Faith and Fiddles: Orchestra Teacher and Violinist Katelyn Cashwell

Katelyn Cashwell grew up in Hudsonville, Michigan, and began playing violin in 4th grade. While in high school, she had the opportunity to perform with the Unity Christian High School at the Michigan Music Conference and teach under Sara VandePol Jager. After graduating in 2008, she went on to attend Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and studied conducting under Robert Nordling; John Varineau, former conductor of the Grand Rapids Symphony; Dr. Joel Navarro; and Dr. Tiffany Engle. While at Calvin College, she performed with the Calvin College Orchestra, with whom she toured frequently, including to China in 2010. In 2017, Katelyn received her Masters in Music Education from Vandercook College of Music in Chicago, IL.

Katelyn moved to Fayetteville, NC in 2013 and currently teaches at Massey Hill Classical High School. Professionally, she performs with the Snyder Memorial Baptist Church orchestra, as well as at weddings and private events. She also teaches violin and viola privately from her home.

Katelyn is married to her husband of almost 2 years, Ryan Cashwell. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her family and friends.

3 Things making your life richer and why: Without my faith, my life would not be rich at all. During such uncertain times, God is the one thing I can trust to stay the same. 

My husband makes my life richer. He has always been my biggest supporter when it comes to my art. He comes to every performance for me individually and for my students. He also helps me enjoy life. We live very close to Downtown Fayetteville and he is always encouraging me to enjoy the local shops and restaurants.

My students make my life so rich! They are constantly asking questions and want to try new things. They work so hard at everything I put in front of them. They keep me laughing every day and make me want to come to work. 

Local Artist you admire: While they are not local, they have begun to visit North Carolina quite a bit. The Moxie Strings is a fiddle group based out of Michigan. They travel around the country teaching students fiddle pieces by rote and how to improvise. I met them when I was a student and have had them come work with my students here in North Carolina. What I love most about The Moxie Strings is that they are able to help students open up. I have seen students who I struggled with having them play in class, play in front of an audience of parents! They are amazing!

Current artistic experiments: I am currently working with my students to prepare them for a life of performance. One of the ways I am doing this is by teaching them to play in alternate clefs. A lot of the time, as a professional musician, you will be handed music that is not written for your instrument. By teaching them these alternate clefs, I can help my students be able to play anything handed to them. I also try to have them play some sort of syncopated music during the year because a lot of the pop tunes couples want for their wedding are all syncopated. Anything I do with my students lately has been to prepare them for the outside world of music.

Personal practice informs your teaching or visa versa: I have learned through my professional career that the music I play now is not like the music I played in orchestra in school. One of my favorite experiences in high school was playing in our musical pit. It taught me the unexpected moments in music and how to watch a conductor. I love that I am able to give my students the same opportunity at Massey Hill Classical High School with our theatre department.

Favorite way to share artistic history with your students: I recently discovered the book Year of Wonder: Classical Music to Enjoy Day by Day by Clemency Burton-Hill. It has a classical music piece for each day of the year. Each morning, while students are entering the classroom, I have the piece for the day playing. We then read the excerpt from the book. We have all learned about so many new pieces and I love when they come back to me and ask if we can play those pieces.

What do you want for your arts students? I want my students to feel loved and cared for. I want music to be a place where they feel safe. I want music to be a release for them. 

If you could teach anything using your art form what would it be? I love fiddle music! I love that most of the time it is taught by ear so students really have to listen to the music and figure it out. It also allows for creativity with improvisation. I could teach a whole class on fiddling and improvisation!

Music Teacher Corey Leak Elevates and Educates Through Song

Mr. Corey Leak is currently the music teacher at Lucile Souders Elementary School. His greatest joy is inspiring his students to enjoy all that music has to offer across many genres.  While at Lucile Souders, Leak has put on musical productions such as Annie, Motown Christmas and the Wiz.

At the age of 13, Mr. Leak started traveling and singing professionally with the Boys Choir of Harlem. He has performed with a diverse group of music’s most distinguished and revered recording artists, ranging from Patti Labelle, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder to Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Kathleen Battle. Mr. Leak was a member of the cast of the Lion King, and has performed with the North Carolina Symphony, New York Symphony and Boston Symphony.

Mr. Leak is a graduate of the Choir Academy of Harlem, a performing arts high school, and holds the Bachelor of Arts degree in Music/Vocal Performance from Shaw University. Leak has completed additional studies in vocal performance at Indiana University, Boston University and Westminster Choir College.

3 Things making your life richer & why?

Three things that make my life richer are my family because they keep me grounded and have been the core of helping me to grow into the man I am today. They are my reason for pushing myself to be the absolute best that I can be.

Teaching and getting to work with my students daily is one of the greatest experiences of my life. They challenge me to be better by wanting to give them all I’ve learned and experienced in life. Every day we get to take a journey through music, whether exploring music genres from around the world, learning different instruments, or singing. I get to see them grow and dare to dream of endless possibilities of what they can accomplish.

The last thing that makes life richer for me is the opportunities I have been given to still perform and sing. As much as I love teaching, I also have a great love and equal passion for performance and singing and using my gift. Having the opportunity to share my gift of singing is truly a joy. I love connecting with my audience through song to uplift, inspire, and even provoke moments of thought in them.

Local artist you admire?

I admire and respect greatly Monique Butler McLeod. She is a professional singer, choir director, coach, and so much more. I had the privilege to sing with her at the past two Lift Every Voice and Sing shows presented by Cumberland Choral Arts. She is a phenomenal singer and performer and equally a phenomenal person to know in everyday life. She inspires me and has truly become a wonderful friend. 

What is one of your current artistic experiments?

I am currently looking to start working on a recording of African American spirituals and art songs. I’ve never done a full recorded album before and while I am nervous, I am also excited for the opportunity. This is an untapped market that you really don’t have much representation in today and so it would be a total reward for me. 

How does your practice inform your teaching, or vice versa?

My practice informs my teaching through the discipline I teach them when it comes to performance. How to stand, how to hold a music folder, how to engage an audience, and tell a story through song. It also informs the level of expectation I have for my students. I do not limit their abilities: I push them to where I know they can go and beyond. I do not allow them to speak any negativity about themselves or each other; instead I only promote positive reinforcement and words. No two people are alike. My expectation is not that they learn to be better than one another, but for them to be the best THEY can be in whatever musical expression we are exploring at the moment. I hope they will take those tools and carry them throughout the rest of their lives and apply it to whatever they do, wherever they go. 

Corey (second from right) with fellow soloists at “Lift Every Voice and Sing” 2022

What is your favorite way to share artistic history with your students? 

My favorite way to share artistic history with my students is through animated videos that depict the portions of history I would like for them to learn, and wherever possible, bring in fellow musicians, singers, etc to do live presentations. I try to introduce music history in ways that inspire, provoke thought, and engage my students.

What do you want for your art students? 

What I want for my students is for them to get every opportunity there is to learn all about the wonderful world of music. I would love for them to be exposed to different cultures, instruments, musical experiences. I would like for them to walk away from my class inspired to be their absolute best creative selves. I want them to be free to explore and become as well-rounded human beings as possible. 

If you could teach anything using your art form, what would it be?

Music is a part of life that helps to create and effect positive change.  Music has the power to heal, uplift, inspire, challenge, and increase positive brain development. Music is what changed my life and to be able to use it in part to influence my students of all the possibilities and creativity is truly amazing to me. I would like to continue to use it to teach my students how to respect, love, and appreciate one another. I think our world would be a better place if everyone were able to look at each other through the eyes of love. If I can use my art form to help put a little more love out into the world then I would have accomplished my mission in life. 


Flutist Sarah Busman Effervescently Talks Local Music & Arts Education

Sarah Busman is the Arts Education Manager for the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County, where her primary initiatives are Artists In Schools and Mini Grants. She is also the principal flutist of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra. Prior to working at the Arts Council, Sarah taught at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke for 9 years, graduating many wonderful flutists, teachers, and scholars. She is the founder of Darkwater Festival, which celebrates women in music through scholarship, performance, and new music. Sarah holds a BM from Middle Tennessee State University and an MM from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She lives in Fayetteville, NC with her husband Joshua Busman, her two little boys, Arthur and Simon, and her tripod hound dog Foster.

3 Things making your life richer & why

I love discovering the world through my two and four year old kids. They make me notice things that I would normally walk right by.

Being outside is something that gives me energy. I’ve tried my hand at vegetable gardening and love to root around in the dirt (pun intended).

Up until this year, I was in a position where listening to music *was* work (as a professor at UNCP). Now that I am in an office setting, I’ve rediscovered my love of listening to new albums in all genres.

Local artist you admire: At my job at the Arts Council, I meet so many artists. It’s tough to choose just one! One of the ways I personally relax is by doing cross-stitch, so I find Adrienne Trego’s work very inspiring! 

What is one of your current artistic experiments? I’ve shifted into a job where I meet lots of different artists in lots of different disciplines. I’m very interested in how to merge classical music with some of these other artistic disciplines. I have a friend in Charleston doing these amazing food and classical music pairings, and I could see something like that being really cool in Fayetteville!

How did your art practice change during the pandemic? The pandemic uniquely affected musicians who can’t wear masks while performing, so I went from performing 2-4 times a month to nothing for almost two years. Like many musicians, I enjoyed doing some collaborations online, but I shifted a lot of my energy to making educational videos for students to experience music while learning virtually. This led to an awesome set of videos with the Fayetteville Symphony that I did with my son called “Adventures with Arthur.” Doing those videos was a real stretch for us, but I’m proud of the result. 

Where do you practice your art? Describe your work space. Musicians focus on their performances, but the time before the performance is where we really practice our art. For most orchestral gigs, I get music 2 weeks before the performance in anticipation that I will intimately know my part by the time the first full rehearsal starts. For most gigs, we rehearse only twice as a full ensemble before a performance, so the practice part is really important. I often practice at home, but now that I work at the Arts Council I sometimes take breaks from reading grant proposals to play music in the basement for Ella the Elephant

How do you find your subject (next piece, idea, voice)? I make an effort to play new music and/or historical music by female and non-white composers. These composers are drastically overlooked in symphonic programming and much of the canonical writings about music, so I try to focus my energy there.

Advice to newer artists in your genre. Communicate honestly with yourself and the people around you about what you think is important. The list of important things won’t stay the same throughout your life, so shift as-needed. And your art won’t always be at the top of that list, and that’s totally ok.

Vocal Music Teacher Temoni Agee-Boyce Lifts Students’ Voices

Ms. Temoni Agee-Boyce has been singing since the young age of three. She is a member of the gospel group, The Truthettes, and has been since the age of ten. As a graduate of Fayetteville State University, she majored in Music Education with a concentration in voice. She received her Master’s Degree from Liberty University where she studied Music and Worship. Currently, Ms. Agee-Boyce serves as the Vocal Music Teacher at Reid Ross Classical School. She has taught English to students in Beijing, China. She is the Praise and Worship leader and Youth Choir Director at Lewis Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Fayetteville, NC.

Last year, Ms. Agee-Boyce launched her private vocal training studio through her business, T.A.B Empowerment. Her desire is to be able to share her life values and love of music with the world, but she has a special love for youth and young adults. She hopes to continue teaching full-time, while serving the Kingdom of God in whatever capacity necessary. Ms. Agee-Boyce’s desire is that she can continue to give back in such a way that resembles the way in which she has been tremendously blessed by her Creator.

3 Things making your life richer & why: My Education, Mindset, and Talent and/or Skill. I worked hard in school and earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in my content area of Music. Because of my credentials, I am able to apply for specific positions and receive pay for my time, knowledge, and performance. My main pay comes from being a music teacher, but I receive outstanding pay serving as a church youth choir director, and a praise and worship leader. I was also recently able to open my business in which I provide vocal training to all ages. Because of the opportunities I am awarded and have awarded myself, I must put forth the effort, dedication, and time in order to receive the benefits. I must make sure I show up prompt, prepared, productive,  polite, and positive.
My mindset is the most important piece to making money. If I want to opportunity, I have to do what is required. To whom much is given, much is also required.
Lastly, my talent has played a part in my success. This is the talent God has blessed me with. With this talent, I have put in the time to perfect my craft. Through my experience and expertise I have built my skill in the area of music, in general, but specifically in the voice.

Local artist you admire: If I had to choose, one of the local artists I admire in Fayetteville is Yael Hilton. I admire her because she is so humble and embraces the opportunity to bring light and peace to others through her gift and ministry in Gospel music.

What is one of your current artistic experiments? One of my current artistic experiences I am working on is building my business and making sure it is serving my clientele in the best way possible.

How does your personal practice inform your teaching, or vice versa? Experience is the best teacher, and this has been my personal practice. It has made teaching and performance extremely smooth and easy.

What is your favorite way to share artistic history with your students? I like to share artistic history with my students by showing them actual performances. They are able to not only relate but to critique constructively. This creates space for them to compare and contrast for improvement and success in their performance.

What do you want for your arts students? I would love for my students to exceed me in all I have seen, done, and learned. They have so much more potential than I did and they are dedicated to their craft. I’d like to see them be the best musician they possibly can be. I want them to receive all the opportunities possible. I want them to perform everywhere and experience all that the world of music has to offer.

If you could teach anything using your art form, what would it be? If I could teach anything to my students, I would want to teach them nuggets to help develop and improve their discipline, humility, vocal skill, and leadership skills. This is what is needed and will help them go far in the industry.

Visual Artist John Scrudder Makes Intimate Intricate

Though born and raised in California, John Scrudder has called North Carolina his home since 1997. He served active duty in the United States Army for 11 years and has worked the past 13 years as a DOD GS Civilian. He lives in Fayetteville with his wife Melanie, his son, Tiziano and their dog, Sir William.   

STATEMENT: Art has always felt like a voice more clear and reliable than my own. Growing up while often feeling like an outsider, my art has given me a language to discuss and encourage conversation about the world around us. Using pen or paint to create geometric forms and mazes that border on chaos yet always offer a true path out of the puzzle, I visualize the experience every human knows—searching for solutions within the maze of life. In facing my own difficulties and often feeling confused, frustrated, or angry, creating the mazes within my work taps into the human desire to make sense of the unknown. Transposing my personal search for answers to a visual search for the exit in a maze takes the vastness of life and contains it within one work of art, rendering the overwhelm of life’s journey into a single puzzle that can be solved. My work often focuses upon real issues, like the pain of personal relationships, class and race inequality, and questions of meaning in life. Through transforming complex human issues into complex visual puzzles, my art invites viewers to engage with a problem and embrace the human journey of eternal solution-searching.

assortment of work on repurposed items

3 Things making your life richer & why:

1. Family: Especially my wife and son. I suffer from Bipolar disorder and my manic highs and depressive lows can last for a long time, both my wife and son are just so loving and caring towards me without fault. Both of them are also extremely talented artists in their own right as well. My wife is pursuing her BA in Fine Arts through UNC Pembroke while my son is a talented sculptor and illustrator as well.  

2. Jamming with my band mates. I’ve been drumming for about 20 years. Music is a great form of artistic expression. Few things feel better than when you fall into an unspoken groove and everyone is exactly where they’re supposed to be in the piece.

3. The whole process of filmmaking fascinates me. I love movies, but I also admire the high art that goes along with producing a beautiful, poignantly moving piece of cinema.

Local artist you admire: My Wife: Melanie Scrudder. She paints what she’s passionate about, friends, family and the wonders of life. Her perpetually sunny disposition always shines though in her works. I don’t always see the positive side of things, so her work always brightens my day.

What is one of your current artistic experiments? I used to work primarily with pen and paper. but within the last few years I started doing maze designs on Wakeboards, tables, mirrors and guitars. I find upcycling items into new works of art very satisfying. 

How did your art practice change during the pandemic?
Well, I’ll tell you, the wife and I were actually on the verge of divorce about a day before we went into lockdown. We took those first two weeks to really get down to the nitty gritty of the nature of love, how we feel, and how we could both best be objective about our situation, and as peaceful, compassionate and understanding as we could be towards one another. That spilled into my artwork with pieces like “As close as we’ll ever be” and “Love in the age of Covid-19.” I also started exploring politics and spirituality with pieces like “Samsara” and “Narrow Margins.” My work became a lot more personal and intimate during the pandemic.

“Samsara” 2019

Where do you practice your art? Describe your work space. I don’t really have a studio. I don’t really need one. Because I sometimes work with 3-D objects I’ll just use whatever surface in the house is largest, whether it be the kitchen table, the floor, my desk or even my bed! I’m pretty flexible. I also keep sketchbooks around for my illustrations.

How do you find your subject (next piece, idea, voice)? I just listen and I observe. I listen to the news, I listen to people. I observe nature and the changing of the seasons. I often think of myself as the “Nowhere Man” from that song by The Beatles. If I’m in a rut, like I’ve been this year, I try to meditate and just let everything go. I often find my voice when everything has quieted down to a still nothingness. 

Advice to newer artists in your genre:
1. CREATE ALL THE TIME. The more you do, the better you’ll get. Guaranteed.
2. Be passionate about your art. There’s no point to it if you aren’t enjoying yourself.
3. Everyone is their own worst critic. You have to remember to be gentle with yourself. Picasso said it best; “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up.”

Quilling Artist Griffin Carrick Strolls and Scrolls

Griffin Carrick in a black tanktop and blue jeans, standing outside in front of green bushes, holding a large scale white paper quill design.
Quilling artist Griffin Carrick with one of her large scale quill designs

Griffin Carrick is a paper quilling artist born and raised in Illinois. She currently resides in Fayetteville, with her husband, who serves in the Army, and their three children. She studied architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and earned a master’s degree in interior design from the Savannah College of Art and Design, followed by 10 years working in the interior design industry. The demands of motherhood and military life led her to paper quilling as a creative outlet. Quilling is the folding, rolling and configuring of paper strips into decorative motifs. Unlike traditional quilling that attaches strips of paper to a backing, Griffin removes that substrate and relies on the structural potential of the quilled paper to create her wall hangings and quilled collages. Her practice is greatly influenced by textiles and experiments in the three-dimensional potential of paper quilling. 

Carrick’s current work: vintage denim with quilled paper from yearbooks.

3 Things making your life richer & why:

I have always gotten so much inspiration out of visiting antique and thrift stores. Fayetteville and Sanford both have a handful of shops I visit regularly. I particularly love Mid-Century Modern furniture and decor as well as vintage textiles and books.

I love seeing great art in person; the North Carolina Museum of Art is one of my favorites because it has a beautiful art park, which I find is a great spot to wear my kids out before I drag them through the galleries inside. They always put on beautiful special exhibitions and have a great combination of old masters artwork and contemporary artists on display.

Getting out on a walk (by myself) while listening to a good book or podcast is one of the easiest things I do to get inspired, and I’ve made an effort to prioritize it. In the past any free time I had automatically went to making stuff in my studio, and I’m trying to remind myself that this time away from the studio, moving my body, is also part of a strong art practice.

Local artist you admire: I enjoy the work of local artist Katie Crawford and was happy to see she recently wrote a children’s book. I love an excuse to expose my kids to art and it’s even more enriching for them when the person that made those beautiful pictures lives in their hometown.

What is one of your current artistic experiments? I recently started quilling with vintage college yearbook pages and combining it with bits of recycled denim blue jeans to make tapestries and wall hangings, I love the patina of the worn denim, the snippets of text and photos seen in the quilled yearbook pages, and the fact that these materials are recycled. It has been a goal of mine to use second hand materials in my practice and I feel like I have landed on materials that I find aesthetically and personally meaningful, so I am excited by all the possibilities of this combination!

How did your art practice change during the pandemic? During the pandemic I can’t say a lot changed since I make art here in my home, however the dedicated time I had to make art was limited, because my kids were doing online school. While they did their school work in my studio, which helped me squeeze in some art making, I mostly found myself retrieving snacks, distracting my toddler, and trying to keep them focused and motivated. I am definitely grateful to have some dedicated and undistracted time back in the studio these days!

Carrick’s home studio, including pup under desk

Where do you practice your art? Describe your work space. We have an extra room in our home that I use as an art studio, having this space means I pop in there and work throughout the day. I have a nice large table to make work with a large bulletin board where I pin up samples and inspiration and a pair of shelves that holds supplies, including my main materials, paper and glue, as well as stacks (and stacks) of old work.

How do you find your subject (next piece, idea, voice)? Having a background in interior design and architecture I came to my art practice with a pretty strong sense of my own design style and I think about art like an interior designer would, meaning I think art should enhance the space it inhabits. For me that means the artwork sparks conversation/consideration, adds texture and dimension to the wall it sits on and expresses the material(s) it is made of beautifully. So I started quilling paper wall hangings because they embodied the kind of art I wanted to see in a well designed room.

Advice to newer artists in your genre. Just start making stuff and don’t be afraid to experiment and follow ideas/inspiration. Even the bad ideas or pieces I have made taught me new skills, led to better ideas or helped me identify what it was I wanted to do with my art. If it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill then you have to make A LOT of art and it all won’t be pretty.

Whimsy with wax: Visual Artist Sara-Jane Lee

Visual Artist Sara-Jane Lee

Sara-Jane Lee was born in New York City and grew up with a very strong connection to the arts. Throughout her artistic evolution, she has focused on accurate physical representation, as well as exploring the range and complexity of human emotion evoked by an image with inspiration drawn from nature.

Although she continues to work in all mediums with a focus on realism, Sara-Jane has recently become fascinated with crayons. With the textural energy of the wax and it’s vibrancy of color, the crayon medium combines and expresses the whimsical side of her personality, and presents a dichotomy of precise realistic renderings with tools presumed for the artistically primitive. Her drawings are immediately relatable. The large scale in which she prefers to work adds to their impact, and enables a purity of emotional response.

Hermit Crab

3 things that make my life richer: The first thing that enriches my life would have to be any time I am able to spend outside, surrounded by nature. I spend as much time as I can throughout the week going for hikes, or walks, taking in the beautiful North Carolina landscape. The second thing that makes me feel enriched is spending time with animals. My work consists mainly of animal portraits, and spending time volunteering at animal shelters, hanging out with my two cats, or even visiting zoos or aquariums is always extremely inspiring. The last thing that is enriching may sound silly, but would have to be a really well made cup of tea. I’ve found that it is important to take little moments like having a cup of tea for yourself to maintain mental clarity and openness to creativity. 

Local artist that I admire: One local artist that I have really grown to admire is Guy Jencks. Jencks is a potter, based right here in Cumberland County. His ever-changing style, and constant experimentation with new techniques always pays off, and definitely encourages me to continue to push my own artistic boundaries. 

Current artistic experiments: I have recently been experimenting with many different surfaces. Instead of sticking to your traditional “paper”, I’ve been experimenting with different colored and textured matboards, as well as wood, to achieve new effects with the crayons. 

What changed about my work in 2020: Throughout 2020, I really expanded the color palate of my pieces. I’ve only been working with crayons for a few years, and it has taken some time to really perfect my technique, with an extremely temperamental medium. It has taken me a while to understand how to layer colors and manipulate the crayons, without being able to erase anything, to produce pieces that have a full range of color – not only 2-3 layers. 

Where I practice my art: Currently, I am lucky enough to have a small studio room in my house. I normally work with my pieces pinned vertically to the wall, so I have bolted smooth wooden boards as neutral work surfaces on which to pin my work. Since I work on a large scale, my boards cover a 4’x8′ area. 

How do I find my next subject: I usually look for an expression that makes me laugh. Whether that be from a human, or an animal: Humor has always been a major part of my personality that I can’t help but show through my work. Animals are absolutely more expressive and relatable than we generally give them credit for. 

Advice for an emerging artist: Always make sure that you remain true to who YOU are when creating. Many artists start out copying master work for practice, or trying to emulate a particular style, however this will always make you feel confined. Always make sure you leave a clear piece of yourself in pieces – they always come out better that way!

Photographer Brandon Wilder on Collectives, Community, and Cats

self-portrait of the artist. Brandon Wilder, 2021.

I started working as a bartender shortly after school; it allowed me to meet a great deal of people with all kinds of different personalities/morals/viewpoints on life. It allowed me to see thing from others’ eyes. Not that I’ll ever truly walk in their shoes, but I know what size they wear. I actually only started creating Art and Photography fairly recently, about five-ish years now, although I have collected Art my entire life. It started with Comic Books as a kid, Ansel Adams prints in my teens, and progressed from there. My wife & I actually had to thin our collection to move down to Fayetteville. 

Taking a photo is me freezing a second in time, telling a story that deserves to be told. Past achievements include, but are not limited to: three exhibitions at The Delaware Contemporary Museum (Wilmington, DE); one showing at the Center For the Creative Arts (DE); shot various bands and DJ’s (EDM) throughout northern Delaware & Philadelphia PA. I created album covers for musicians I’ve had a strong creative relationship with and been published in various music trade magazines. My work can be found on Instagram where I have separate pages for Art and Photography.

3 Things making your life richer & why
1- My Wife is absolutely amazing, and in so many ways: she is insanely creative, one of the most intelligent people I have ever met, as well as supportive of all my craziness. 
2- Our Cats: Armond, who is a savvy 17 year old Russian Blue that’s always at my side. Lazlow, who is just the cutest thing you ever did see: a very vocal 2 year old Ocicat weighing in at about 15 pounds at his last vet visit. 
3- My camera, and by extension the equipment I have collected over the past couple of years. I have tendency to buy the equipment that most photographers think “why would I ever use that”. I have so much love for these smaller companies that make really original offerings in a market where everyone tries to copy the same things their competitors are doing. A personal favorite is Lensbaby out of Portland OR.

Local artist you admire: I moved to Fayetteville a little under five months ago from Wilmington DE and I’m still getting woven into the local art scene. I hope to be more in touch with the community and meet many of the artists that reside & create locally, but that just hasn’t happened yet. It’s been tough finding ways to reach out given the pandemic and hurdles created because of it.

What is one of your current artistic experiments? I am currently collaborating with my wife on a multi-media experiment involving her amazing x-acto(tm) knife skills and silk screening experience with my portrait photography.

Also for the past few years I have been working with an organization called Tri-State Underground. We are a music/arts collective that puts together events with various rock/hiphop artists and then use those gatherings as an opportunity for locals to feed the less fortunate within their communities. Currently, we are working on expanding our outreach that began in the Philadelphia market to encompass the area from Raleigh to Fayetteville.

What changed about your practice in 2020? Will you keep this change? 2020 was tough and 2021 hasn’t been a picnic. It definitely led me to broaden my horizons as far as subject matter for photography. When you’re a live music/event Photographer and all that comes to a screeching halt, you either give up or move on. I moved on to creating photography where loneliness and fear of being alone was a central theme. I had to do that for myself more then others, to remind myself that it wasn’t just carefully planned courses that stopped without much of a warning. Art is definitely a form of therapy, for the Artist & the audience. 

Where do you practice your art? Describe your work space. I practice in the streets, music venues, just about anything or anywhere that catches my eye. I never leave home without a camera bag. I pretty much work out of a Jeep Wrangler/a well organized Pelican case/a smaller grab & go sling bag set up for street shooting. 

How do you find your subject (next piece, idea, voice)? In Delaware I was pretty setup with contacts that would call me about various projects, but here has been a bit more difficult. Social media definitely helps. I have had some amazing shoots down here with some of the local Hip Hop collectives. 

I have also worked in tattoo shops as a Body Piercer for the better part of fifteen years, and that has taught me more about art, in a real day-to-day sense. The thing is most tattooers create much more than just the tattoos they sell. Be it visual/physical/writing/etc. it’s very much like a pseudo-Art school for the thick-skinned. If you put ten people with strong personalities from all walks of life in a room everyday for years that only have one real bond (Art), guess what they are going to talk or argue about.  

Advice to newer artists in your genre: “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” -Andy Warhol. That quote in particular has definitely stuck with me over the years.

Sarah & Brad: Married, Musicians, Muses

Sarah Chapman and Bradford Dougherty in front of holiday lights

Sarah Chapman is a local actor, musician, and currently the Education Director of Sweet Tea Shakespeare.  She has been in local productions such as “Evil Dead: The Musical” (Gilbert Theater), “Dogwood” (A Yellow Beanie Project) and “Much Ado About Nothing” (Sweet Tea Shakespeare). Bradford Dougherty, also a local actor, is a solder at Ft Bragg in the 44th Medical Brigade. We both have been musicians and performers since childhood. We married in 2018 and have three children, Tristan, William, and Genevieve.

sarah & brad. photo courtesy A Yellow Beanie Project.

3 Things making your life richer & why

Brad: my family, art, and career; being in a career of service, both by medicine and the army has given me a unique perspective in what I can and should do for the people around me. My art gives me the opportunity to participate intimately with the things I’m passionate about, and my family provides a warm and supportive environment. They inspire me to want to better myself in all aspects of my life.

Sarah: Aside from having wonderful, empathetic children of my own, I love watching appreciation of local artists, and the arts in general, grow exponentially from what it used to be in Fayetteville. I grew up here, and I’m proud to contribute by working with our local youths in theater. I also find wealth in simplicity: occasional peace and quiet is a privilege these days and I don’t take it for granted.

Local artist you admire: We both agree that El’Ja Bowens is an AMAZING artist who has a unique way of delivering profound, impactful performances. We’re huge fans of his work!

What is one of your current artistic experiments? Getting up and performing for the first time was our icebreaker for putting ourselves out there. When Sarah isn’t working on music production for local projects, she’s making original music and when we come together we pick songs we mutually enjoy and practice. We’re also currently recruiting to expand into a full band.

What changed about your practice in 2020? Will you keep this change? Between the two of us, we have picked up more ways to artistically contribute and create within our community. More volume has required more practice, the necessity to find new skills and develop abilities (especially with tech), and it’s allowed us to collectively step outside of our comfort zones. We are happy with where this has led us and hope the trajectory keeps moving forward. 

Where do you practice your art? Describe your work space. We have a “studio” in our home. We recently upgraded it to professional status when we got Sarah top tier recording software and sound equipment. We are also able to house a full five-piece band including 4 mics, plus we have a few classical instruments. Sarah has an old desk in this space where she does her work with pictures of our kids and gifts from friends and past students displayed.  

How do you find your subject (next piece, idea, voice)? It’s different for both of us. For me (Sarah), my brain is on the go at all times, and everything is sensory overload on my worst day. Music and art is my safe space. When it comes to original work or performing live, I peak when I’m feeling everything in the moment and lose myself. Writing a song when I’m anxious, portraying a character in theater; everything is visceral and authentic.

Brad says: I like a good story, so if there’s something I’d like to recreate, if it moves me, then I’ll want to riff off of that. Sometimes it results in me writing work for intended film projects, sometimes it pushes me toward musical collaboration where musicality communicated between me and other musicians in a jam session. That communication can tell it’s own story. 

Advice to newer artists in your genre.

Sarah: Set realistic expectations, practice, and don’t allow criticism to discourage you. I also believe in staying humble because success comes from others’ appreciation and support.

Brad: Find an influence that’s better than you, and steal as much as humanly possible. Everything you learn playing their licks is going to make you a better musician, and developing skills listening to lots of other musicians can help you develop your own musical identity. Also don’t skimp on your hobby; that doesn’t mean you have to drop a ton if money for top of the line gear, but if you are serious about playing, decent gear will give you a chance to hear and feel when you play well, where cheap or bad gear is going to provide a miserable experience and will discourage you, because it isn’t going to sound or feel like you are improving. The cost incentive is going to make you want to make the cost worth your time as well. 

The Connected Creator: Visual Artist Katlin McFadden

Katlin McFadden is a Pennsylvania-born mom of two. When she’s not helping women in business, and juggling mom-life, she’s painting portraits of them. She began her college education focusing on fine art and worked in a variety of industries. After relocating to North Carolina years later, Katlin decided she wanted to pursue a degree in marketing and sales where she felt she could combine her love of business with creativity.  Katlin often jokes she loves to create everything from businesses, to artwork, to grocery lists. 

During this time, she became interested in creating a business of her own. She designed a product and navigated the prototyping and manufacturing process. This business venture lead her to discover the power of social media marketing. After exploring the world of invention and marketing, she decided it was time to channel her effort into a career. Becoming part of the team at the WBC was a perfect fit for Katlin’s interest in business and promoting small businesses specifically.  

Katlin became a member of the Women’s Business Center of Fayetteville at CEED in March of 2018. She began her career with the WBC as a part-time Business Advisor and is now the WBC Program Director.  Katlin loves empowering women to bring their ideas to life and firmly believes where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Outside of her role at the Women’s Business Center, Katlin sells her original artwork and prints. She is currently working on a series of paintings titled, “Luminosity” and focusing on newly commissioned work. 

3 Things making your life richer & why:

My two wonderful daughters: They constantly remind me to stop and appreciate the little things. They are my greatest motivators and inspiration. 

My career at CEED: I feel so incredibly grateful that I get to be so creative at my job and I get to learn so many things. CEED has allowed me to pursue my hunger for growth, knowledge, and new experiences. 

Community: Like many, I am a transplant in Fayetteville who chose to stay. The community, my friends, and the team I get to work with-they all make it a truly enriching place to be. 

Local artist (any genre, Cumberland County preferred) you admire: I admire the work of many local artists. Fayetteville is full of talent! One of the artists I particularly admire is Sarah Sourcier. Her paintings are full of emotion and I love how she bridges abstract brushstrokes and conveys realistic images. Her work is so fun and dynamic to look at; her painting of Clint Eastwood is one of my favorite works in Fayetteville! 

What is one of your current artistic experiments? One of my current artistic experiments has been the examination of ambient light and capturing that glow. I’m truly enjoying the process and building the contrast! 

What changed about your practice in 2020? Will you keep this change? My practice drastically changed in 2020. Prior to 2020 I primarily created art in black and grey charcoal or graphite. I used to describe myself solely as a pencil and paper artist. When the “stay at home” period of the pandemic began in 2020, I dove into the world of paint and color. I wanted a challenge and felt the inspiration to grow as an artist. Feeling stuck in the four walls of my home created this need to bring color in. This change is here to stay. I still draw often but, I feel I haven’t even scratched the surface of the world of paint and what I can do what it. 

Where do you practice your art? Describe your work space. I mostly work in my home studio. My workspace is compromised of a vintage military trunk full of paint and a shelf of eclectic mugs and jars full of paintbrushes, palette knives, and charcoal pencils. My walls are lined with my in progress work…I am running out of wall space! 

How do you find your subject (next piece, idea, voice)? I find myself looking for images that are relatable or convey a relatable feeling. Last year my primary focus was on images that had an element of water. I wanted to examine how to create the translucency of water into paint and the concept of “staying afloat”. This year I have a concentrated focus on light sources. My current series ranges from natural sunlight cast on the human form to the glow of ambient light. 

Advice to newer artists in your genre: My advice for newer artists in my genre would be to keep painting as much as possible and don’t forget to take a step back and look at your overall picture throughout the process! Also, don’t be afraid to try new styles and mediums-don’t limit yourself! For the longest time I was stuck on one medium out of a passion and comfortability but I surprised myself with the happiness I’ve found in this new and exciting chapter of work!