Our artist studio are not open to the public other than for our monthly open studio and gallery receptions. Please drop by to meet our artists and see their work!
Back Studios, Studio 5
Visual Artist & Teacher
Ryann’s love of watercolor stems from the fluidity of the colors, some that cannot necessarily be named, as well as the challenges that come with watercolor as a medium. Other mediums allow you to take things back, to cover up mistakes. Watercolor is less forgiving, but interestingly, it frees her from her perfectionist nature. Ryann strives to capture the nuance that our eyes pass over – the colors in the shadows, reflections, the clouds. She wants to share what she discovers from the close observation painting requires and is captivated by the nuances of color that are seen by the eye but all blurred together until you go to paint it. (bio adapted from Ryann’s website artist statement)
Back Studios, Studio 11
Mixed Media Artist
Austin is a North Carolina artist who holds an MFA in printmaking/painting from Miami University of Ohio and a BFA in drawing from UNC Asheville. For Austin, art is an essential aspect of trying to understand the human condition and our place in a chaotic and possibly infinite expanse. In response, his work questions viewers’ relationship to that experience, establishing an abstract visual space for reflection and contemplation. On many levels, his art is personal and intuitive, full of experimentation, and a constant interest in materiality. Works within this body explore other non-traditional materials such as dirt, rock salt, grass/straw, plastic, string, found/reclaimed objects, spackle, and plaster. Exploring and developing different processes with these materials keeps him constantly challenged by his work, and at times his studio can seem more like an alchemist lab. (bio adapted from Austin’s website artist statement)
Front Studios, Studio B
Kennedi Carter is a Durham native whose subjects include Beyoncé, Simone Biles, and Erykah Badu. Her striking photography primarily focuses on Black subjects, highlighting the Black experience: skin, texture, trauma, peace, love and community, and aims to “reinvent notions of creativity and confidence in the realm of Blackness.” In December 2020, she became the youngest cover photographer in the history of British Vogue, capturing Beyoncé for the cover shoot. Other clients include GQ, Essence, The New York Times, and TIME. The British Journal of Photography included Carter in their “2020 Ones to Watch” and in May, the New York Times named her as one of four “Next Great Image Makers.”
Back Studios, Studio 3
Through an interdisciplinary, conceptual, research-based practice, Chloe share aspects of disability that are typically not depicted accurately in popular culture. She explores labor in relation to the public and private policies affecting disabled people. To the U.S. government, disability is working-bound; criteria for disability benefits includes an inability to work. Yet, disabled people labor constantly to set the conditions for our existence in public spaces. This labor is often hidden and devalued, and consists largely of administrative navigation of bureaucratic systems, such as completing complicated public benefit applications, intensely studying health insurance policies, or emailing countless requests to accessibility and inclusion coordinators. Chloe’s work is often site-specific and references the ordinary and the everyday in order to highlight the non-otherworldliness of disability as many disabled people experience it–we do not live in our own worlds, but together in this one. In creating and displaying her work in relation to her perpetually-seated height-line, Chloe challenges conceptions of lowness as a place to be overlooked or to convey inferiority and abjection. Instead, she privileges “abnormal” perspectives by using lowness as a site of care and attention. The delivery of her work is impacted by considerations of access and often integrates multiple ways to know a work. Yet, she is also aware of the limits of her approach to access, and understand the exclusion of certain audiences as a result of these limits (for example, including video captions in English but not Spanish, or writing exhibition information according to professional norms instead of plain language) contributes to the meaning of the work, even when not explicitly named as such.
Back Studios, Studio 6
Visual and Literary Artist
Samir Knego is a multidisciplinary artist-writer interested in disability, religion, social justice, and the intersections thereof. Stylistically, his current work combines colorful watercolors with black pen and ink or marker accents and emphasis. The colors and style of his work are guided in part by his disability; he doesn’t have the motor skills for precise work and needs higher-contrast colors for vision reasons. This has shaped his art to emphasize bright, varied colors as he embraces big, blobby shapes. Samir is passionate about accessibility in the arts and works to center accessibility in his work and to treat access as an essential part of art, not an afterthought or burden (as it too often seems to be treated). This focus naturally lends itself to multidisciplinary approaches; accessibility has to be multidisciplinary because that’s the only way to account for the variety of ways of sensing/learning/being in the world. When he’s not making my own art, he’s often covering disability arts for Anomaly or reading/viewing others’ as part of his editorial work with the literary magazine Decolonial Passage.
Back Studios, Studio 8
Textile Artist & Fashion Designer
A recent Los Angeles transplant, Shaerie is a pattern-maker and clothing designer. She is the owner of IONA Clothing, a slow fashion clothing line featuring sustainable fabrics, ethical production, hand dyeing and effortless comfort.
Back Studios, Studio 10
Judy is a fiber and textile artist who creates sewn and collaged pieces from hand dyed, printed, handwoven, felted and repurposed materials, as well as things found in nature. She is inspired by Asian influences and is drawn to the repetitive, meditative nature of saori weaving and shibori dyeing, as well as boro mending. Her use of poetry as prompt is inspired by the work of poets such as David Whyte and Mary Oliver. Poetry acts as fiber, weaving its inspiration and imagination throughout the work. Her influences are women who use bold color, botanical themes, repetitive stitch as pattern and use of repurposed materials-Mandy Patullo, Christine Maursberger, and her sister, J.E. Paterak. Her former career as an oncology nurse for twenty years has brought her to appreciate handwork as a means to healing and wholeness.
Orlando Martinez & Jessie Dib
Front Studios, Studio A
Mixed Media Artists
Orlando (Mango) Martinez uses lines, perspective and colors to move spectators to new dimensions; a world that has come alive, where the geometric forms are the base of all. Uniting two generations with different ways of thinking, developed in different circumstances, he has created a four hand artist.
Jessie Dib creates bold and minimal jewelry as well as home decor.
Back Studios, Studio 9
Visual Artist and Teacher
Kelly is inspired by the human figure, drawn to the beauty of the form and the emotion of the individual person who is the model. She enjoys working from life when the breathing and dynamic person is right in front of her. The interplay of the model’s movement and stillness is exciting and inspires what she captures on the canvas. She looks for complex compositions, mimicking the complexity of the figure. Using her eyes and own emotions, she sees the model and aims to capture their inner beauty and respond to their expressions, striving to show a quiet, yet expressive moment. It is those ephemeral moments that speak to her soul.
Back Studios, Studio 2
Audrey makes handcrafted boxes, decorative papers, and various book forms. She is particularly drawn to the box because its very structure lends itself to endless design and construction possibilities that include exploring different shapes and how these shapes can work together to create surprises in colors, patterns, and textures. She uses fabrics, handcrafted pastepapers and book cloth, threads, and various decorative elements in her boxes and books. She is drawn to creating cut-paper designs that cast shadows and patterns and frequently uses garden and flower themes in my work that are reminiscent of the floral motifs found in Indian and Middle Eastern architecture and furniture and in illuminated manuscripts. Audrey is involved as a teacher and member with Penland School of Crafts, John C. Campbell Folk School, Triangle Book Arts Group, and the Paper and Book Intensive at Ox-Bow School of Art and has taken classes and workshops with Monique Lallier, Kathy Steinsberger, Mary Uthuppuru, Andrea Dezso, Denise Carbone, Laura Wait, Celine Lombardi, and Shawn Sheehy.
Mary Ann Rozear
Front Studios, Studio E
Mary Ann is an award winning artist who recently moved to Durham from Hampstead, NC. Her subject matter is as varied as her choice of medium. Whether using watercolors, acrylics, or oils she strives to elicit an emotional response from the viewer with each painting. Mary Ann began painting in 2002 while living in Blowing Rock, NC, where she studied for six years with many master painters. She was most influenced by Mary Ann Beckwith, Gerald Brommer, and Skip Lawrence, whose philosophy was to encourage each student to paint in their own style. Mary Ann has developed her own unique approach to painting, believing that the enjoyment she gets during the process of painting translates to the finished piece. Over the years, Mary Ann has participated in numerous juried shows, including the WAA Annual Spring Show, Art in the Arboretum, and Landfall Shows in North Carolina. She received the WWA Walter Garner Memorial Award (2013) and the WWA Gail Henderson Memorial Award (2014). (bio adapted from ArtExposure profile)
Sandra L. Sachs
Back Studios, Studio 1
Mixed Media Abstract Artist
Sandra is a self-taught artist with mixed media abstract art being her first passion. Having been an elementary school teacher for 30 years, she is excited to work her way into the Hillsborough art community and be in close proximity with other artists at the Eno River Mill. Sandra hopes to listen to and encourage other artists; as well as one day teach kids about abstract art.
Back Studios, Studio 4
Michelle is a certified dream coach, teacher, a expressive arts facilitator, visionary artist and storyteller who expresses herself through the textile and fiber arts. Her African-American and Native American heritages are woven into her art, expressing her love for all types of aboriginal art forms. Beyond wanting to demonstrate the harmony possible in inter-twining cultures, Michelle seeks to express a spiritual healing in her art – a healing she has experienced first hand. Over the years, Michelle has used her art to overcome grief and loss, chronic pain and illness, severe stress and anxiety. The beauty and spiritual healing she receives from weaving mother earth’s threads and molding clay are expressed in her baskets, weaving, knitting, surface design, needle art and pottery. Michelle designs an eclectic array of contemporary homespun fiber art. The vibrant colors and whimsical style make these designs both pleasing to the eye and soothing to the spirit. Color and texture are her inspiration. Arts and Crafts are her passion.
Back Studios, Studio 7
Textile Artist and Fashion Designer
Mike is a multi-modal designer, music manager and co-founder of the label Immaculate Taste. As a visual artist, Mike’s focus is on creating work that brings community together. He is the founder of Poor Dad, a sustainable clothing brand that aims to give all a seat at the table, that is dedicated to “those who are tired of breaking themselves down in order to sit down.” Read more about Mike in our feature story here.
Front Studios, Studio D
Using landscapes and cityscapes, and the human form, as points of departure, Esten explores the poetic forces of emergence arising from nature, constructed environments, and the spaces of our human psyche. Currently, she is engaged in an inquiry into the the multi-faceted dimensions of our natural world, and intersections with humankind, investigating both harmony and destruction. She is studying to receive her Masters in Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Her mediums include installation, oil painting, drawing, mixed-media, pen and ink, digital photography and video.