in over ten different countries and over sixty American art museums. Susan holds professional memberships in Christians in the Arts, Cleveland County Arts Council, and Southern Arts Society and additional national organizations.


Ms. Bell continues her activities as a painter. She is a specialist in watercolor and continues to hone her skills in summer watercolor workshops held around the world. She has used her skill in the medium to illustrate over five publications. She has exhibited in over one hundred group and solo exhibitions winning numerous awards for paintings of landscape and portraits. Her work in watercolor and pastels is included in many church, university, and corporate collections.


M.A. Art Education, University of South Carolina
M.A. Christian Education, Presbyterian School of Christian Education
B. A. Art History, Studio, Mary Baldwin College


Paula SpanglerPaula Spangler 
Assistant Professor of Art 
Gallery Director, Gardner Webb University 
Area: 2-Dimensional Design, Drawing 
Office: 704-406-4392 


Following graduation from East Tennessee State University with an MFA in Drawing, Spangler joined the Gardner-Webb University art program as assistant professor of painting in 2005. Spangler is also the gallery director for the visual art program.


Ms. Spangler’s newest work involves the use of fabric swatches in large complex painterly compositions. She uses the fabric, patterns, textures, and colors almost as applications of solid paint on canvas. The compositions are then sewn to the canvas background. In addition to annual faculty exhibits Spangler’s work is shown in local and regional exhibits. Spangler is a member of professional art education organizations including the Cleveland County Arts Council.


MFA, East Tennessee State University
BFA, The University of North Carolina Greensboro
B.S, Appalachian State University


Image Not AvailableBeth Knotts
Adjuct Professor of Art 
B.A., University of Illinois Springfield 
Studies in Lacoste Program, Cleveland Art Institute 
Painting and Printmaking, Art Institute of Chicago 
B.F.A., University of Illinois 
M.F.A., East Carolina University 


Beth Ann Senger-Knotts is adjunct professor of printmaking for Gardner-Webb University. Professor Knotts studied drawing, painting, and printmaking at the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Illinois Champaign, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and University of Illinois Springfield before earning an MFA in Painting from East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina. She has continued her studies with the Cleveland Art Institute in Lacoste, France and with the Thomas W. Rivers Foundation Pilot Program in Cologne, Germany.


Professor Knotts has developed courses in non-toxic photopolymer etching, and non-toxic serigraphy, techniques that she teaches at Gardner-Webb University. She also teaches advanced painting and art survey for the university. Professor Knotts’ latest series of paintings incorporates images developed from study of traditional quilt patterns. She serves as advisor to the program in art education and is an active member of professional organizations including the NCAEA, Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, NC.


MFA, East Carolina University
BA, University of Illinois Champaign Urbana


Nancy BottomsDr. Nancy Bottoms 
Associate Professor of Art History 
B.A., Emory University 
M.A., Gardner-Webb University 
Ph. D., Union Institute and University 


Dr. Nancy Rogers Bottoms is Assistant Professor of Art and LAP for Gardner-Webb University. As the art historian for the visual arts program Bottoms has developed new courses in African American Art and African Art History. With a PhD in Studies in Mythography she brings a fresh perspective to the study of art history of all periods and cultures. Mythography is the study of the origins of myth, and includes scholarship in literature, art, anthropology, sociobiology, philosophy, and religion as well as mythology.


Dr. Bottoms has been very active in assisting students with undergraduate research. Some of the topics are, "Andy Warhol as Trickster," "Technological Influences in the Work of Romare Bearden," and "Art and Creative Writing." She also actively pursues personal research and presentations. Presented papers include; "Evolutionary Psychology and the Origin of Myth," "The Environment as Trickster: Purgation and Invigoration, A Creative Non-Fiction Essay on Complexities of Maintaining Ecological Balance,” and "Technological Influences in the Work of Romare Bearden” presented jointly with BFA candidate Laura Gibson at the Sixteenth Conference on Science and Culture, Kentucky State University Institute for Liberal Studies. Research in Bottoms’ classes often includes hands on experience resulting in art installations informed by study of the period, style, or artists. Slides of student work accomplished in the African American Art History class are included below. Professor Bottoms is a member of many professional organizations. Among them are the Appalachian Studies Association, North Carolina Folklore Society, The Folklore Society, Mythopeoic Society, National Association of Developmental Educators. She is a member of The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and The Mint Museum, Charlotte, The Greenville County Museum of Art, and Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Ph.D., The Union Institute and University
MA, Gardner-Webb University
BA, Emory University