About Celeste

From one South to Another…

Celeste Coutinho Potgieter was born in Pretoria, South Africa and spent her youth there. Growing up in a suburban center, she vacationed each summer in the South African farmlands, soaking in the rich culture, heritage and wildlife of rural African life. In 1997, she moved with her family to the United States, where she has resided ever since. 

Celeste began studying art in high school, which laid the foundation for a technical college education in art. She matriculated at Pretoria Technical College with a degree in graphic design. The broadness of the degree provided her with experience in pottery, sculpture, graphic design, and painting. Her focus was on painting and, early in her academic career, she garnered significant attention from media and collectors alike. 

Her final year in college, St. Charles Catholic Church in Bronkhortspruit commissioned her to complete the Twelve Stations of the Cross. The project introduced her to sculture and the palette knife – which would go on to become her preferred tool for creation. Other public works and private commissions followed. Once in the states, she began to receive commissions for her works, and she has practiced art ever since.

Celeste settled in Monroe, Louisiana, where she produced a number of public works for churches and community organizations. Later, after relocating to Nashville, Tennessee she turned her focus again to commissions and fine art. Most recently, she has divided her time between recollections of African life and mixed media pieces exploring the current American experience. 

She makes her home in Nashville with her husband, their children and grandchildren, and a small zoo’s worth of pets – including a house rabbit named Bansky.

Celeste on Art

“Art is my escape. It puts me in a different world.”

Over the years, the kinds of art I create has changed. I’ve always enjoyed strong pictures. They don’t have to be pretty, necessarily, but strong. While I’ve never been an abstract artist, my art frequently leads to distortion. And in that distortion, there is abstraction. But, at heart, I’m like the old masters.

I have to create life as it is, and then distort that. In that distortion, I find art, expression, and creation.


Having often questioned the nature of art and eventually coming across this statement, I am finally at ease. Nothing under the sun is truly original – just reworked – and in that lies it’s originality.

With this body of work, I am just having fun. I accept my hero’s statement and steal often from nature. My beloved subject matter, the elephant, is exploited in many pieces within this collection. Running the gamut between traditional and surreal, I combine experimental techniques with my typical style. Mediums such as oils, wire, wood, resin on canvases and organic banana plank fiber papers were my tools.

I hope that you, the onlooker, find some visual pleasure in this body of work.

Contact Celeste

To get in touch wtih Celeste or her management team, use the form below to drop us an emaill. Someone will respond to your inquiry promptly.
We look forward to hearing from you.