Debbie Harris, Co-Founder and Director of Art & Events, has called Asheville, NC her home since 2002. After graduating with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Appalachian State University, she began volunteering at an art-based day program for adults with disabilities. Realizing that this was her life’s purpose, Debbie soon went on to co-found Open Hearts Art Center in 2005. Debbie is inspired daily by the artists and the art that is created. “It’s honest and uninhibited,” which she says is something she tries to evoke in her own work. Her greatest joy is helping artists recognize their talents, gain self confidence, and know their invaluable contributions to society. She strives to break down barriers and encourage inclusiveness through exhibitions, events, and volunteer opportunities. When she is not at Open Hearts, Debbie spends her time developing her own art and being with her two sons, husband, and their dog. Together they enjoy camping in the woods, live music, and travel.