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Working in the studio is both a privilege and a challenge. It is my own space overflowing with the tools of an artist allowing me to think critically and creatively and act on inspiration.

At the age of 3, growing up in Iowa, I remember making drawings for my parents feeling they were special gifts to make and share. Later, when visiting museums during high school field trips, my eyes were opened to the enriched world of the arts, cultures, and history.  I then decided to study art in college. I graduated from Drake University, Des Moines, IA, with a Bachelor of Art Education degree concentrating in drawing and printmaking while also studying painting, ceramics, sculpture, and jewelry.  While working as an art museum education director, I pursued a Masters of Art Education degree at Kent State University. Due to extenuating life events, I completed all of my degree requirements with the exception of my thesis. It was at this time where my professional life expanded from museums more broadly to non-profit arts administration working with organizations at the state and national levels.

I moved in 1997 to Charlotte, NC to work in the cultural sector to lead a grants-making organization supporting arts education.  Serving alongside many business and political leaders influenced me to go back to graduate school. I earned a Masters of Business Administration degree in 1992 from Queens University of Charlotte through the McColl School of Business; it was a very rewarding period working with leadership across all sectors to enhance Charlotte's growth and identity.

One day, I took a call from a friend who asked me to think about joining the Department of Art at UNC Charlotte. It turned out to be a rewarding professional change. I taught a mix of undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of studio arts, art education and arts administration. Currently, I serve as the Associate Provost for Academic Budget and Personnel in the division of Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Education, the arts, and business administration continue to be the points of intersection in my professional life. I am able to tap my critical and creative thinking and visualization abilities to serve the business needs of our high-growth, aspirational campus.

At home I work in an art studio that is bathed in light from 3 walls of windows that open out to our richly wooded backyard. My husband, Tim McMahon, once a career-long art teacher, is now retired.  When at home together we paint and enjoy our children and grandchildren.  I enjoy a rewarding, inspired life.

Read Lori's artist statement


I was born in Waterloo, Iowa in 1954. I was educated at the University of Iowa and The University of Northern Iowa. I have over 30 graduate hours mostly in ceramics, however I have always considered myself a painter. I taught for 24.5 years in Iowa. I continually worked at painting, drawing, printmaking and ceramics, filled several portfolios, sold thousands of pots, but I did not exhibit. In December of 2001 my wife of 24 years died after a prolonged illness.

I was hired in 2002 to teach at Hopewell High School in Huntersville, NC. I remarried, to one of my former students, moved to Charlotte because of her and I have returned to the studio in earnest. Since January of 2003 I have painted, first with acrylics then with oils, the landscapes and figures that inspire me.

Tim McMahon talks about his work, inspiration and his response to the western landscape in this video portrait.

After 76 semesters (38 years) I retired from teaching Art in the public schools in two states. Although I enjoyed working with young people, almost 4 decades of public service is enough. I intend to spend my remaining days painting, writing, traveling, hiking and spending time with our children and grandchildren. 

Read Tim's artist statement