Kalin Devone

Kalin Devone
Professional Visual Artist

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art with a concentration in painting, UNC Charlotte (2015)

Hometown: Wilmington, NC

Kalin Devone is a working artist in Charlotte, who has been involved in the creation of various murals across the city, along with commissioned orders for paintings. In early 2020, Devone was a part of the experimental residency program, ‘Untitled,’ by BLK MRKT CLT and Brand the Moth. The program highlighted local artists who work in traditional studio mediums to create work in a public space, such as the Black Lives Matter Mural on South Tryon, as well as giving artists of color a voice on social issues. Kalin created three large-scale self-portraits that were later displayed in the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. 

“Devone creates vibrant, large-scale oil paintings that focus on the human body,” wrote Viriginia Brown in a recent article in The Charlotte Observer. “Her portraits — typically of pop stars and celebrities including LeBron James, Rihanna and Will Smith as The Fresh Prince — examine how social media shapes identity.”

Kalin Devone with her portraits

Kalin credits her painting studies at UNC Charlotte for her technical skill development as a painter.

“The faculty I was able to work with during my time there [UNC Charlotte] put a lot of emphasis on proportions, color theory, and composition,”  she says. “I often go back to the notes that I took in figure painting and figure drawing classes as a reference.” 

Her professors proved to be an incredible resource, offering her constant feedback and encouragement that has helped her work to this day.  

“The art program at UNC Charlotte helped me develop a thicker skin when it came to taking feedback,” Kalin says. “My professors constantly challenged me and pushed me to be intentional not only with my concepts but with my mark making. I will always be thankful for that, as I see all of the lessons they taught me in my current work.” 

Her experience during her 2015 BFA show and her senior seminar class stands out the most to Kalin. For her it was a period of introspection. 

“I think that it was a time in my journey as an artist that really challenged me. To learn how artists work and operate outside of the comfort of an institution was eye opening. At this time, it allowed me to think deeper into myself, to take trips to working artist studios in the area, and to display what for years of nonstop painting development produced. I can say it was a whirlwind of every emotion you can imagine.” 

Devone recieved her first major grant in early 2022. She was the recipient of a $10,000 ASC Emerging Creators Fellowship and used the funds to develop a new body of work examining self-perspective through portraiture. She also showcased the works in a gallery show in January 2023. You can read all about her self-discovery journey here. 

She was also chosen to be apart of the debut of Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball’s new clothing and shoe releases. Kalin is one of four artists selected to create pieces inspired by The PUMA x LaFrancé collection, which will be show in a one day only exhibition. Read more about this project in this QCityMetro article.

Kalin offers valuable advice to current art students: “Take advantage of the community and connections that are at your disposal. The critiques with your peers and professors are invaluable. Once you graduate, unless you continue to higher education, or enter the work of residencies, you will find that the feedback and encouragement you once received may not always be consistently available at the level you need it. Creating and nourishing connections made amongst other artists is very important.”

See more of Kalin’s work at her website.

Kalin Devone with a painting on a hand