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The Artist


Rather than capturing beauty in nature, Artist Joyce Vukela-Mayer captures beauty through nature by creating abstract rusted steel art.  Joyce starts with a sheet of steel which is formed into a canvas shape.  She uses various chemicals, water, paints, and pigments, and allows the environmental forces of nature to direct the path of her paintings, many of which have themes from nature in addition to being formed through the natural process of oxidation.


Transferable skills from all of her prior experiences combined are in play in the art she is creating.  Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA she developed a love for the visual arts and for the sciences.  She was the Art Club President at school, and also took classes at the Carnegie Museum of Art.  She went on to receive a degree in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and worked for IBM, after which she became President of JVM Homes of Lake Norman.  According to Joyce, engineering which requires finding solutions to previously unsolved problems was instrumental in developing creativity; and homebuilding develops the ability to mesh both the aesthetic and practical; while chemistry is used when creating the rust on steel.


Joyce’s work has been exhibited in galleries in Mooresville, Cornelius, and Hickory, North Carolina, and Beaufort, South Carolina and has been collected throughout the US and internationally. You can currently find her work at Thibault Gallery, Beaufort, SC; Four Corners Gallery, Mooresville, NC, and at the Charles Mack Citizen Center Walking Art Tour Gallery, Mooresville, NC.

Joyce’s desire is that many people will be blessed through her artwork: through the beauty of the artwork itself; through the scripture references which have become the hallmark of her signature; and through the tithes to her church.  Her mantra is “When God tells you to paint, then you paint.”​

Joyce lives on the outskirts of Charlotte, NC on Lake Norman.  She and her husband enjoy boating, water sports, and relaxing on the lake with friends.

Photo of Joyce Vukela-Mayer, Abstract Artist

The Purpose

Work surface in Joyce Vukela-Mayer's Studio

I was told out of the blue from a total stranger who knew nothing about my story, that “If God tells you to paint, then you paint!”  So, I painted…first on wood, then on canvas, and also on the computer.  I found my style changing from attempting to capture beauty in nature, to beauty through nature.  And then, I found it – art that is formed by the One through whom everything came into existence. 

My contemporary rusted steel paintings typically have a nature theme, but the real beauty comes from the effects caused by the reactions between the ingredients used, and the steel which serves as a canvas. Water, various chemicals, and acrylic paints are used to start a rusting process. Most paintings spend time outside in the elements, before the rust is inhibited and the piece sealed. The result is textured and touchable art.​

My desire is for: viewers and owners of my art to be blessed in ways beyond imagination; the scripture verse that is hallmark of my signature to be a blessing to those who take the time to look it up; tithes from my art to honor God; my faith to grow as I trust Him with a journey that is not fully within my control; and mostly, for His purposes to be fulfilled.

The Passion


God’s fingerprints are written over my life’s journey, my continuing journey as an artist, and in the art itself.  Feel free to read all about that in my Blog.  As a result, my hope is for all to be blessed as I have been blessed. Therefore, my first priority is supporting organizations teach the grace and truth of Jesus.  Currently Pursuit Church located in Denver, NC is the main recipient and can be found by clicking this button.


I also believe in giving back to the community in additional ways:  

"The American Heart Association and 62nd Annual Greater Charlotte Heart Ball was honored to feature a donated work of art in the auction by artist Joyce Vukela-Mayer titled “Tranquility”.  The artwork was admired by the over 1,000+ attendees the night of the event and on the Heart Ball’s virtual auction site.  It garnered a very generous donation for the AHA’s mission (To be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives) helping the Heart Ball campaign reach a fundraising milestone of over $2 million net."


Susan Fisher, Director or Development - Heart Ball

American Heart Association

I am a current sponsor of Soaring Eagles Baseball Academy. You can check them out here:

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