Jason Abide has been learning and making pottery since about 2002. His first experience with pottery was at Delta State University, in Cleveland, Mississippi. He learned an appreciation for well made pottery through a fascination with the process for making it, particularly the potter’s wheel. He finds the transformations that clay undergoes, and the different possibilities for creation and alteration in each phase to be fascinating and inspiring. He endeavors to share his enthusiasm for this medium and this craft through the pottery he makes and the classes he teaches for children and adults. His pottery is called Really Pretty Cardinals and can be found at www.reallyprettycardinals.com.
Amy Keenan Amago has been teaching art to children of all ages across three different states for the past twelve years. She absolutely loves working with young artists and finds the mutual sharing of ideas, techniques, styles and perspectives a thrilling experience. Amy creates her own artwork (when not making art with her two little boys!) and primarily works in painting, drawing and mixed-media collage. She belongs to an art collective called Tertulia 8. Amy currently teaches art to local children in her studio in Chapel Hill. She studied art at University of California, San Diego, and got her Masters in Art Education at SUNY Buffalo. Her favorite color is green.
Jennifer Austin has been working in stained glass since 1995. She began her journey in glass at the former Stained Glass Art Design in Durham, NC. She furthered her studies in glass design and leaded construction through the Durham Arts Council. Hundreds of students have attended her classes and workshops since she began her teaching career in 2000. In addition to teaching publicly and privately at her studio, ‘The Kaleidoscope’ in Mebane, NC, she has also taught through The Alamance County Arts Council, Central Carolina Community College and has been an instructor for The ArtSchool since 2001.
Anya Avrutskaya, a resident of Durham, has studied pottery since 1998 with a focus on functional forms in stoneware and porcelain. Anya started her studies at The ArtsCenter’s wheelthrowing classes, and pottery quickly became a favorite hobby and a passion. She is a frequent participant in local shows and fairs. Anya had been teaching pottery at Art Center for the past seven years and is excited to share her love for pottery and the inspirational process of clay forms creation.
Richard Badu has been teaching classes and workshops in the various forms of swing dancing—Lindyhop, East and West coast swing, Blues, St. Louis shag and Cajun jitterbug—in the Triangle since 1989. He is a founder of the Triangle Swing Dance Society and teaches Lindy in the dance program at Duke University. He attended the Berklee College of Music. Richard also co-founded the award-winning music group Big Zucchini Washboard Bandits, learning Cajun dancing during the band’s annual tours to the Bayou. Richard studied lindyhop with Frankie Manning (May 26, 1914 – April 27, 2009). He co-founded Swing Steppin’ and Swing Feats, two performance groups for schools and special events. Since 1993, Richard has been teaching workshops and dancing in Europe, Mexico and Canada, as well as around the US.
Dilip Barman is a teacher of courses ranging from film studies to computer science, cooking, and photography; and a senior software engineer. Dilip is an award-winning photographer who has been shooting images in black and white, color, and slides since elementary school, and digitally, starting with a first generation digital camera since the mid-1990s. He has a photographic portfolio at photos.dilip.info, photographs events and families, and has had his photography published in books and magazines, and exhibited in museums and arboretums. He is the owner of Vibrant Memories Photography. You can visit Dilip on the web at his homepage that he has maintained since 1994, www.dilip.info.
Anoo Brod is an award-winning actress who has been performing improv professionally since the late nineties, with Transactors Improv Company, the longest running improv company in the Southeast. Additionally, she has performed in 14 U.S. states, 2 countries (U.S. and Scotland), and taught improv workshops and corporate trainings throughout the United States. She loves helping people learn to play and be fully themselves using Wild Mind Improv, her powerful technique for catalyzing connection, confidence, and heart-opening. She believes anyone can learn to live with more joy and invites all who are curious to take that challenge by signing up for one of her classes or workshops!
Rebecca (Becky) Clewell is first and foremost a scientist, with a sense of curiosity that extends well past her day job. As a potter, she’s amazed (still) that it is possible to take a handful of clay and create a beautiful, useful and enduring piece of art. During her time at UNC, Becky found working with clay to be a much needed departure from the routine of graduate school. Yet, over time, it became clear to her that science and art are not quite as different as they may seem—the process of creating is in itself an experiment. Becky has had the pleasure of working at The ArtsCenter for several years and learning under the instruction of very talented potters, and she welcomes the opportunity to share what she’s learned with others who want to experiment with their own artistic tendencies.
Richard Cloudt has worked as an editorial and comic strip cartoonist and done freelance cartoon illustration work for 25 years–everything from book covers to full-length comic books. He is best known, however, as a professional caricaturist. Beginning in 1986 at Carrowinds theme park in Charlotte, he has drawn live at countless venues and events all over the state and caricatured over 20,000 live subjects. In 1992, he began teaching cartooning at Sertoma Arts Center in Raleigh and in 1999 at The ArtsCenter. In the fall of 2002, he was selected to serve as Artist in Residence at Guy B. Phillips Middle School for a special project arranged by the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission. In 2009, he was selected by the Carrboro Merchant’s Association to create the Town’s first “Walk Carrboro” cartoon map to promote local businesses.
Linda Collura has been teaching art to elementary and middle school children for the past nine years. When not teaching, she continues to be inspired by nature to paint, draw, and create three dimensional clay work. She graduated from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University with a Fine Art degree and a masters degree in art education from East Carolina University.
Molly Cronenwett is an artist, photographer, teacher and mother who lives in Hillsborough. After growing up in Michigan and New Hampshire, she moved to NC in 1997 to earn an MA in Art History from UNC-Chapel Hill and a second BA in Art Education from NCCU. Since migrating south, Molly has taught art and art history to all ages—from preschoolers to adults—at a charter school, at her own community art school in Hillsborough, and through private lessons and camps at her home. She specializes in ceramics, drawing, and painting. As a studio teacher, Molly believes a focus on art history offers students a deeper understanding of art, as well as a catalog of successful imagery and ideas. She wants her students to realize that they are part of an enormous global community of artists—past and present—from whom they can gain inspiration.
Virginia Queen Danford has a BFA in Acting from West Virginia U. and an MFA in Acting from The School of Arts at Penn State. She exercises a broad range with her craft and has a lifetime of performance experience. She relocated to the Triangle from New York City where she’d been working for eight years as a professional actor, teacher, choreographer and director. She also co-founded NYC’s Broad Horizons Theatre Company and currently serves on the Board of Directors. In addition to teaching drama and movement programs, she is involved in addressing social issues to inspire change through theatre and film. In 2002, she was hired by FEMA to work as a crisis counselor through creative arts to deal with feelings of loss following the tragedy of 9/11. In 2003, she wrote and directed Freedom and the American Revolution, a series of one-act plays that also included songs and dances. She has currently worked with The ArtsCenter, Playmaker’s Repertory Theatre, UNC-CH’s Dept. of Education, Raleigh Little Theatre and The Durham Arts Council, among others.
Adam Dodds is a local photographer who hails from northern Mississippi. He studied at Memphis College of Art and has been producing work both personal and commercial for the better part of a decade. His photographs have been exhibited locally and featured in several publications statewide, and beyond. Film is central to his aesthetic, so he wishes to preserve the principles of the medium yet instill the notion that photography is as much about spontaneity and imagination as it is knowing what you are doing. This carries over into the darkroom where creativity is only just beginning.
Christopher Donald received his BFA in Ceramics from the Center for Creative Studies in Michigan and has been a ceramic artist for 20 years. He was the head of the Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum of Pottery which produced reproductions of Early American ceramics. He has worked as a production artist making both wheelthrown and handbuilt ceramics and most recently taught ceramics at Boston University. A sample of his ceramic work can be seen at: http://www.chrisdonald.net/ceramics/index.html.
Katie Frohbose is a visual artist and photographer from Durham, NC. She studied studio art and art history at UNC Chapel Hill and graduated with honors in 2010 with a BFA concentrating in photography. She is currently a freelance artist and teacher by day and a waitress by night and continues to show her work throughout Chapel Hill and Durham. As a photographer,Katie has developed a keen eye for color, minimalist composition, and the vernacular aesthetic that she translates into various mediums, particularly mixed media collage and drawing. Katie values the importance of art exposure at a young age as a way to open a child’s mind to alternative forms of thought and expression that can lead to a more acute, sensitive, and dynamic vision of the world as an adult.
Heather Gerni has been creating and enthralled with art for as long as she can remember. Today she follows her passion for creativity by teaching workshops and by painting in her studio in Hillsborough. Much of her inspiration and her connection with intuitive painting has come from studying under artists such as Anahata Katkin, Flora Bowley, Juliette Crane, and Jane Filer.
Ray Greenfield worked as an Assistant Director on features, MOWs, and episodics in New York and Los Angeles. Some of his credits include Shoot The Moon; Fame; Fort Apache, The Bronx; Baby Its You; Tempest and The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. His screenplay, You Don’t Know About Me, is currently in development. He is a graduate of Brooklyn College (B.A. in English); the University of Iowa (M.A. in Film); and the Directors Guild Of America (East) Training Program.
Brianna Gribben is an artist born and raised among the pine trees and sandhills of NC. She earned her BFA in Sculpture and Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She creates as a way to understand herself as well as a means to connect with others. She uses a variety of techniques including: knitting, crochet, sewing, drawing, collage, and writing. Her interests include southern culture, strong-willed women, natural medicine, history, identity, healing, and zines. When she is not making art or writing she is most likely reading, cooking, or taking a walk in the woods.
Janet Harriman, currently residing in Smyrna, NC, has been making jewelry and winning awards for over 40 years. She has been teaching workshops for 20 years. Educated at the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA, and Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA, Janet has published numerous articles on metalsmithing, art, jewelry making and metal clay and won many awards for her designs in metal and BronzClay. Janet exhibits her work at galleries and exhibitions throughout North Carolina. She has been working with PMC and BRONZclay for nine years, and developing state-of-the-art techniques for using these materials. Janet was invited to the National PMC Conference in 2008 and 2010 at Purdue Univ. to demonstrate her methods, and an article she wrote about one of her discoveries was published in Glass on Metal magazine. Her jewelry is included in three PMC Annual Exceptional Work in Metal Clay books and Contemporary Metal Clay Rings by Hattie Sanderson. A member of the Carteret County Arts and Crafts Coalition, Piedmont Craftsmen, Inc., Carolina Designer Craftsmen, The Enamelist Society, North Carolina Society of Goldsmiths, and the PMC Guild, Janet is a certified PMC Instructor.
Jeremy Hawkins is a graduate of the MFA Program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he was the recipient of the Morton Fellowship. His debut novel, The Last Days of Video, will be published by Soft Skull Press/Counterpoint in 2015. His fiction has appeared at Molotov Cocktail, Squawk Back, 100 Word Story, and other venues. He is also founder of The Distillery (distilleryediting.com), a consortium of editors, writers, and artistic ne’er-do-wells who provide proofreading and copyediting services for creative projects. Jeremy currently lives and writes in Chapel Hill, NC.
Elizabeth Holroyd began as a print journalist and became an information delivery specialist during the course of her writing career. She now helps individuals and small businesses with software training as well as produces a wide range of text- and image-based materials, including patent drawings and Web sites. She’s taught a variety of computer classes at The ArtsCenter since 2006 and at Durham Tech since 2010. She also teaches ESOL classes for the Orange County Literacy Council.
Chrissy Jahnes finds great joy in making fun and unusual Art Jewelry and loves infusing that passion into her students. Her interest in jewelry making began with a metals class in Connecticut in the 80’s. She rekindled that interest with classes at The ArtsCenter with Fran Schultzberg in 2003. She has continued learning from some of the most talented jewelers in the area and nationally known jewelers through many classes at The ArtsCenter and other classes and workshops sponsored by the North Carolina Society of Goldsmiths, Pullen Arts Center in Raleigh and Warg Enamel and Tool Center in Scarborough, Maine. Chrissy is a member of the Chatham Artists Guild and the North Carolina Society of Goldsmiths. She has lived in Chatham County for 21 years.
Juliet Kaplan is an actor with the Transactors Improv Company, the longest running improv company in the south. She is passionate about improvised theatre, and the underlying philosophy and its application to so many aspects of life fascinate her. In addition to acting, she is also a music composer, and holds a Master of Music in composition from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She is also the Director of Operations for the Walden School’s Young Musician Program, a prestigious summer music camp and festival in New Hampshire, where she works with 9 – 18 year old musicians.
Although her formal training is as a scientist, Megan Kratz has been working with clay for most of her life. Her current work focusses on functional wheelthrown forms, but she also enjoys returning to the handbuilding techniques of her early days with clay. She recently left her scientific career to pursue pottery full time, and is looking forward to teaching and inspiring a new generation of artists.
Richard Krawiec won the Excellence in Teaching Award from UNC Chapel Hill’s Friday Center for his Fiction Writing courses, and was just featured at the UNC Wilmington Summer Writing workshop teaching Creative Non-Fiction. His Poetry Workshops consistently sell out statewide. He has published 3 books of poetry, two novels, a story collection, 4 plays, and his Sunday Facebook essay blog is one of the most widely in social media.
Brian Kuebler received his Bachelor of Art degree in Studio Art, with an emphasis in painting from the College of Charleston. In 2005 he earned his MFA in Painting from New York Academy of Art. He was awarded a scholarship award from the faculty and received The Vasari Classic Oil Colors Award. He has shown in several galleries in and around New York City, receiving painting and sculpture commissions for private collectors. During his travels abroad, Brian has studied art in Venice, Rome, Paris and Amsterdam, among other European cities. His studio practice is informed by historic methods, and he explores this technical narrative in a largely representational oeuvre. He enjoys sharing his own research and studio methods with students while allowing them to discover their unique creative visions. Brian lives nearby in Hillsborough with his wife and two sons.
Stacye Leanza is a professional muralist & illustrator, with a BFA from Parsons School of Design in NYC. Her cartoons for kids have been published locally and her editorial illustrations nationally. Her murals are scattered around the Triangle; she has the distinction of having painted the largest mural in Chatham County. She has taught drawing and art to grown-ups and kids, privately and in classes and workshops in both instructional and therapeutic settings. Her focus in the drawing class is on learning how to see, by accessing the creative, perceptive Right Brain. The immediate result is the ability to draw more realistically. Visit her Facebook page at “Leanza-art, etc.,” or her website: www.leanza-art.com.
Ryan Levin, also known as Sup Doodle, is a producer/educator living in Durham, North Carolina. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ryan first began making beats in a UNC class in 2012. Mentored by eight-time beat battle champion Apple Juice Kid and artist/educator Pierce Freelon of Durham-based hip-hop fusion band The Beast, Ryan has helped produce several projects from UNC’s courses on beatmaking and MCing. His collaborations with Apple Juice Kid have been used by internationally known artists Azealia Banks and Wale, and his work has also been featured on projects by local MCs Professor Toon and The Real Laww.
Libby Lynn is a full-time working artist from Denver, CO. She was certified in Encaustic Painting at Penland School of Crafts in 2008. She teaches art and encaustic workshops in North Carolina. Her goal as an instructor is to provide the most affordable means for learning and artmaking.
Barbara McFadyen has been a professional jeweler and enamelist for over 35 years. She has exhibited through the national crafts arena over the last 15 years producing one-of-a-kind and limited-edition jewelry. Participation in numerous juried and invitational exhibits include shows sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, American Craft Enterprises, The Enamelist Society, Piedmont Craftsmen Guild, Carolina Designer Craftsmen and NC Museum of History. Originally, Barbara studied cloisonne in NYC, and then pursued graduate level studies in limoges, basse-taille and champlevé enamel. She recently retired from the The ArtsCenter’s Board of Directors.
Joy Meyer is an abstract artist living and working in North Carolina. She is currently a second-year graduate student pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Previously, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art and Art History, from the University of Virginia. Graduating with Distinction and Phi Beta Kappa in 2011. While attending University of Virginia Joy participated in an Advanced Watercolor Workshop with artist Jossette Urso, where her love of water medium began. Meyer has exhibited work at The Garage, The Bridge PAI, WTVF/Radio IQ Gallery, New City Arts, Art Works Gallery, The IX Building, Ruffin Gallery, and at Los Angeles Center for Digital Art. Her work has appeared in The Virginia Literary Review, 3.7, Summmer, and in Mildred Pierce zine. Recently her work was published on a book cover for Routledge Press,“Philosophy and Psychiatry: Problems, Intersections and New Perspectives.” Link to book is here: bit.ly/2ckMJx8. Her studio practice is also informed and enriched by her daily morning writing and her obsession with music. She is currently a Teaching Fellow at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and also teaches watercolor painting at The Arts Center, Carrboro, NC. www.joy-meyer-art.com
Erin Oliver is an artist, educator, and nature lover living in Durham, NC, but originally hails from the Northeast. She holds an Art Education degree from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and in 2012 she attended a Graduate Summer Residency Program in Berlin through Transart Institute. Erin diligently works on her painting and installation projects exploring the ephemeral nature of reality, while also teaching art at several arts organizations including the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Recently Erin received a full fellowship to attend Vermont Studio Center this October, and she looks forward to the new surprises art continues to bring to her life.
Nina Otterness graduated in 2012 from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Studio Art and a concentration in ceramics. She currently lives in Chapel Hill, where she is a middle school counselor at the YMCA. During the summer, she works at a wilderness camp in Western North Carolina, where she enjoys teaching middle and high schoolers to appreciate and feel comfortable in nature. She spends most of her remaining time at UNC’s ceramics studio, where she is a research collaborator with Professor Nam. She is currently working on combining her love of the natural world with her ceramic design and decoration.
Maria Piskor is a classically trained director/ designer/ techie and enjoys being involved with Lincoln Center Education and NCMA Big Picture for innovative professional development workshops. She developed a street theatre in Manhattan that held a subscription audience. In a bold move she married and settled in Princeton where she co-taught Elementary students Science/Creative Writing, and High School students- Theatre. A theatre ensemble of middle schoolers emerged who endeavored productions of poetry reading, monologues and workshopped writing creatively. Fast forward to NC…as a teaching artist for CAPS working with middle schoolers she uses innovative methods of collaborating art/ theatre/improv with common core curriculum standards to ignite passionate learners. She has worked with Carrboro Park and Rec and The ArtsCenter continuing to tap her broad theatre experience to bring out of the box thinking to young creators, and as an executive director for StoriesWork she has won a national grant promoting her innovative work in multiple domains to keep youth and seniors alike exchanging authentically using story. Maria has been distinguished with a National Kramer Merit Scholarship for her concepts on how dialogues with static images might begin- she remains an esteemed docent for the UNC Ackland Art Museum.
Luna Lee Ray received her BFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon in 1988, in printmaking. She has lived and shown her work in Oregon, Hawaii, Arizona and New Mexico before relocating here in 1998. She now focuses on mixed media drawings and paintings, and shows her work locally at Frank in Chapel Hill.
Jayne Redman, a Maine native, earned her B.F.A. in Jewelry and Silversmithing from the Maine College of Art in 1977. She began her jewelry career in New York as a design and production assistant in the fashion jewelry industry. She started her own company, Jayne Redman Jewelry, in 1982. Jayne is the recipient of numerous awards including the Niche Award for Silver Jewelry and Lapidary Journal’s Jewelry Arts Award and has been a finalist in the Saul Bell Awards. Jayne has been featured in articles for Crafts Report, AJM/MJSA Journal, Lapidary Journal, Professional Jeweler, Niche, and Ornament magazines. Examples of her work illustrate the books Art Jewelry Today by Donna Z. Meilach, Making Metal Beads by Pauline Warg, 500 Earrings by Lark Books and 20th Century Jewelry – The Best of the 500 Series by Lark Books. She was a contributor to the book Profiting by Design by Marlene Richey. Jayne is a former faculty member of the Maine College of Art Department of Jewelry and Metals. She teaches workshops nationally and at Riverview Workshops at Jayne Redman Studio in southern Maine. She is represented by fine jewelry and craft stores across the country.
Beatrice Ruggeri relocated two years ago from Rome, Italy and has been in the area only a short time. She has worked with children and teenagers for nine years, teaching art and creative workshops in public and private schools and independently. Her last job in Miami, where she lived for two years before moving to the Triangle, was teaching art in a private academy to children 6 to 18 years old. Her experience in both Italy and Miami has strengthened her ability to communicate with children, compare the different cultures, and create teaching methods that work well with different audiences and cultural backgrounds. Beatrice truly believes that art and creativity are the basis on which to build a balanced and healthy personality in every individual. She also believes that children can improve their learning when they are able to directly experience the topic at hand. Because of this, her programs and workshops are created through a mixture of art, fun, structure, and instruction. In her program at The ArtsCenter, Beatrice will share with her students aspects of her native Italian culture, including art, history, and tradition.
Melissa Rygalski is an artist-designer-writer-educator who enjoys experimenting with many creative hats while spinning a whole lot of respective plates. A Philadelphia native, she holds a BFA from Tyler School of Art, graduating from their intense and comprehensive design program in 2004, with honors. Before committing to the design program, fine art and art history were serious contenders for her attention, including but not limited to: lithography, film-making, and photography. She has worked as an independent graphic designer, partnering with non-profit organizations and education publications, and currently works in the Education Department at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in addition to being a gallery teacher at the North Carolina Museum of Art. These days, when she isn’t in a museum, she is usually seen peering through some kind of camera or other, and probably scrawling illegible notes and sketches in a dog-eared notebook.
David Schaeffer has a BFA in Sculpture from Florida International University, an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Cincinnati and an MFA in Glass from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Currently, he is working as an Adjunct Instructor of Digital Art at Elon College, in addition to teaching glass blowing. He has exhibited regionally and nationally, including several solo shows. His work is included in both private and museum collections.
Jesse Seim grew up in Chapel Hill and first started working with clay at East Chapel Hill High School. He attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia where he studied under Virginia Scotchie. His time in undergrad was spent mostly making functional pottery focusing on exploring various glazing and firing techniques. Jesse has shown work in several venues around Columbia before graduating with his BFA in 2015. Jesse is currently The ArtsCenter’s Ceramics Studio Coordinator.
Sarah Shapero has been exploring fiber arts for over ten years. She is an accomplished knitter with additional focus on botanical embroidery, hand spinning, and felt making. Sarah is a proponent of learning and appreciating old timey craft skills and exploring the relationship between art and the natural world. She resides in Efland NC with a small herd of playful fiber goats. Sarah is excited about sharing skills and creating art with youth, and has been teaching at The ArtsCenter since 2011.
Jerry Sipp has enjoyed a varied 25 plus year career in theatre. He served as Producing Artistic Director for Temple Theatre in Sanford, The Playhouse Theatre in Rocky Mount, and Granville Little Theatre in Oxford. He co-founded TRIO Productions, an educational theatre with an 18 year touring history of mounting original works for audiences of all ages. Jerry has extensive experience teaching young people through Rocky Mount’s Playhouse Summer Playshop and Sanford’s Kidstuf programs, as well as teaching workshops for Blowing Rock Stage Company, Nashville Children’s Theatre, the NC Visiting Artist Program, and the Nebraska Theatre Caravan. Jerry has directed nearly 100 productions and has seen 9 of his original plays produced. Jerry, a member of Actor’s Equity Association, has performed in over 100 plays.
Donna Stubbs is a mixed media artist specializing in paintings that include layers of collage, drawing, sewing and her own photographs. She has an art degree from Guilford College, an interior design degree from the Corcoran College of Art & Design, and recently studied at the Art League in Alexandria VA. She has a studio in her home and sells her work locally. Donna enjoys teaching art to young children and sharing her love of mixed media with adults. She grew up in Mt. Airy, NC and has recently moved to Chapel Hill, NC, where she lives with her husband and daughter.
Billy Sugarfix is a songwriter, teacher and all around entertainer who has been performing music for over two decades as a solo artist and with numerous bands. Additionally, he runs a successful songwriting business, Custom Serenade, which has landed him work writing everything from commercial jingles to personalized gift songs. Under the name “Bill McCormick” he has worked as a full time elementary school teacher, and currently has devised a songwriting curriculum that has been shared with students in numerous settings. Billy has taught at The ArtsCenter since 2006.
River Takada-Capel was born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in Carrboro, NC. River went to Haywood Community College for Professional Crafts in Textile Fibers located in Western North Carolina. Here she learned the many processes of textile design like weaving, screen printing, and hand dyeing with natural dyes, and she continued to excel in her life long passion for sewing. River is the designer and creator behind RIVTAK (www.rivtak.com) a clothing, jewelry, and home goods line made completely of up-cycled materials, vintage and factory remnants. River practices an Eco.Eco business model: ecological and economical. River enjoys sharing techniques on how to upcycle found materials to kids and adults alike.
Rio Aubry Taylor is a multidisciplinary cartoonist specializing in abstracted narrative. Xe possesses an MFA from the Center for Cartoon Studies and has been called “the trippiest of the CCS cartoonists” by comics critic Rob Clough. Xir work has been published by the Swedish Comics Association and The National Cartoonists Society, among others. Xir latest project, JETTY, is an ongoing work of brutal psychedelia set one billion minutes in the future: jettycomics.com.
Allison Tierney is an artist living and working in Chapel Hill, NC. She received her BFA from Winthrop University and her MFA from UNC Chapel Hill where she won the Top Prize for Outstanding MFA Work. Tierney’s paintings employ found materials and non-traditional applications of paint to question structure, material integrity, consumerism, and the throw away culture.
Marlene True is a Metalsmith, and with the eye of a magpie, an obsessive collector of colorful tin cans and other ephemera. Marlene earned her MFA at East Carolina University and her BFA at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She maintains her studio and is the Executive Director for Pocosin Arts in Columbia, NC. She has taught workshops and lectured at colleges, universities and art schools including Pocosin Arts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Penland School of Crafts, and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Her work is in many publications and various collections throughout the US, most recently the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and The Racine Museum of Art in Racine Wisconsin. Marlene is a member of The Society of North American Goldsmiths.
Jose Velasquez has been dancing since a very young age, but didn’t actually take a dance class until his freshman year in high school. He learned exceptionally fast in his classes which motivated him to further improve his foundation and technique. He started seeking out different workshops and competitions, where he had the privilege to learn from many well know dancers, choreographers, and instructors. He now uses the techniques he learned and picked up along the way to instruct and help others who would like to develop their technique in all aspects of HIP-HOP!
Erika Vinson began learning and performing hip-hop with Pamoja Dance Company at The University of Georgia. She continued her training with Culture Shock Chicago NFP, through which she met and began touring with a recording artist. She has performed in several music videos, international festivals, and on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC). She has been a dance and dance fitness instructor since 2012 (for kids since 2014). Erika has been an EC Behavioral TA in Chapel Hill since 2013, has a Masters in Art Therapy, loves everything 90s, and enjoys playing on the swings on a sunny day.
Susan Walser decided to try her hand at designing her own jewelry in 1999 under the guidance of Fran Schultzberg and has continued honing her skills through workshops and classes at The ArtsCenter, Pullen Arts Center, NCSG, and FSG. Susan works in silver, copper and PMC. She is a Friend of the North Carolina Society of Goldsmiths and the Florida Society of Goldsmiths. Susan received her PMC Certification in 2007.
James Ward was drawn to clay in order to make pots for his many Bonsai trees. Since taking his first wheelthrowing classes some five years ago, he has been intensely studying pottery techniques and is currently an instructor at The ArtsCenter. Along with taking care of his many trees, James enjoys reclaiming clay scraps and trying to fashion them into functional forms. He throws daily on an old kick wheel that he has in his shed next to his home on the north side of Chapel Hill where he hopes to one day create the perfectly imperfect tea bowl
Emily Eve Weinstein obtained a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University after spending several art-foundation years in Paris and England. She eventuallysettled in the Triangle in 1982. In Durham, she began two businesses, Pet & People Portraiture and Murals-by-Many. Discovered by a publisher, her moon-painting series with accompanying diary was turned into Moon Book. Next came Cat Book, then Dog Book. Her Saving Magic Places, heavily illustrated with portraits and landscapes of the Piedmont area, lays out a dramatic environmental tale of which she was a part. Currently Weinstein is working on a 25-Year Handmade Book Project, has joined Womancraft, and takes part in the Orange County Open Studio Tour. Her paintings often have a plein-air component featuring the cats she is fostering at the time. Weinstein has worked in visiting artist programs in New York, Nevada, Oregon, and North Carolina. She has shown widely and her work is in many collections.
Susie Wilde Susie Wilde has reviewed children’s books for thirty years. Currently, she writes a monthly column for Raleigh’s News and Observer and the Charlotte Observer and a bi-monthly column for the Chapel Hill Herald. She posts all her reviews on ignitingwriting/facebook. Her published works include a picture book, Extraordinary Chester, and a book for teachers, Write-A-Thon! How to Conduct a Writing Marathon and most recently she’s co-written a book about writing children’s books, Passage & Its Making. Wilde is a teaching artist who has spent the last fifteen years encouraging children and adults to think and write like writers. To learn more about Wilde, visit her website: ignitingwriting.com.
Anita Woodley is an award-winning actress, journalist, producer and health advocate. She is a teaching artist in drama, improvisation and literary arts with the Durham Arts Council and vocalist for N4HC Frree Jazz band. She volunteers with her non-profit Grocersonwheels.com providing access to healthy foods in Food Deserts. Anita created the critically-acclaimed solo theatrical performances – Bucking The Medical and Mental Bull, Mama Juggs and The Men in Me, providing transformational, non-traditional dramas about health disparities. Ms. Woodley’s journalism career includes work for CNN News and NPR affiliate station WUNC-FM’s “The Story with Dick Gordon.” Learn more about Anita’s innovative creative work at AnitaWoodley.com.