JP Sullivan

“Art has always been a part of my life. I cannot remember a time that I was not drawing. My mother and father encouraged my interests. At age ten I was interested in photography so my father turned our garage into a darkroom. I was interested in woodworking and my father built a woodworking shop out back. That led to woodcarving which led to sculpture. Through high school and college I focused primarily on photorealistic pencil drawings and watercolor painting.” -JP


JP was born and grew up in Charleston, SC. He graduated from Harding University in 1989 with biology and chemistry majors. He moved back to Charleston, SC and opened a Cellular Phone Store. JP enrolled in the first Physician Assistant program at The Medical University of South Carolina in 1996. Upon graduation He moved to Asheville, NC and began working for Carolina Hand Surgery. In 2005, As a Physician Assistant in hand surgery, he met and performed surgery on the master artist Benjamin Long IV. In the fall of 2005 he enrolled in Ben’s school of fine art, “The Fine Arts League of the Carolinas,” and spent the next three years in their full time intensive classical drawing and painting program.

In September 2008 Maestro Long invited JP to be his apprentice. Benjamin Long IV was the apprentice of the Italian master Pietro Annigoni. This master-apprentice lineage can be traced back to a renaissance master. JP spent the next four years in maestro Long’s studio,  daily honing his skill as a draughtsman and painter in oils and fresco. In December of 2012 JP opened his own studio in the River Arts District in Asheville, NC. His focus is on portraits, still-life, landscape and narrative figure art.

“My goal is to create public art in sculpture, paintings, drawings and frescos after the tradition of the old masters.

I believe art happens when skill meets vision. Many people have vision with no talent to bring their vision into the world. Many people have incredible talent, with nothing to say with their art. When both talent and vision meet in visual form, it is moving. It is art.

The secret to life is that it is a shared experience. We are at our best in this life when we share what we have been blessed with. I have been blessed to learn a little about drawing and painting and I enjoy sharing that with students as an instructor at The Fine Arts League of the Carolinas.” -JP