Nell Fredericksen took time off between a MS in Zoology and beginning a PhD program and took classes in pottery, stained glass and metalsmithing. When her PhD funding fell through, she turned to the arts and as a result has been a professional artist and fine art jeweler for over 20 years. She has never lost the fascination and wonder she feels in connection with nature and has continued work as a wildlife biologist through the years. After spending 6 years in Bolivia, Nell and her husband (and then baby boy) moved to Ferrum, where she has reestablished her studio and art career. www.nellfredericksen.com
Glenda George has been working for many years with fiber of one sort or another, making clothing, quilts, surface design and dyes on fabric, spinning yarn, knitting and felting. She has found over the years that all skills overlap and build on one another. She has acquired these skills through advanced classes, reading and mostly through lots of experimentation and practice and finding her own best way.
Steve Graham is a native of Floyd County and has lived in the area his whole life. He is a self taught photographer who has photographed weddings and family portraits, though his main interests are in landscapes, wildlife and photo journalism. Steve has been with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office for 26 years—15 as an investigator—and also uses his photographic skills to do crime scene photography. Though he reluctantly switched from film to digital photography only recently, he has come to love digital media and enjoys discussing and sharing his knowledge of the tool.
Susan Hensley is an eclectic artist who works in watercolor and collage, mixed media, ink and digital photography. She taught at both Virginia Tech and Radford and now lectures on art for Dr. Cindy Wood. Susan, a theatre/speech major at Mary Washington, enjoys music, theatre and all kinds of art. Her solo shows include the Holtzman Alumni Center Virginia Tech, Zeppoli’s and Mish Mish–all in Blacksburg. She enjoys teaching experimental art and believes the viewer completes any piece of art. Her cards are available at the Jacksonville Center in Floyd and at Matrix in downtown Blacksburg. Susan is a member of The Blacksburg Regional ART Association where she was exhibits chair for four years. http://artbysusanhensley.blogspot.com
Becca Obert Imbur is a mixed-media, collage, paper and book artist. Most of her books are refurbished and upcycled through her love of scouring thrift stores, antique stores and flea markets. Many of Becca’s books are one-of-a-kind originals with handmade covers embellished by her love of exotic and delicate papers. Becca enjoys teaching others the fine art of bookbinding and papermaking through workshops that promote the importance of the creative process. Her work has been exhibited at the Jacksonville Arts Center in Floyd, Main Lee Arts in Blacksburg and Bookworks in Asheville, North Carolina.
Rob Jones first realized his love of photography as a photojournalist for his high school newspaper. A nearly twenty-year career in information technologies relegated photography to a hobby until 2006, when he discovered digital photography as the perfect blend of his love of creative images and his extensive skills in computing. Rob currently focuses on fine-art photography and photo restoration while working as the lead tech for Floyd Information Technologies, which he co-owns with his wife, Sarah Beth. www.floydit.com
Sarah Beth Jones has been a public relations practitioner, writer and entrepreneur since 2003. She has developed and maintained websites, blogs and an Etsy shop for her various endeavors since that time. Currently, Sarah is the marketing coordinator for The Jacksonville Center and provides web template development services and end-user tutoring through Floyd Information Technologies, which she co-owns with her husband, Rob. www.floydit.com
Steven Kalb has been blacksmithing for over 15 years. He has studied blacksmithing under some of the best American blacksmiths, and taken classes at nationally recognized schools. Sharing the craft is important to Steven. He has completed terms as Program Chairman, Regional Coordinator, and Trustee for the Florida Artist Blacksmith Association. He also does demonstrations at his coal forge periodically at Koreshan State Park in Estero, Florida. Steven’s interest in blacksmithing began with traditional forging. Period cooking gear and traditional joinery were his passion for several years. Then his art took a more organic direction, where he continues to explore it to this day. www.kalbironworks.com
Kitty Katt is a resident of Franklin County who was born and raised in Roanoke, VA. She has lived in Callaway for the last 45 years. After spending 14 years as a secretary for a Vice President of a major corporation, Kitty retired and began to create hand crafted beaded jewelry. Kitty took a class at Wild Acres in North Carolina which was sponsored by the Eastern Federation of Mineralogical Societies. After taking this class she was completely in love with the Art of Wire jewelry. Now using only the best available materials (14kt gold fill, Sterling silver, and precious and semi prectious stones) she creates one of a kind Wire Art Pendants, Bracelets and Rings. She also can create most anything else that someone wants made including bolos, tie bars and wedding tiaras. She has been teaching now for the last 6 years and enjoys a hands-on approach with her students. Kitty is a juried member of the International Guild of Wire Jewelry Artists, the Round the Mountain Artisan Group and the Bald Knob Artists group. She does shows from Virginia to California and Michigan to Georgia. She has a great love for art and enjoys passing her skills on to others.
Lisa Lipsy currently wears three professional hats. As an Extension Specialist in the Dept of Horticulture at Virginia Tech, her focus is on facilitating a new, emerging state-wide plant introduction program, Beautiful Gardens®. She is also co-owner, along with her husband, of Mill Brook Landscaping, Inc., a small, design-build landscape contracting firm that actually focuses more on gardening than “landscaping”. Garden ponds and naturalistic perennial gardens are their specialties. And thirdly, but not least, is the wholesale grass, perennials and dwarf conifer business with her friend, Pamela Cadmus—LiPa Nurseries. Lisa loves potting and caring for the LiPa Nursery plants because it is the most relaxing part of any of her duties. Being a grower lets her connect most directly to her passion for plants. http://beautifulgardens.org/.
Chris Lively finished his MFA with a concentration in Ceramics at Radford University in 2008. He has taught 3D foundation classes and beginning through advanced wheel-throwing and alterations classes. Chris sees his work as the exploration of the human gesture and nature. He wants his work to look born and not made. His work has been featured in Larks’ Books 500 Plates and Chargers and Clay Times, and been on display in exhibits such as the Strictly Functional Pottery National exhibit in Lancaster, PA, and Feats of Clay at the Lincoln Arts Center in Lincoln, CA. http://chrislivelypottery.com/
Barbara Mann of Tallahassee, Florida has been carving from native hardwoods since 1971. Her original teachers were Cherokee woodcarvers and she continues to learn from nationally known contemporary carvers. She carves in several styles including traditional, stylized, realistic, caricature, low relief, and chip carving. Her favorites are carving traditional animals and birds, human caricatures, all kinds of Christmas ornaments, wood spirits, and faces and full figures in cypress knees. She has been teaching woodcarving since 1975 in many places including John C. Campbell Folk School, Southeastern Woodcarving School, The Florida, Michigan and Northeast Woodcarving Roundups. Since retiring as a university administrator and faculty member, she displays and sells her carving at craft shows and festivals, and is an active member of the Light N Up Artist Cooperative in Havana, Florida. www.woodcarvingsbymann.com
Sarah McCarthy is a full time studio potter who lives in Floyd, Virginia. She is a self taught artist who has studied at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Sarah creates functional wheel thrown and hand built pots with attention to surface decoration and subtle Asian influenced glazes. She hopes her pots add to the beauty of the intimate spaces in our daily lives. www.sarahmccarthypottery.com
Elizabeth Ryland Mears resides in northern Virginia, and, even though she is a few short miles from the nation’s capital, her home is surrounded by a luxuriant forest of deciduous trees. She is reminded of nature in all seasons of the year as her woodland gardens rise up from the forest floor in the spring while the trees overhead hint at a brilliant chartreuse green. The canopy formed by the
leafy boughs in summer creates a cathedral like space around her home and those same gardens abound with all manner of plants and flowers. Fall brings its myriad of colors followed by the quiet grays of the winter tableau in which the structures of the trees, their skeletons, manifest themselves and allow sight lines deep into the heart of the woods. The creatures, which live in these woods, are part of her life, too, as they meander through the property and assert their natural ownership.
Mears utilizes the forms of nature to create works of glass, which reflect her relationship to both her inner and her outer worlds. The glass is first worked in the mesmerizing flame of a bench torch then often is combined with other materials to become the exquisitely crafted and nationally exhibited objects for which she is known. Her award winning works are prized by collectors and held in museum and corporate collections. She has authored two books, which describe the techniques she uses for making glass objects, and her creations have been included in numerous books and other publications whose subject is contemporary art glass. In 2009 she was declared a Master Artist in the state of Virginia.
Steve Mitchell produces large raku and wood fired vessels at his mountainside studio located in the Back Creek area of Roanoke County. Steve developed most of his glazes highlighted by use of silver and gold to accent the mostly classic Greek and Asian forms. Steve has won numerous awards for his work including Best Raku Form at the Mid-Atlantic Clay Conference. Steve has developed a new throwing technique for his raku work making the vessels very light weight at the same time massive in scale. Steve is a Board Member of the Blue Ridge Potter’s Guild and a member of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. His work has been seen in area galleries as well as the Jacksonville Center for the Arts. His studio is open by appointment. www.stevemitchellpottery.com