Like many people, Rachel Pierce is in a much different place now than she was a year ago. Back then, she was juggling a burgeoning art career with her job as an anchor while parenting four young kids. Journalism and motherhood were the plan. Art was a fortuitous development.
Pierce moved to Fort Myers from Des Moines, Iowa, in 2014. Soon, she became a local celebrity as the morning news anchor for NBC2. In 2018, she agreed to paint a platter for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida benefit auction. Her bird of paradise flower impressed bidders, but Pierce kept mum about how serious she’d been about painting when she was in college. “I just kind of downplayed it,” she says.
The cat, however, was out of the bag. Inspired by her notoriety and skill, other nonprofits asked Pierce to donate paintings for auctions. “Pretty soon, every event I was emceeing, I was then donating a piece of artwork,” she says. People also started commissioning her work directly.
>> Read the full story in our April issue:
Photography by Erik Kellar