A creative bunch — enriching lives by sharing their work and skills.
Originally I trained and worked as a MD in Europe. After moving to the United States I started to explore my artistic side. I took welding and metal working classes and started my apprenticeship with Jimmy Alexander, Blacksmith and then chair of the NC Abana Association. I have been welding, forging and casting metal ever since.
I enjoy contrast and surprise. Juxtaposing old and new, rusty and shiny or using recycled materials in a project is a recurring theme in my work.
I am a Liberty Artist and serve on the board of directors of this organization. From 2013-2016 I was president of the board of Liberty Arts.
Visit my website: jackiemacleod.com
Follow me on twitter: @jackiemacleod2
Creating art has always felt very natural for me. I remember as a child I was always sketching and making little drawings and even making simple three-dimensional pieces from found scraps.
I tend to design art that is clean and simple to convey the essence of the inspiration. I get inspiration from a number of sources, though I’m often drawn to the compelling shapes, and groupings of shapes, found in the natural world. River stones, sea anemones, bird bones, leaves, these are all beautiful if you really look closely at them.
The materials I work with also have a big influence on the final concept, as I’ve found that certain materials, such as metal pipes and metal strips, seem to be destined for a certain design.
Right now I work mainly with metals—typically iron, steel, and aluminum—and am interested in working fiberglass and lighting into future designs.
Visit my website: www.christianvagnhansen.com
Joe Coates, Metal, Wood and Mixed Media
I learned to love working with my hands from my father, a pilot, who was also an accomplished mechanic and woodworker. I was introduced to welding as a teenager by the aircraft mechanics at the local airport. Initially, I welded to build and repair cars, but quickly became enamored with the amazing strength and beauty of welded metal structures and started welding for the sheer joy of the creative process. My love of things mechanical led to a GM Scholarship in Engineering at Duke. While there, I met an Outward Bound instructor who introduced me to rock climbing, and I found another passion. A few years later, my avocation became my vocation: I began a 33-year career as owner / manager of The Trail Shop, Inc., one of the first climbing / outdoor recreation stores in the Southeast. Meanwhile, I attended art and design classes at UNC–CH and started making art in earnest, using my engineering knowledge to explore strength and balance in sculpture. Over the years, while otherwise occupied full time with work and raising two children, I’ve continued to make sculpture. Now I am fortunate to be a full time artist.
Making sculpture fulfills my continuing desire for education, understanding, and communication. Sculpturing parallels my other passions of rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, and mountain biking. In all these pursuits, my goal is to take myself physically where my mind has visualized going. I strive to actualize imagined lines, ideas, and dreams, and add something new to our visual vocabulary. Using my engineering proficiency, technical skills, and careful choice of media, I depict my visions by executing physical techniques, challenging my viewers to see media, scale, space, light, color, strength, and balance in new ways. Each of my sculptures tells a story. Sculpture educates, promotes new thought, and provides perspectives that permeate all facets of my life.
Visit my website: http://www.joecoates.net/
Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron Earley, Sculptor and Illustrator
When I say a great number of different subjects inspire my work, I am not simply making a vague generalization. There are too many subjects, perhaps. I am forever full of racing thoughts, usually with my attention in hot pursuit. It’s the reason why I often work in a short series-based format, and why I have seven different ongoing series of work at the moment. Each series has its own individual artist statement, combination of materials, and methods of production. However, they all share some strange common thread involving mammals, fallibility, and destruction. All in all I strive to find a comfortable balance in the midst of such variety by working as both a sculptor and illustrator.
Visit my website: www.aaron-earley.com
Follow me on Instagram: @aaron_early
Or Twitter: @aaron_earley
David Huber, Artisan Pipemaker
From a very young age, I have seen beauty everywhere and always felt the intense need to express it. I’ve drawn, painted, played multiple instruments, and sang (albeit poorly). I started collecting pipes in 2006 and became aware of artisan pipes in 2008. It wasn’t until 2010 that it even occurred to me that I might be able to make one.
I have always admired functional art because it beautifies our lives. Once I started making pipes, I began to realize how profound functional art really is. It is a form of communion between the maker and the owner, a way for one person to express the beauty they experience with another and to have that beauty incorporated into the movement of the owner’s life.
Hermes Illana, Mixed Media
I am still trying to define the word ‘artist’ or even to accept the title for myself. In my work I just try to give a different meaning and function to objects that I find. I work mainly with recycled metal and wood. I also experiment with a medium that I call photographic sculpture, which challenges the boundaries of 2D photography.
I am originally from Brazil and have been living in Durham, NC since 2004.
Kimberly Foytlin, Sculptor
Growing up in Durham was an adventure. There was a quality to it that you could not find in any other city. It had a starving artist charm that drew you in and kept you here, no matter how hard the lifestyle could be. This place challenged me to become an artist and represent the growing culture that Durham is quickly creating for itself. After leaving Durham for a few years to attend East Carolina University and acquire my BFA in sculpture it wasn’t hard to make the decision to return to my hometown. Durham has become a beautifully creative city. I was lucky enough to discover Liberty Arts and began my life as a sculptor.
Something that Durham has taught me while growing up is to live as freely as possible, making the most out of life. There is nothing on this planet that lives more openly and without boundaries that the animals that coincide with us. Those creatures that do struggle to maintain that spirit only do so because of the consequences of our pour decisions. My body of work centers on these beautiful animals, those still living wildly, and those that need a little help from the people that can save them. I strive to shed light on these issues and create works of art featuring these beautiful animals that deserve out respect.
E. Leland Webb, Woodturner
My love for the natural beauty of nature stems from growing up in the rolling hills of North Carolina. I’ve spent my life enjoying the great outdoors and all it has had to offer from being a youth in scouting through my adulthood as an avid camper, hiker, backpacker. I walk through the woods looking for the unusual features of trees wondering how they might look as an art object, bowl, platter, of even a walking stick.
My woodwork and turnings focus on bringing out the inherent beauty in a piece of wood. Whether it’s the unique grain pattern in a knot or burl, the different colors in the wood due to disease or insects, or the chetoyancy of the finished surface, I strive to showcase what the wood has to offer.
Woodturning has given me an outlet for artistic expression and enabled me to exhibit my creativity in the process of shaping and finishing unique pieces of wood. At the same time, woodturning has given me the opportunity to be one with a piece of wood and listen to it’s voice as it becomes what it wants to be.
Emily N. Wismer, Letterpress Printer
The first time I saw a letterpress shop, I knew I was doomed. Luckily for me, a fascination that began when I was 19 has turned into a career as a printer.
I love working on machines that have their own histories that I feel only add to what I can do with them. I love the smell of the ink and the feel of working with type or polymer and the tactile process and result of feeding paper into a press. Itʼs a medium that is slow, outmoded, exasperaing, and also completely compelling and reborn in new methods and collaborations. I see myself as someone who is constantly being taught by the presses as well as other printers and artists what the medium is capable of, and I love the idea that this is an unending learning process.
Iʼm inspired by a vast array of things- poster art of the 1920s, Joseph Cornell, fireworks, mosaic tile, photographs found in thrift stores, and always by many peers working on presses around the world.
Ivana Milojevic Beck, Sculptor
Ivana graduated in May of 2016 from UNCG with a master of fine arts in studio art. She also received her undergraduate degree from the UNCG in 2012. Ivana was awarded the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award for 2016. Her work is featured in the October issue of Sculpture magazine.
Being from Serbia and leaving in America, her work addresses how her cultural, social and psychological foundations have shifted since she left her home, family and friends from Serbia.