Joanna Carter was born in Miami, Florida. In 2009, she received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Drawing from the University of Central Florida. As of May 2013, she received her Master’s in Fine Arts from Florida International University. Her work has been exhibited in shows across the east coast including the cities of Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Atlanta, and New York City. She is also the recipient of the Women in the Visual Arts/ Lynn Travis Stender Scholarship. In her works on paper, mixed media, video and installation, she is interested in giving the viewer a revelation of the intimate artist’s hand through the process of Drawing.
Having been nearly robbed by monkeys on a mountain in the Sichuan province of China, documented the claimed location of the Ark of the Covenant in Aksum Ethiopia, photographed the rituals of Semana Santa in Antigua, Guatemala; Ryann Cooley has many stories to share. He says that his travels as a documentary photographer to over 50 countries have helped shape his ideas. Additionally, his years of advertising and editorial work in New York City–with clients including American Express, Intel, InStyle, and Vibe magazine–further refined his skills. In his current practice, Cooley classifies himself as a conceptual artist and educator working in a blend of mediums challenging the boundaries of photography. His work–which includes photography, mixed-media, sculpture, and immersive installations–exists on the fringe of photography, examining the relationship between a viewer and the image.
Ryann Cooley graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA, and received his MFA in Photography, Video, and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts, in New York City, NY. Cooley is a Professor of Photography and Digital Media and the Chair of the Department of Art at Houghton College in Western NY.
Professor of Ceramics, Arts and Communication Central Piedmont Community College
Paula Smith was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She attended the Kansas City Art Institute receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts, (ceramics), 1982, then went on to the University of Illinois, receiving her Masters of Fine Arts, (ceramics) in 1986. She moved to Rock Hill, South Carolina, in 1987, where she began teaching part time at Winthrop University for 13 years and in that time owned and operated the Oakland Art Supply store for 9 years.
She started teaching full time at Gaston College for 9 years and now resides as the head Professor of the ceramics department at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina. Paula exhibits nationally and her work is locally at the Lark and Key Gallery, in Charlotte, Pottery Road Studio and Gallery, in Seagrove, and Pottery 101 in Salisbury, North Carolina.
Among many other accomplishments, Paula is currently a guest curator for an exhibition on Mosaics at the Bascom Visual Art Center in Highlands, North Carolina. She has received several public art commissions from the Arts and Science Council of North Carolina and the Darla Moore Botanical Gardens in Lake City, South Carolina. She was an 18 month affiliate artist at McColl Center for Art and Innovation, in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has received numerous Artist Grants from both North and South Carolina Arts Councils including a South Carolina Fellowship Grant and was a resident artist for a month in China at the Potters Workshop in Shanghai and at San Boa, in Jingdezhen. She loves to travel, bake, garden, and give fun parties.