Sampada Kodagali Agarwal enjoys teaching and learning art forms from modern to traditional and folk-art styles from India. She is a Certified Zentangle® Teacher (CZT) since 2012 as well, and loves to blend her varied art experiences. Sampada finds great joy in creativity and thrives on constantly learning and evolving as an artist. She loves to think out of the box to push boundaries and explore varied mediums. She also enjoys collaborative works of art that help bridge cultures and celebrate the commonality among humankind, while bringing out the best in everyone.
Paris Alexander works in a variety of materials from clay and bronze to stone. With stone, he is primarily a direct carver, meaning that any planning he does for a carving is minimal, typically not much more than a thumbnail sketch. Even that simple drawing can quickly fade from the design as he begins carving. The material and a fresh idea can swing the work into the unexpected. Different stone also can influence a carving. Swirls of color in a marble can call for layers of polishing and chisel marks, and limestone can call for the use of a variety of textures. It’s about filing and rasping away his chisel marks and then using abrasive bits of emery paper, running water, and time.
Nico Amortegui is a full time artist based in Charlotte, NC. He grew up in Bogotá, Colombia among a family filled with creative types - from architects and carpenters to designers and visual artists. Nico learned numerous skills and trades by doing and has a tremendous appreciation for generational, artisan craft. His body of work is influenced by the genre of folk art and his love for symmetry and bold color. His technical background as an artist is founded in construction and building. He enjoys working with a variety of media especially with sculpture pieces where he can incorporate found objects, plants, tile, or clay. Much of Nico's work can be considered raw because he creates at an urgent pace - it is an energy or idea that takes over him. Thematically, he is interested in painting change makers, disruptors, and heroine figures. As a Latino immigrant, he also uses his art to highlight the plight of minority populations and to amplify the voices of the underrepresented in this country.
Persistence in difficult times is the art that Jim Arendt is most interested in. He continues to be inspired by the ways in which people make do for themselves. Whether it was a trip to the scrapyard or the back of the pantry, there was usually a way to work around material deficits. Jim uses the shared memories and skills that those around him do out of a need for function, beauty, or survival to honor them, mixing memory and materials to create something of value from nothing.
CHAPEL HILL, NC
Theresa Arico is currently a production mosaic artist of large-scale mosaic mural installations and outdoor garden/public sculptures. She has been teaching project-focused mosaic classes for students to become familiar with this art-form of antiquity. She often creates pieces as altars or portals that combine aspects of the seen and unseen realms together as a means of tribute and homage. Additionally, she uses mirrors or mirrored outlines in her work, which gives viewers the opportunity to see a part of themselves reflected in the assembled mosaic. In this way, the work is not stagnant but ever changing and enlivened. Recently, she has also been creating her own hand-stamped tiles and ceramic mosaic critters which are incorporated into larger works. She is currently on the board of the Orange County Artists Guild and shows her work in galleries and shows throughout North Carolina.
Angel Boer creates metal sculpture by bending, cutting, welding, grinding, polishing and painting metals to form shapes which are experienced by the viewer as soft, smooth, round and curved. These techniques are important to her work in order to evoke a sense that the steel is lithe, the angular is soft, and that flat is curved. The inspiration for Angel's work comes from her first and most beloved teachers…the people of Appalachia. Growing up there has given her an incredible appreciation for our ability to create something meaningful out of very little, to enhance the beauty of something worn, and to express oneself culturally and artistically using materials on hand. Angel's work comes from a desire to honor that grit, resourcefulness and creativity all while telling her own story.
Jessica Bradsher is a visual artist specializing in metal sculpture and painting who is living and working in Greenville, NC. She creates with themes ranging from whimsical to contemplative in her outdoor sculptural pieces. Her work has led her to recently install public sculptures in Iowa, Florida, Missouri, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Virginia, and cities across North Carolina. Jessica earned her MFA in 2018 at East Carolina University and currently teaches visual arts at John Paul II Catholic High school in Greenville. She believes it is important to be an example to her students of a productive, working, successful artist to show the next generation the possibilities found within the arts.
The installation work of Jane Cheek is an intentional exploration of joy and a deliberate act of choosing happiness. Drawing inspiration from cherished memories of experiences in nature and with loved ones, she creates large-scale installations that magnify moments of happiness, aiming to sustain joy in my own life. Through her work, she delves into the fragility of joy, the significance of gratitude, the importance of memorializing moments, and the ever-changing nature of happiness. The colorful and kinetic work plays with the reflective and refractive properties of light while casting colorful shadows beyond the physical boundaries of the installation. Using simple shapes, contours, and familiar imagery, Jane creates artwork that amplifies joy in a hyperbolic format. She hopes that her work will inspire a sense of wonder and delight in the viewer and serve as a reminder to cherish and savor the happy moments in life.
TJ Christiansen enjoys the process of creating sculptures that capture the true beauty of the wild animals that make up planet earth. These animals depend on clean water and plentiful food sources for their survival. Some of these animals are so mystical and some of them are close to becoming endangered or even extinct. The relationship between man and nature is a growing concern for the future of all wildlife. TJ chooses animals from all over the world and try to create a life size sculpture that shows their true beauty. Without their natural habitats, these living creatures would not survive. Over the years he has created several types of artwork, but his true passion is creating life size animal sculptures and sharing them with the world. Even if a particular piece he creates only raises the awareness of one person, that is one more person who knows about the plight of our global environmental changes, whether caused by man or Mother Nature.
Britt Clark was born and raised in Conway, South Carolina. Always interested in the arts, she received a dual degree Bachelor of the Arts in Art Studio and Art History from Coastal Carolina University in 2020. Her inspiration comes from her southern heritage and how it conflicts with her own ideals and understanding of the world. Her work uses metal fabrication and casting to search for permanence and reconciliation within the past, ancestry, and tradition. Clark is currently lead production fabricator at Cricket Forge in Durham, NC and co-owner and operator of FeNix Iron Casting LLC.
The goal of Joe Coates as a sculptor is to engage and involve the community visually and intellectually by telling a story and adding something new to our visual vocabulary. Using his engineering proficiency and technical skills, Joe tries to make real the artistic ideas he has imagined using scale, space, light, color, strength, and balance in new ways.
Nyssa Collins makes art that, like herself, is often quite chipper and a little subversive. She creates art hoping that a surprising interaction with a street performance or piece of public art can restore the brilliance and immediacy of life for a passerby, even just for a moment. Most often her art reaches a conclusion of joy, but not in ignorance of the inequities in our society, or the pain and absurdity of being. Instead, through mirthful imagery and mythic themes, it gently asks us to remember why anything matters at all. Nyssa's work frequently lives at the intersection of art and science. She feels a paradoxical solace and unmooring when considering the proportions of our universe and existence. She is elated in science museums, and feel a kinship with scientists, who believe that creative inquiry into the natural world can inspire advocacy and deepen our fervor. The charismatic megafauna she depicts in my public art is intended to elicit a curiosity about creatures too small, slippery, or far away to see. Animals typically regarded with fear or indifference are instead reemployed as friendly ambassadors into the biosphere.
The journey of Sydnee Yates navigating her mental illnesses and traumatic experiences are the largest influence for her art. Painting allows her to take the broken pieces and rearrange them into something she can actually find her own reflection in. Painting, also, gifts her the space to move trauma through her body onto the canvas. She collages with sentimental items, which hold physical space for the emotional weight these objects carry. Her work is “organized chaos.” It aims to balance masculine vs. feminine properties, playful vs. heavy energies, and broken vs. connected lines. Everyone falls apart at some point. She believes, if you’re going to fall apart, then go ahead. Come beautifully undone. Then, take the pieces and turn them into something, well...pretty.
Jesse Barnes is a local artist with a background in 3D animation (for live broadcast sports) alongside a career as a graphic artist and UI designer/developer who creates live, “real time”, projected visuals in the service of local music. He experiments with a wide range of digital and traditional mediums for the sake of art. For 20 years, he has performed as a “VJ” (video jockey) for local and touring musical acts. Jesse has had a long standing relationship with the music scene and its promotion in the Triangle NC area. In addition to visuals, he has created many creative promotional designs for shows and concerts in the area.
Cricket Forge is a sculpture fabrication company currently comprised of six artists. We are a design/build business, not only for our own work, but sometimes work for other artists. Our specialty also happens to be robust, large-scale, interactive butterflies, which are as imposing as they are beautiful.
Contributing Artists: Aaron Earley, James Dudley, Brittany Clark, Alex Livingstone, Ella Snow
As a sculptor, Pat Ray Day explores the many ways in which the necessity of metal, particularly steel, can infuse my creations with aspects of space, movement, and whimsy. Through his process, Pat strives to create works that capture the essence of mark-making as if he is drawing in steel. The industrially standardized origins of steel still remain visible in the finished work. His sculptures are not exact replicas of figures, but rather abstract expressions that reveal a part of the human experience, such as the joy of movement and freedom that comes from letting oneself go and immersing oneself in music.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR
Andy Denton creates sculptures using fabricated metal and figurative ceramic or cast metal. The ceramic figures are typically supported by metal pedestals, which work together to form a cohesive sculpture. Through his work, Andy explores the duality of spirituality and agnosticism, and the opposing relationships between magic and skepticism in contemporary life. His ceramic and metal sculptures are inspired by his personal experience with religion, and the power of art to change our perception of reality. Andy loves working with metal for its versatility, strength, and beauty, and ceramics for its unpredictability, warmth, and rawness. Some of his work references historical figurative statuary, while in others, monstrous beings emerge from clouds. Clouds symbolize both humanity’s connection to the planet and are often used in religious art to symbolize heaven or accompany deities.
Leroi DeRubertis draws with wire, twisting miles of wire into abstract faces, shapes, and figures. Leroi assembles large immersive installations and is currently exploring untraditional spaces where people can happen upon art.
As a sculptor, Yelitza Diaz uses the image of the universal man to convey the idea of being in connection with the spiritual and in harmony with its environment. For this reason, she eliminates distractions, such as the face and genitals (for that reason only) and allow the body to express itself, presenting a simple image but with a lot of movement on minimalist spaces. Yelitza's main purpose is to transmit to the viewer the sensation of peace, balance, and connection with the universe, even in proposals that criticize the System in which she usually make them stronger. Because she was born in Venezuela, South America (1973), she had to live the transition from a country extremely rich and abundant in resources of all kinds, to one that was extremely finished because of the "Narco-Communist Tyranny" of Chavez and Maduro. This marked her deeply. Her work reflects that search for peace and emotional balance that we all seek in life.
DIBKORMA creates installations that explore the interplay between light, space, and technology. Their work seeks to challenge the limitations of the digital world and create spaces that encourage a deeper connection to the Here Now. Through the use of translucent acrylics and the combination of analog and digital signals, DIBKORMA's installations transmit visual information in the form of colors and figures. By manipulating light, they transform spaces and create immersive environments that invite viewers to engage with their surroundings. Their work reflects their belief in the power of art to inspire wonder and foster a sense of connection to the world around us. They strive to create installations that encourage viewers to slow down, pay attention, and engage with their environment in a more meaningful way.
Eryn Donnalley's art is the story of struggle and triumph—yours, mine, and ours. It’s meant to be a conversation, an invitation, an evocation for the human spirit. Her job is to feel the entirety of life and not be afraid—or be afraid and do it anyway—then to create from the depth of that place with unboundaried imagination. She takes a deep dive into anxiety, depression, and complex-ptsd in her creations, while finding refuge in the creative process itself. Eryn works with wood and backlit mosaics, symbolizing the inner light within us all that shines through our brokenness to form new, beautiful possibilities. She aims to bridge the everyday with the sacred in creative works related to transformation for the individual and the collective. We cannot expect to make true progress with societal, humanitarian, climate or cultural change if we do not first change ourselves. All the great sages, philosophers and theologians expressed this sentiment. Eryn is a lifelong creator, author, designer and artist with a master's degree in Consciousness Studies, Spirituality & Transpersonal Psychology.
ORANGE COUNTY, NC
Davis Erikson is an Orange County, NC artist who seeks to inspire others to fill their days with the things that bring them happiness and fulfillment. His lifelong dedication to the arts has enabled him to paint over 30 murals around the country; San Diego, Dallas, Chicago, St. Paul, Kansas City, Miami, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and several towns across North Carolina.
“It’s not a gift. It’s practice. I learn something every time I paint. I can still see improvements with every painting. I still have unattained goals and get new ideas while painting all the time! Anyone can do anything with desire and persistence.”
Aaron Earley was born in 1986 and raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He studied painting/drawing, sculpture, and art history at East Carolina University, graduating in 2010 with a BFA. His work exists in short, series-based runs that yield slightly overlapping themes, material use, and methods of production. Since 2015, Aaron has been applying his skills toward a sculpture fabrication company called Cricket Forge in Durham, NC. In 2018, Aaron and two others purchased the company, with the intent of continuing to build careers that would allow for daily creative exercise, collaboration with others, and to provide unique opportunities to create larger, more complex commissioned and personal works.
The work of Kevin Eichner evolves from the stiff, rigid, industrial I-beam, an icon of the 20th century, typically used in the construction of vast bridges and towering skyscrapers. As a sculptor, he seeks to reveal the truth of the materials and to discover ways to stretch and manipulate that truth bringing forth its potential in new ways. Kevin have discovered the breath within the beams, how the rigidness unfolds, the beams gesturing towards the sky, blossoming, intertwining and celebrating both human nature and Mother Nature within the individual beams.
"FORMS NATURE MIGHT CREATE IF ONLY HEAT AND STEEL WERE AVAILABLE TO HER.” - Richard Hunt.
CHAPEL HILL, NC
For Britt Flood, painting is an extension of the parts of herself she cannot, or don't know how, to verbalize. She is interested in providing work that evokes compassion, connection, and wonder. She aims to visualize heightened moments of awareness and realization, capturing one's essence rather than physicality, and the simultaneous moments of darkness and sweetness we all experience. Her goal is to give inactivated spaces poetry and ephemerality. Most of Britt's work aims to cast a love spell within the viewer. She feels an urgency to bring moments of unexpected expression to every day spaces, to bring visual poetry to all, and to activate over looked spaces in with large scale painting and mark making. She loves public art, especially large scale painting, because of its immersive nature and the immediate act of interaction it promotes. She is interested in transforming unique spaces within our communities because of the large potential to positively impact someone's day, to make them feel big feelings, to remind them that they are not alone. Painting is drawing is poetry is dancing is remembering is dreaming is doubting is hoping is connecting is powerful.
As a mosaic artist, Carlos Gonzalez specializes in creating unique and beautiful pieces that combine functionality and art. His passion lies in exploring the endless possibilities offered by this medium, using different materials and colors to create a cohesive whole. Carlos is thrilled to participate in the Uproar Festival as an artist, where he plans to showcase his artwork and draw in visitors with his unique and eye-catching mosaic pieces.
CHAPEL HILL, NC
Jaclyn Gilstrap is the Co-Director of A Visual Approach, an arts-based business that collaborates with nonprofits, educational institutions, and businesses to draw out ideas and make them shine. Whether painting abstract works on canvas, designing installations, creating large murals, or live-illustrating conversations, Jaclyn aims to tell stories in a creative way that honors beauty and place. Her work is an invitation, an effort to bridge people, places, and cultures across differences.
Sheila Adams Hart is an artist and psychologist, creating sculpture and paintings that honor her own truths as they have evolved over time. She is particularly invested in the concept of the unique value of each person. Sheila respects the diversity of every person’s lived experience and potential growth. Every piece she creates represents a provocative combination of psychological insight and creative vision. Her work is contemporary, intimate, and can challenge our existing paradigms, to transcend the familiar and expand our capability of perception.
CHAPEL HILL, NC
David Hinkle - Wood Carver. Design/Build. Craftsman. Artisan.
David's practice for the past 20 years has revolved around creating beautiful and functional outside spaces, structures and environments, while collaborating with some of the best designers, artisans, builders, and plant professionals in the area. He has always been a craftsman. As a kid, he would build forts in the woods behind his house and carve small animals out of wood, creating worlds with his hands and his imagination. He also have a love of sketching, drawing, and coloring. It is something he has always done. Later in High School, in Western Pennsylvania, David was introduced and trained in the art and discipline of drafting and mechanical drawing. Many, many hours were spent at a drafting table honing the skills needed to draw complex and communicative drawings. His training as a Landscape Architect started after college when he worked on his master’s degree at North Carolina State School of Design.
Ann Brownlee Hobgood creates figurative assemblages from found objects with a particular interest in using materials from historic sites. She formerly lived in a restored 1880 cotton mill village called Glencoe, near Burlington, NC. It was a treasure trove of industrial waste and castoffs from history! She has collected barrels and boxes full of scrap metal, wood, ceramic, paper, glass, and plastic from the ground, from under old houses, from the river, and from deserted mill buildings. Now her friends and neighbors contribute toward cleaning up the environment by donating their discards to her in piles on her studio front porch, and she gathers oddments from metal recyclers, junk car yards, thrift shops, flea markets, and roadside discard piles. Many of Ann's works are focused on “save-the-earth” or “celebrating earth” themes and often include globes or maps. Ideas often spring from song lyrics or titles or from the various found objects themselves. Using wood, metal, plastic, glass shards, and LOTS of screws, bolts, Apoxy Sculpt, and industrial glue, she mainly designs human and animal figures but also creates some larger pieces as outdoor garden sculptures.
Tripp Jarvis is a sculptor that has schizoaffective order. His art is a continual search for stability, peace, and wholeness. He feels that behind all the brokenness and suffering that we experience in life lies an indestructible foundation of wholeness. The great gift for humanity is that we have the freedom to respond to these voids of strife in any manner we wish. We can view it as some type of bottomless abyss- that in the end swallows us whole for all eternity, or we can see it as a constructive and affirming force that enables us to emerge out of said abyss into to an ever transforming widening realm of peace; where art is a crucial element to the path of our healing as individuals and as a society. This can never be taken away from us.
Claire Kiester is a fiber artist, printmaker, and educator from Chapel Hill, NC. She completed her BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2021 and now resides in Charlotte, NC. Claire uses printmaking and crochet techniques to reveal embedded personal memories hidden in everyday objects. Her work champions accessibility, often featuring recycled materials. She works to educate and inspire young artists within the discipline of printmaking. Kiester currently works as a teaching artist at Studio 345, an after school program for at-risk youth, and an artist in the greater Charlotte community.
Elizabeth Laul Healey loves to work with bright colors and shiny objects - literally and metaphorically speaking, involving topics that often have a darker subtext. This is true whether she am making a painting, a photo compilation, or a sculpture. Women’s issues are front and center of a majority of my art including women’s empowerment, but equality for all and the environment are topics that occur in her art as well. The goal of her art is to awaken subconscious minds and to ignite conversation.
Nerys Levy was born in Wales and is deeply rooted in her native county’s culture, which has influenced her painting. Working on site, she portrays the forms and forces of Earth’s nature and has worked all over the world including in the Norwegian Arctic and Antarctica. Her Polar experiences have resulted in her deep long-term commitment to educating the community about climate change and her work was shown at UNC’s Global Education Center in the exhibition “Ice Counterpoint” and also at four North American museums in the traveling exhibition “Vanishing Ice.” The Arctic/Antarctic section of her website is being promoted as a valuable educational resource for elementary school children by Disney Penguins (Disney’s educational platform), the UK’s Times Educational supplement’s website, and the UK Schools Inspectorate. Nerys also teaches art at FRANK Gallery in Carrboro, where she chairs that Gallery’s outreach endeavors. She has shown nationally and internationally, and her work is in many private collections.
The work of Ash Lorusso explores abstraction as a representation of personal identity. Investigating the psychology of day-to-day life, finding balance between who we are, and how we present ourselves to the world. Self-identity and self-perception are abstract ideas, informed by our communities, environment and experiences. Her paintings start with intuition, what colors to use (influenced by emotional state), how much to paint and where (trying to achieve balance in composition). She tries to rely on her senses rather than thoughts; a gut instinct. From there, she begins to separate elements. Some are left in their original state, and others are defined more rigidly, imbued with expectation. Her paintings are intentionally open-ended, as we all are, waiting for input from the viewer, and from their surroundings.
CHAPEL HILL, NC
Ryan Lutz is a long-time skateboarder who is passionate about giving used skateboard decks a second life through his work. He is the owner of Dusted Woodworking, which is a multi-faceted woodworking studio that specializes in the use of recycled skateboards. Much of his work is inspired by skateboarding, especially in the materials that he uses. Broken, battered, used skateboards that are destined for the dump are transformed into colorful wooden creations to go on and live a second life. The unique medium of recycled skateboards allows for each piece to be just as distinct as the next. Similar to skateboarding, his work is meant to be appreciated by all walks of life and seeks to find the beauty in the imperfection.
Beau Lyday was born in Athens, Georgia in 1955. He has been sculpting in metal and wood since 2009. His major influences are Gothic and mid-eastern architecture, Celtic symbols, and sacred geometry. After forty years in the furniture business, he left to pursue his art. Beau believes that being an artist is something that one is born to and compelled to do. He utilizes practical experience, learning through trial and error, trying new techniques. The study of ancient places, sacred geometry and symbols have become his mentors in guiding his work. His recent large works create a sense of place. Being sculptural and structural, a person can stand inside a piece or sit down and become involved with it, embracing the peace within the shelter of the sculpture. Beau currently lives and works in Valdese, NC with his artist wife Brenda Lyday.
Paper, its embedded in our lives: we package, store, transport, consume and discard it. We assume it is always accessible; until it is not. Paper’s characteristics are integral in the work of Tina Marcus; it emphasizes how vulnerable humanity can be. Pulp People are life-sized sculptural figures formed from cardboard paper. Her work focuses on subjects that affect the human spirit and soul calling attention to unpredictable uncertainties life poses narrating experiences people encounter. The cardboard paper material used is ordinary and mundane; it is something we use every day, take for granted, and discard without thinking; however, these paper figures presence stress how vulnerable we can be to unexpected circumstances and how fragile life is. Pulp figures are not to dehumanize; rather they are open vessels exposing their souls and life; emphasizing the burdens they carry. Imperfections within each story reveal there is beauty within us and even within the frailties of life.
As a multi-media artist, Buffy Maske loves the idea that the materials will guide her process. It’s only human nature to want to define our relationship to the world: to explore our sense of nostalgia, or a curiosity of the origin of an object. We create totems, talismans, and tokens to hold onto and to remind us of people or ideas that have come before us. Whether she is working in painting, photography, jewelry or sculpture, she aims to honor and explore the history of these materials and create a new context. She likes to think of it as an unintended collaboration with nature and history.
Doug McAbee was taught the power of laughter and humor by his father and he seeks to channel that power into his creative work. Knowing that art has the power to change how people think, he has chosen to communicate positive and hopeful messages to his audience through his work. Often using imaginative creatures as stand-ins for the characters in his narratives, Doug's work focuses on the challenges that face all humans regardless of race, gender, or class. These issues are communicated through narratives and while the problems and dualities are acknowledged, there is always a sense of hope that we will overcome these challenges with kindness and community. The drawings on wood, steel sculptures, and murals he is currently producing are approachable by viewers of all ages. As viewers engage with the works of art they will connect with the absurdity, the liveliness, and the humor in the work. Whether for a few seconds or perhaps longer, his hope is that connection will create change.
The sculptures of Harry McDaniel have spanned a diverse range of materials, style, technique, and content. He is continually drawn to new challenges and opportunities to experiment. The impetus of many of his sculpture designs involves a combination of geometric forms and life forms (plant or animal). There is a slightly uneasy fit between the two which can be surprising, and exciting. The sense of order within geometric forms contrasts with the malleability and transience of living forms. As a sculpture develops, there is a moment in the process when the design begins to transcend the materials. A sense of flexibility, movement, or softness inhabits an assembly of metal or wood. Something in the graceful curves, or the proportions and relationships between parts, suggests the presence of a living force. As Harry works the rigid material, one part of his brain is enticed by the illusion created in another part of his brain. He loves these moments. This is when he knows the sculpture is beginning to work.
Lindsay Mercer makes homes of empathy, both fragile and resilient. Found fabric is patched together and becomes tent walls that frame broken glass and greased paper windows. Currently resting in the mountains of western North Carolina, they are in the continual process of learning what it means to be a country queer in the world today.
CHAPEL HILL, NC
The inspiration for Susan Moffatt, like so many artists, comes from nature and science. All around we can find so many exquisite forms that are part of nature’s rhythm. These may be a seed pod about to spring open, the geometric structure of cactus plants, the sine waves formed by rippling water, or the recesses of a flower calyx revealing the mysteries of pollination. Quite often these forms that strike her eye are short-lived, lasting only an instant or a week. She feels compelled to try to capture these lyrical moments, to freeze them in time. Her medium of choice for almost 20 years was white marble, and she worked to convey the essence of the forms in stone, usually much larger than life. Recently, she has branched out into aluminum and perforated stainless steel, enjoying the lightness and expansiveness that those materials afford. Rather than attempt an exact representation, she strives for abstraction to focus on the purity of the forms. Susan's work is classical in that she is using the time-honored materials of stone and metal to attempt to create beauty. Her work is contemporary in that she values simplicity and minimalism. Overall, the work is a reminder of the impermanence of beauty and of the value of slowing down to pay attention to nature’s complexity.
TJ Mundy is a Black, trans non-binary queer artist originally from Virginia and moved to NC over five years ago to start a new chapter in life. They are firmly anti-disciplinarian. In their practice, they use vibrant colors, weighted lines, and intuitive movements to express themself. When you see their art, you are seeing their internal processing. TJ also loves making digital art and is passionate about youth arts access, societal issues affecting minorities and using their art to show how it feels to exist. They want their art to extend to others what they didn’t know was possible in their youth.
Shady Kimzey is a queer, non-binary artist based in Efland, NC. Their work often depicts themes of intuition, symbolism, society, and the natural world. They enjoy thinking about pop culture and the future. Shady often incorporates new ways of making art in their practice. They use an intuitive process to begin their work and rarely have an idea of the end product when they start. They draw from still life and portraiture, as well as internet art and everyday life, to create symbolic images to depict their message. For them, making art is a healing practice that contributes to their mental health.
CHAPEL HILL, NC
The abstractions of Chieko Murasugi are informed by her decade-long scientific research in visual perception, as well as her Japanese family history. Having grown up with parents who narrowly survived the fire bombings of Tokyo during WWII, she has developed a fascination for the role of chance in life and how it can be conveyed in abstract compositions. Currently, she incorporates random features into structured geometric patterns by using a computer program to “roll the dice.” By relying on principles of visual perception, she aims to create works that exhibit a dynamic interplay between intentional and chance elements.
After a long career in early childhood education,
Barbara VanDewoestine began to design and sew banners for her family and community. Varying in scale, and placed indoors or outdoors, she creates bold, brightly colored banners to celebrate religious holidays, important family occasions, and earth’s flora and fauna. Since 2021, she has collaborated with Chieko Murasugi to sew works based on her abstract designs. These textile-based abstractions share her love of blending color, pattern, and rich fabrics to create structures that are pleasing to the senses.
Aldo Muzzarelli is an artist born in Venezuela in 1963. He graduated in Arts from the Central University of Venezuela, and he worked as an illustrator at the Inter-American Language Center (CIDI-Caracas) and was an animator in several films produced by the Film Department of the Universidad de Los Andes. In 2010, Aldo created several monumental works for the Cathedral of San Pedro in Caracas and opened his own gallery in Tinaquillo (Venezuela). Aldo Muzzarelli has participated in individual and collective exhibitions in Venezuela, the United States, Spain and Italy; winning awards and recognition (50 awards so far in the US since he arrived ten years ago). He currently resides in Mauldin, South Carolina. My artistic work is multidisciplinary: drawing, acrylic painting, oil, watercolor and fresco technique. In sculpture I work with metals (iron, bronze), resin, clay and glass (art glass and grisaille). With reference to my subjects; these are always optimistic, especially about freedom, equality and how to turn negatives into positives.
As an artist, NACK looks to paint on anything he can, adding color and lines to forgotten spaces. Traveling and getting lost in nature inspires the miles of painted lines, filling the outlines of visions he has seen. In a sort of single-file consciousness, he invites the viewer to get lost in the vibration and movement of each painting.
THE TRIANGLE, NC
Participating members: Cely Chicurel, Barney Dale, Lee Diemer Jones, Karen Stevens Fisher, Belinda Hardin, Denny Hood, Carolyn Miller, Lynne Griffin, Saijun Xue, Russell Knop
The mission of The NC ClayWorks Pottery Guild is to encourage, educate and provide opportunities for all NC ClayWorks members, regardless of skill level, in technical and promotional aspects of ceramics during monthly meetings and organized events and to promote ceramics by sharing our knowledge and love of clay with the public in order to create educated buyers and to stimulate interest in all disciplines of ceramic art. NC ClayWorks Pottery Guild was started in the 1970’s by three women who scheduled get-togethers to discuss issues that were important to them as potters and to support each other as wives and mothers trying to develop a career in clay. Today NC ClayWorks has a membership of over 70 men and women from the Triangle area in North Carolina who represent varied interests and aspects of clay. Our members include nationally known potters, teachers, students, professionals and beginners in functional, non-functional, sculptural and architectural ceramics.
WESLEY CHAPEL, NC
Mia Alexander Nguyen, from Charlotte, NC, is an installation/mixed media artist intent on creating interactive spaces. Their work often employs the surreal and uncanny to challenge audiences' initial perceptions and elicit critical examination. Capturing and reflecting on discomfort through bold, immersive forms is Nguyen’s current focus, resulting in an art practice that prioritizes multi-sensory engagement. Nguyen is pursuing a BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in 3D Interdisciplinary Studies at UNC Charlotte in the hopes to push this exploration further.
Onicas is an American visionary painter, and calls his style Spiritual Expressionism. Painting for over twenty years, he has had the privilege to study under master abstract expressionist painter Sarah Carlisle Towery, namesake of the Alabama Art Colony. He discovered his talents at drawing after an artist visited one of many group homes he had lived in as a child. He knew he had found a purpose for living; art literally saved his life. While living in Florida, he was inspired to tap into his Florida Highwayman heritage (his uncle was one of the original traveling landscape artists of the 1950s). But it was the time spent at the Alabama Art Colony that truly taught Onicas how to put the paint to the canvas, give up on any idea of a finished piece, and simply allow the spirit of the painting to flow through him. Onicas works on canvas, paper, and wood, using primarily acrylics. His brilliantly-colored abstracts are characterized by somewhat haunting images of faces and figures, restless, gestural lines and layers plus semi-hidden landscapes, perhaps a synthesis of his explorations with portraiture, landscape, and abstract studies. When looking at any of his paintings overtime, the viewer will discover forms and figures that seem to remain in an ever-changing process of moving and settling and coming into definition.
Words can build or destruct. Paint by S uses her love of lettering to emphasize the importance of empowerment and share other’s stories through murals. Her process typically starts with a positive message that leads to additional movement and surrounding imagery. She strives to celebrate human emotion and connectedness. Her installation is a personal project – self discussion she encourages everyone to try. Her goal for my work is to encourage others to speak more intentionally to themselves.
Alexander Rago is a North Carolina-based, self-taught sculptor. For the past thirty years, he has worked with various mediums, including stone, clay, plaster, and wood. More recently, he has focused on using fine hardwood to create my art. Most all his work draws inspiration from natural elements, as well as the art of ancient cultures. Alexander specializes in using abstract shape and form to appeal to modern sensibilities. By stirring the primordial self of the observer, he attempts to stress the importance of our distant past and the urgent need to change our current trajectory, so that there are human beings around in the future to reflect on the art being made today.
Eliza Redmann is a sculptor, architect, and founder of Folded Poetry design studio based in Durham, North Carolina. When a car accident upended her health, personal life, and career as an architect, she was forced to reinvent herself. She found a way to utilize my creative potential for healing by creating art. Eliza's passion to create is now driven by her changed experience of life after her traumatic brain injury. The geometries she designs are inspired by persistent visual disturbances resulting from her injury. She creates framed pieces of paper sculpture, as well as free-mounted large scale geometric sculptures. While her work is indeed impactful as art itself, more importantly it has been the primary driver behind the recreation of her health and the reimagining of her life’s purpose.
Hamidou Sissoko is a person who learns from his hands. He was born in Mali, West Africa and grew up fixing cars and bikes. As he got older, he worked on various construction projects. As he learned more and more, he started fixing more complex equipment. They never wasted any materials in Mali and would always find creative ways to repair things.
When Hamidou came to the US, all he knew was how to work on engines. He worked as a car mechanic and started to learn how to weld, and then when his kids were born, he became a stay-at-home dad. They spent a lot of time outside in the garden observing different plants, flowers, and animals. His son was really into dinosaurs. One day, they visited a museum, and Hamidou imagined how to recreate a dinosaur skeleton out of scrap metal that he had in the backyard – an oil drum and some chains. From then on, he bought a plasma cutter and began welding scrap metal into outdoor sculptures of flowers, bugs, and animals. He uses metal from oil drums, broken bikes, gears, discarded engine parts – whatever he can find, and other people don’t want. He has recently started experimenting with abstract sculptures – thinking about form and balance. He is completely self-taught and pushes himself to try new things and create new pieces.
Julie Slattery is a sculpture artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. In 2014, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with a concentration in sculpture from Alfred University (Alfred, New York). After graduating, Slattery moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to pursue her sculpture career, where she worked in several bronze casting foundries including working as a metal chaser at the world famous Shidoni Bronze Foundry (Tesuque, NM). Slattery has exhibited her work across the country including Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum in Solsberry, Indiana and most recently Continuum Gallery in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Her sculptural work explores emotional responses of attachment and loss. The figures and objects she creates reflect sensations of unease and oddity. Slattery's work incorporates the human body and common everyday objects to inspire relatability.
Laurie Smithwick is a maximalist who paints possibility. An abstract painter, printmaker, and muralist whose work dances between order and surprise, solving self-invented problems. Her work is a barrage of texture and peculiar color combinations summoned to evoke wonder and spontaneity.
Michelle Spaulding is a contemporary textile folk artist, teacher, author, storyteller, and creativity coach. Her intent is to inspire you to create through color, texture, and art materials using easy techniques in a group setting. She crafts for comfort and joy. Creating fiber art and sharing with others has helped her heal through her own health challenges. Her passion is inspiring others to tap into their own innate creative processes.
Her teaching style is ‘Freestyle and Fun’. Her workshops are about creativity, community, comfort and joy through this whimsical process.
"Crafting is medicine for me. It’s my spiritual practice. I’m able to express my inner wise self through my art and crafts. It helps me heal physically, spirituality and emotionally. Making and creating allows me to tap into the Divine creativity of our Universal force."
Photo credit: Donn Young
Nature and industry inspire the work of Wayne Vaughn. He strives to bring animation, balance, and intrigue to his creations, challenging gravity, but keeping trust between the piece and its landscape. His hope is that his work invites the viewer to play, question, and respond. It is a great honor to be recognized, but Vaughn's greatest reward is the delight on the face of a child. He loves to bring animation to cold hard steel. His greatest satisfaction is bringing a smile, inciting a conversation, or inspiring a new creation.
"People discuss my art and pretend to understand as it were necessary to understand, when it's simply necessary to love." - Claude Monet
Bonnie Walker is originally from rural North Carolina, and growing up, she was obsessed with making or fixing things; this kept her busy and out of trouble. She also broke plenty of stuff, so this inspired her to "Do something else with it." She now enjoys welding unexpected art from trashed, rusty, and worn-out metal materials. Often, Bonnie leaves the materials with all the rust, dents, and scratches adding a unique character to the artwork. she is passionate about not wasting things--so she re-purposes and recycles as much as she can, and she takes pride in that. She call her creations "B"-Cycled meaning it has been "Bonnie Recycled." She only uses recycled materials, and this drives the inspiration and guides her to each one-of-a-kind piece. She lets the "junk" show her something fun or inspirational to make for her next creation.
WALSH/BLAZING is a collaborative art practice that includes painting, video, installation, commercial commissions, and projection. Carin Walsh and Jenny Blazing use visual art to reframe environmental issues and generate conversations about measures to solve them. They bridge art and science by employing a research-based approach to environmental messaging through visual art. The artists have partnered with scientists and communication experts to engage the public in discussions around our current environmental trajectory and the unnecessary politicizing of the climate crisis.
Over the past forty five years, Timothy S Werrell has worked as a full-time metal sculptor in Cincinnati, Ohio, in Durham, NC and now in Hillsborough, NC. His work has been sought after by individuals, corporations, and public entities, nationally and in Canada. Examples are the Morse Johnson Memorial at Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park, the Charles Taft Memorial in downtown Cincinnati, the Vietnam War Memorial in Charleston, SC, and more recently three public pieces in Statesville, NC and one in Rock Hill, SC.