Charlotte Art Collective Artists
Becky Blair, inSpiraled
Becky Blair taught art for close to twenty five years in the public school system, and at Rainbow Bridge
International School in Shanghai, China, where she and her husband lived for five years. Her concentrations have
varied over the years (painting, fiber art, photography, and art dolls), though jewelry has been a consistent one
since the mid-seventies. Embracing color and texture, she layers hand cut, tooled and dyed leather with sterling
silver, stones, and found objects to create wearable artworks.
You can find her work at www.inSpiraled.com, www.etsy.com/shop/inSpiraled, www.facebook.com/inspiraled.beckyblair,
and various arts festivals along the east coast.
Caroline Coolidge Brown
Caroline Coolidge Brown explores layers of color and texture in printmaking and mixed media artwork. Thanks to a generous 2015 Regional Artist Project Grant from the Arts and Science Council, the last two years have been spent working on a large new printing press. For her, all materials are fair game as she combines prints with acrylic paints, chalk, and found papers. Caroline is a popular teacher and retreat leader, best known for her monthly “Mixed Media Clambakes” and travel watercolor trips. Caroline’s work can be found at Ciel Gallery in SouthEnd Charlotte or online at www.CarolineCBrown.com.
Celena Burnett's work is thrown on a Leach-style treadle wheel which replaces the regular movement of the electric wheel with rhythm of the body. Once thrown on the wheel, many of the forms are altered and manipulated. Self-designed hand-carved stamps may be applied to add distinctive texture and enhance the pot's appearance. The pots are glazed by a combination of dunking and spraying. Celena fires her work in an oxidation atmosphere of an electric kiln. The result is unique, functional pottery that brings beauty into our kitchens and living spaces.
Celena’s love for clay started at Winthrop University where she earned her BFA in the Ceramic Arts in 1992. In 1994 she moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she became involved with the Cincinnati Clay Alliance and was also active in the Art Guild. Celena taught Throwing and Handbuilding classes there and worked in a local gallery. In 1999 she moved to South Carolina and set up a home studio and taught classes at the Clayground in Charlotte. In 2005 Celena took over the Clayground and started her own business that is now The Whirling Wheel. In addition to teaching, Celena displays in galleries and sells at art fairs. She participates in the Carolina Claymatters Guild and goes to many pottery workshops, including a course in Italy in 2005.
Elizabeth Cahill is a North Carolina artist who specializes in illustrated ceramics. Her work is handbuilt or wheel thrown and decorated with colorful under glazes and wax resist.
"In life and in art, I am particularly drawn to the bold, the expressive, patterns, and cultural motif. My ceramics explore the 14th century technique of cuerda seca. I combine my own modern style with this centuries old wax technique to create a fresh, new translation in this style of illustrated ceramics."
Elizabeth's work can be found at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens (Belmont, NC,) Pura Vida Worldly Art (Charlotte, NC,) Art Mob Studios (Hendersonville, NC,) ZaPow! (Asheville, NC) and Gallery 27 (Lincolnton, NC.) More of her work can be seen online at www.elizabethcahillclay.etsy.com , www.elizabethcahillclay.com and www.facebook.com/ElizabethCahillClay.
While pursuing a career as a TV producer in NY, Renee Calder spent 10+ years as a student/apprentice at the Jewelry Arts Institute in NYC focusing on Byzantine and Etruscan style of jewelry design, including ancient granulation/fusion techniques working in 22K gold. Upon moving to NC, she discovered the rich and varied ceramics community and became more intrigued with incorporating textures and found objects into her work bringing to life what has been discarded or overlooked in both metal and clay. Recent ceramics reflect the fusion of texture and design similar to her one of a kind jewelry pieces.
“My work is a reflection of the diversity of the world around us. I strive to bring personality into each piece - to engage the viewer with the unexpected. I focus mostly on the combination of materials, where the mundane becomes something more, engaging the viewer to take a second look and see things in a different way. I want to challenge our notions of the use of materials and prompt a new perception of ordinary things that surround us."
Find Renee's work at Ciel Gallery and www.mckdesign.org.
Fiber has always fascinated me. I love the colors and textures and all the interesting things that you can do with it. I have pretty much tried all the ways you can work with fiber: spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet, felting, knotting, and sewing, to name a few. I earned a Certificate in Fiber Arts/Apparel Design at the University of Vermont, and almost always have a project or two that I’m working on.
Basket weaving has been a particular passion of mine for the past several years. Nature inspires me and I love nothing better than to collect pieces of driftwood and interesting stones and shells and wonderful long leaf pine needles and turn them into sculptural pieces of art. The past couple of years I have also been playing with felting. It is such a wonderful free form technique that has endless possibilities. I’ve been thinking a lot on how I can combine basketry and felting - a felted basket? - a woven basket with felted areas? You will just have to come to a CAC show to see what I come up with!
Rachel Dortch lives in Charlotte, NC, where she is married to her high school sweetheart,
and loves spending time with their three beautiful children. She prefers jeans to dresses, dessert to dinner,
and believes little things make a big difference. Twenty years in the interior design and custom furniture
industry gave Rachel a firsthand look at the enormous amount of textiles wasted each year. After
designing her first handbag, an idea was born to merge her love of design, her need to create, her flair
with textiles, and her uber recycling sensibilities. In the summer of 2011, Rachel launched her handbag
line, Marge and Rudy, named for her parents. Marge and Rudy handbags are eco- friendly, made
from fabrics and leathers sourced from custom order remnants and design over-specs. Rachel saves
these high-end designer fabrics and leathers from the landfill and transforms them into unique, fashion
forward accessories. Because the materials she uses are “to the Trade Only”, over-specs, and custom
runs, many Marge and Rudy handbags are one of a kind or limited edition, as unique as the women who
carry them. Stylish and environmentally friendly, you can’t beat that! And let’s face it… a girl can
never have too many bags. You can see more of Rachel's work at www.margeandrudy.com.
Color is a huge part of Celia Flock’s life and fascinates her endlessly with its mysterious qualities and changing nature. She didn't realize her passion for color until after graduation from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1977. As a printmaking major, Celia soon discovered making art on her own would not involve a printing press. She quickly discovered the joy and immediacy of drawing with colored pencils and soon was incorporating acrylic paint and gesso in her work. Celia’s first show was at the Collectors Gallery (now defunct) at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh where a faculty member from Davidson College saw her work and invited Celia to do her first one-man show at the College. What followed were shows at Art Councils around the state, participation in group shows at Spirit Square in Charlotte, the Mint Museum of Art, the Waterworks Gallery in Salisbury, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, and Cameron Crafts Gallery in Chapel Hill. Eventually Celia was asked to join Hodges-Taylor Gallery in 1984. This representation continued until 1995 when she joined the Jerald Melberg Gallery for several years. Both are excellent galleries and were wonderful venues for her work.
Celia has won several prizes and commissions over the years including a Public Art Work commission for the Hal Marshall Center in Charlotte, a Gallery Without Walls commission from Spirit Square, and a Merit Award from Springs Mill Traveling show in Lancaster, SC. In Florida, she won First Place in painting at the Coconut Grove Arts show and a Merit Award at the Festival of the Masters at Walt Disney World in Orlando. In 1996, Celia was one of eight artists awarded the NC Arts Council Visual Arts Fellowship.
For the past ten years Celia has been involved in designing textiles for Springs Industries in Fort Mill, SC. Her own art has always been with her, but she is returning to it in a fuller capacity with the recent opening of her working studio and retail shop, Art & Chocolate. Her latest works are paper collages full of color and patterns and, of course, paint with colored pencils. Celia feels blessed to be an artist and to taste lightly the joy of creation. Visit Celia at http://mereh2475.wix.com/celiaflock2#!.
Nancy Fuller & Phyllis Rollins, Essential Soap Company
Nancy Fuller and Phyllis Rollins believe that the Essential Soap Company is making the world a
cleaner place one bar at a time. Beginning their soap career about 12 years ago, after meeting a soap
maker in Washington, purity and scent are the hallmarks of everything they produce. Long lasting and
all natural, each product is handmade and contains no chemical additives, artificial scents or animal
fats. Many are vegan and contain local ingredients such as herbs, honey, and beeswax to create the
finest handmade soap possible. Because the scents are derived from mixtures of pure essential oils
the products are nurturing on several levels... aromatherapy coupled with purity and quality.
Amy Hart graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in Surface Design and Metalsmithing.
She has worked as a commercial artist for York Wallcoverings, Hallmark Cards, and Springs Industries.
Amy has also been welding and forging iron for over 20 years. Because she creates "found object" art,
when Amy is not stopping her car on the side of the road to "re-purpose" an old muffler, she can be found at one of the local scrap yards in North and South Carolina. Her work can be found in Ciel Gallery.
"I believe each object has its own intrinsic value. Just as we can all reinvent and rediscover ourselves, an old rusted out muffler can be transformed to personify a penguin."
While traveling, Teresa Hollmeyer happened upon a piece of public art that changed her life. The piece of art was a large scale mosaic that sparked a fire to learn the art of mosaics. Completely self-taught, Teresa has now been creating mosaics for close to twenty years, starting out with garden-friendly stepping stones, flower pots, and garden benches.
She now uses tiny hand cut pieces of stained glass to create one of a kind hanging glass windows. Teresa has been juried into fine art shows up and down the East Coast and taken home numerous awardsHer work can be found locally at Ciel Gallery.
Melting glass made its first impact when my husband and I were in Germany while he was in the army. Immediately intrigued, the impression lingered for years. Back in the States, it took time to find instructors whose work spoke to me, even longer to persuade them to teach me some skills.
Playing with fire for a living is always a surprise. Glass continues to offer a platform for expression, exploration and creativity … and even frustration at times! I’ve been working with glass for more than 20 years and have come to better understand its rhythms, requirements, and boundless potential - and it still amazes me! Life with glass has taken me many places, both mentally and physically, and I now share this wonderful art form through teaching at NC State University, "BeadCamp" in Florida, local workshops, and in my own studio here in Charlotte. You can find my work at www.grammyglass.com.
Linda Minor is the designer and owner of Bead Me by Linda Minor, Inc. Linda designs handcrafted
one of a kind metal gemstone jewelry. A former buyer for several major department stores, Linda
expanded her fashion style to the world of jewelry design and launched the Bead Me by Linda Minor
Collection. Linda uses all metals with her beaded jewelry. She is known as a professional and a
member of the North Carolina Society of Goldsmiths. Linda's originally designed jewelry was a
featured gift chosen to present to First Lady Michelle Obama on behalf of Charlotte NC. Martha
Stewart recognized Bead Me by Linda Minor as American Made in 2013. Bead Me by Linda Minor
offers a wide range of classes in her jewelry gallery and workshop with beading supplies and tools.
Her collection is available at the Harvey B. Gantt Center and other specialty shops. For a decade,
Linda has designed one of a kind jewelry and taught jewelry making classes at Intergalactic Bead
Shows. Linda continues teaching in her jewelry gallery and More Than Conquerors College in
Charlotte, NC. Visit Bead Me by Linda Minor, Inc., at 2041 South Boulevard, Unit E, in Charlotte
(704.890.0217), her primary location at 14825 Ballantyne Village Way, Unit 105, Charlotte, NC,
28277, and her website, www.beadmeus.com. Jewelry classes and jewelry supplies are available
at the Ballantyne location.
Rosemary Peduzzi works with clay, paper, ink, and paint to produce functional art. Growing up in the New England countryside, she spent many hours outdoors in the woodlands, streams, and fields that surrounded her. Elements from and references to natural objects often show up in her pottery, handmade paper, and handmade books.
Drawn to artistic endeavors of one sort or another since childhood, for the past fifteen years, Rosemary has devoted much of her energy to developing as an artist and expanding the artistic mediums through which she works. She has benefited from many workshops with renowned artists at Penland School of Crafts and other craft programs, including La Meridiana, a ceramics school in the hills of Tuscany.
J Radford is a book binder and book artist trained at Penland School of Craft. Her work focuses mainly on the use of long stitch binding to create beautiful leather journals. The long stitch binding creates a sturdy structure, yet the stitch can be decorative as well. Radford pushes this functional binding style into organic shapes and whimsical styles. Incorporating handmade paper, vintage maps, and other ephemera allows each journal to be a unique creation.
You can find her work at www.jradford.com and www.facebook.com/JRadfordArt.
Adding a touch of whimsy and wonder to everyday subjects is the signature of artist Laurie Richardson. Her paintings demonstrate a unique approach to each subject and reflect her graphic design background. She works in a variety of styles and enjoys commercial work as well as fine art painting. A graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, Laurie was an advertising agency art director prior to starting her own graphic design business. After starting a family, she turned more to fine art, painting for galleries and selling her work at festivals and private shows.
Her award winning work is displayed in public and private collections throughout the country. Currently her work can be found at Maddi's Gallery in Charlotte, NC, The Sanctuary in Davidson, NC, and The Painted Cottage at Ocean Isle Beach, NC. Visit Laurie at www.laurierichardsonstudio.com.
Eva Rizzardi was born in Italy, grew up in Southern Switzerland, and lived in the Northern region of Germany before moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1982. In 1994 she achieved her Associate Degree in Fine Art, which has broadened her horizons. She loves color and is constantly exploring unlimited combinations. Richness and vibrancy of color are the identifying mark of her work. More recently she has been developing her skill in the stark contrast of black and white with etchings, aquatints, and mezzotints. Printmaking is an especially keen skill that combines and blends several techniques. For her it is a rewarding, a well as sometimes frustrating experience; but she loves the challenge.
Eva’s work has been accepted and won awards and recognition in numerous competitions for years, and she has had several one person exhibitions. Her work is a part of many private and corporate collections, including collections in Canada and Europe. Find Eva's work at https://www.etsy.com/people/EvaRizzardi.
Growing up in close proximity to the city of Charlotte, NC, didn’t deter Patrick Robertson from discovering her love of nature. Tagged a tomboy in her youth, Patrick spent her childhood exploring the woods and streams that surrounded her family’s home. Before turning to a full-time career as a crafts artist, Patrick lived out her passion for the great outdoors in obs that included sheep tending, carpentry, farming and archaeology. Patrick began her crafts career as a ceramic artist. When several kiln mishaps destroyed numerous ceramic pieces, Patrick sought other materials and techniques not vulnerable to the fiery gods of a ceramic kiln. Today her works are comprised of wrapped paper strips and paper pulp/paper clay mixture over wire armatures. Smooth surfaces provide the perfect “canvas” for her highly detailed and patterned surfaces. Find Patrick's work at https://piedmontcraftsmen.org/artist/patrick-robertson.
Richard Siegel’s work is a collaborative effort with nature where technique, control, and self-expression are realized. Watercolor painting is Richard’s first love: depicting beautiful landscapes and seascapes. He also enjoys working with different types of wood; turning bowls and building custom furniture. Richard has been an artist and craftsman for 50 years. A degree in fine arts from the Massachusetts College of Art was the beginning of Richard’s journey. Richard has also studied at the University of Frankfurt in Germany. It was at Boston's North Bennet Industrial School that Richard developed his interest in furniture making; and at the Wentworth Institute, in Boston, he studied architectural drawing. Richard sees teaching as a stimulating challenge. The Cambridge Center for Adult Education in Massachusetts and the Dallas Creative Arts Center in Texas have been just two of the many places where Richard’s students have inspired him. He presently lives in Charlotte, NC, where he has his studio and gallery, and is a Continuing Education instructor at Queens University and Central Piedmont Community College. Richard has work in many private and corporate collections. Visit Richard at www.richardsiegelstudio.com.
Tom Snyder is a photographer based in Charlotte. A serious photographer for about 20 years, he shoots more detailed oriented subject matter as opposed to landscapes or portraits. His images tend to be more abstract in nature, as he looks for the abstract quality in any subject. He has also been studying pottery in Charlotte for about seven years, feeling that pottery and photography are good therapy tools for each other. You can find Tom's work on his website at www.tomsnyderphotos.com.
Sydney Sogol is a fiber artist who grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her work focuses on exploring the relationship between color and pattern through weaving, dyeing, and manipulating fabrics. Sydney is fascinated by nature and biology, specifically animals, which are the inspiration of her art. She enjoys creating one of-a-kind pieces from non-functional to wearable art for people to interact with. Sydney relishes the idea of people forming a relationship with a piece such as a scarf that they will use to keep warm or a table runner that will set the tone for a family dinner. She also creates small to large-scale pieces of art for the wall. Sydney recently obtained her Masters of Fine Art in Textile Design and is further exploring the world of fibers. She loves to share her passion for fibers by teaching the expansive techniques that can be done with fiber arts. Sydney has shown locally and nationally in a variety of shows. Her work is in several permanent collections and can be found at www.sydneysogol.com and Syd’s Threads on Etsy.
Rae Stark, ceramic artist, specializes in the sgraffito technique of hand carving images on both functional and decorative porcelain pieces. Sometimes whimsical, sometimes logical and more structured, her motifs are inspired by everyday things, such as flowers in the garden, birds on a wire, or design details on a door. She enjoys the interplay of drawing the positive image of the motif and carving away the negative spaces around it. Since no two pieces are exactly alike, each experience allows a fresh representation of an idea.
Rae is a studio artist at Clayworks, Charlotte, NC. She works at both Clayworks and at her home studio in Matthews, NC. She is an active member of Carolina Clay Matters Pottery Guild. Her work is available at the Charlotte Art Collective shows, Carolina Clay Matters Pottery Festivals, Pottery 101 in Salisbury, NC, Clayworks shows, and Ciel Gallery in Charlotte, NC.
After raising 2 boys, Lisi Szymczyk has rediscovered her energy and passion for photography. Being "empty nesters"
has provided Lisi, and her husband Bill, the time to explore and travel. Her initial focus in photography was the beauty and nature of the Blue Ridge Mountains, specifically Little Switzerland, NC, where she and her family are fortunate to call home, as well as Charlotte. Throughout her travels, Lisi has realized that she'll "shoot" just about anything ranging from interesting architecture, to stunning vistas, to the perfect images for quirky cards.
Her photography has won awards and sold in multiple venues in Charlotte and Little Switzerland. Most recently one of her images was accepted for the cover for a Hallmark greeting card! Visit Lisi at www.photographybylisi.com.
Gena Van Dyke
Gena Van Dyke’s work, while modern in finish, has an air of timelessness reminiscent of European designs.
She credits the influence of artwork collected by her family from around the world. History has shown clay
objects have always been a part of our lives, whether for function or decoration. Even in today’s high-tech
world of immediate communication and material acquisition, Gena believes the clay can be a natural
counterbalance. It invites us to connect and enjoy the comforting quality of the earth hand formed by
Gena opened her studio in 1999, and is proud to be a part of the continuing pottery tradition, forming each piece with patience and anticipation. Enjoy!
You can find Gena's work at http://vandykepottery.com.
Paul Vliet creates many different items from both local hardwoods and imported exotics. He does standard woodworking projects, such as clocks, as well as a variety of turned products... wood and
acrylic pens and lead pencils, wine bottle stoppers, and natural edge bowls.
He has been involved in woodworking, in one form or another, for most of his life.
Find Paul's work at https://www.facebook.com/WoodSpinnerProducts/ and
Nancy Williams' interest in photography began at Clemson University while advertising manager for the yearbook. "Even though we were working with older cameras, the experience gave me an eye for photography that has really stuck with me to this day," she says. Since that time, Williams, recently retired from Duke Energy, has taken her art to a whole new level. From showcasing her work at festivals and gardens around the area, to teaching elementary students as part of a summer camp, her expertise - and her work - is high demand.
In 1996, Williams was photographing the National Austin Healey show at the Biltmore when she realized she must find a way to further pursue her interest. Not long after, while visiting friends, she stumbled upon photo note cards in a gift store. Intrigued by the photos and the idea, Williams reached out to the artist and received some sage advice - and inspiration - to take her craft further. Today, Williams, an avid traveler, has transformed many images from her travels, love for nature, and people and places into note cards and framed artwork. Regardless of whether she’s captured flowers in an Amsterdam garden or the Dilworth area of Charlotte, Williams says she has found one thing to be true: “I find that people are attracted to the things that are most familiar to them,” she says. A picture of Williams’ Border Terrier dogs named Lucas and Austin continue to be fan favorites. And her more recent photos of Charlotte icons – like the signs on the Green and the Charlotte skyline – are also very popular among individuals and companies. Visit Nancy at www.nwilliamsphoto.com.