Renato Abbate discovered his love of ceramics while studying under master potter Hiroshi Sueyoshi. He received his BA from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington in 2006 and is a recipient of the Anne Fleck Boseman scholarship. Renato moved to Wilmington 19 years ago from Italy, and his international background enhances his life and work; he regards clay and ceramics from an anthropological perspective. Renato has been teaching and showing pottery in the Wilmington community for several years. His latest collection is a series of magical masks of all shapes, sizes and colors.
Award-winning painter and printmaker, Benjamin Billingsley, is a third generation artist and art instructor. He holds an MFA from UNC Greensboro, and has exhibited work in the Southeastern United States as well as Latvia, Estonia, Russia and Japan. Ben has taught studio art and art history at Cape Fear Community College since 2001; and in 2006, Ben received the Marilyn Goodman Anderson Endowed Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Teaching ArtistLesa Rogers Broadhead, MFA, BFA, returned to her hometown of Wilmington, NC in 2010 after being away for 30 years. After receiving her BFA in dance and drama from East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, she attended Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, where she received her MFA (choreography and performance). This led to teaching ballet and contemporary dance at such prestigious universities as Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA (coordinator of ballet); Huntingdon College, Montgomery, AL (coordinator of dance); Kent State University, Kent, OH (adjunct ballet and contemporary faculty); and the University of Akron, Akron, OH (adjunct ballet faculty). Mrs. Broadhead’s choreography includes reconstructing classical ballet favorites and contemporary works with themes on historical and societal issues, such as the Holocaust. In 1995 she was artist-in- residence at De Montfort University, Bedford, England, choreographing her first international Holocaust related dance
work. In 1999 she presented three of her Holocaust related dance works at The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., co-sponsored by the museum and the Embassy of Israel, and continued to present these dance works until 2010. These dance works have been the stimuli for Broadhead writing her first book with the working title THE HOLOCAUST: A Journey through Dance.
Professionally she has performed with The Cleveland Opera and the Atlanta Ballet. Presently she teaches at Wilmington Conservatory of Fine Arts, DREAMS of Wilmington, and at Brunswick Community
College where she teaches Dance Appreciation online. Mrs. Broadhead also serves as a Board Member for The Wilmington Symphony Orchestra in the capacity of Vice-President and Special Events Chair.
Local metal designer, Colby S. Byrd, attended East Carolina University’s Metal Design program, studying under world-renowned metal smiths and contemporary jewelers. After spending several months in Italy, soaking up both inspiration and skills in enamel and contemporary design, Colby founded his own metal design company, Shelton Metal. Shelton Metal designs reflect a coastal, naturalistic approach, combined with a modern twist. As a metal design & jewelry teacher at Dreams of Wilmington, Colby is able to share his skills and inspirations with his students.
Todd Carignan was born and raised in Wilmington, NC. He graduated from Savannah College of Art & Design with a BFA in Sequential Art and a minor in Art History. Carignan currently lives in Wilmington with his wife and two children, drawing and painting portraits and landscapes. He teaches at DREAMS and the Cameron Art Museum School. His oil paintings can be found at Spectrum Gallery.
Roger “Rog” Davis: The Long and Winding Road
Over the past four decades, local musician Roger Davis has provided the Port City with a sensational serving of musical talent. Whether he´s performing for a crowd of weekend brunch-goers, a public gallery event, or the occasional night venue, Roger “Rog” Davis holds his melodic roots in the Wilmington area and remains a well-respected performer/composer as well as a cultural icon within the local jazz community.
Anne Firmender has taught dance in both public and private schools to students of backgrounds, and abilities since 1982. She has trained at a number of prestigious schools, including: The School of American Ballet, California Institute of the Arts, and Cornish College of the Arts (where she received her BFA in Dance summa cum laude). Anne’s choreography has been performed in a wide range of venues, including the North Carolina Dance Festival and Dance-a-lorus. She is a founding member of The Dance Cooperative, where she served as School
Director for many years and organized two annual events: Community Dance Day and the Emerging Choreographers’ Showcase.
Kevin Lee-Y Green
A graduate of the NC School of the Arts, Kevin Green is the artistic director of Techmoja Dance and Theater Company. His areas of instruction include Musical Theatre/Jazz, Ballet and Contemporary Dance. His list of choreography and direction credits includes: For Colored Girls and the Color Purple (Techmoja), Rent (Cape Fear Theater Arts Center), and West Side Story (Thalian Association). Aside from being a DREAMS teacher, Kevin has also taught at Broadway on 2nd St. Camp and Port City Boys Workshop, and runs Broadway Dreams and Phony Awards Musical Theater Camp for Kids.
Laurel Herbert is a local professional artist and potter. She loves engaging children and adults in creative activities, and lives by the motto “What catches the eye, inspires the hand.” She graduated from UNCW in 2001 with a BA in studio art and has been trained to work in many mediums.
Fritzi Huber has been an active artist and arts educator, conducting workshops in hand papermaking at locations such as Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts, Savannah College of Art and Design, the San Antonio Center for Arts and Crafts, and Pyramid Atlantic in Baltimore, Maryland. Her work has been exhibited around the world from Switzerland’s Musee du Pays et Val de Charney, Gruyere, Suisse to Brazil’s Bienale International de Artes. In 2011 Fritzi had a one person exhibition here in Wilmington at the Cameron Art Museum.
Artist grants have come her way via the North Carolina Arts Council, NEA, California Arts Council and the Kenan Institute for the Arts where she received a combined grant to enable her to become a certified International Educator through the Lincoln Center Institute. Her local public commissions include the New Hanover County Library, the Aquarium at Fort Fisher and the Wilmington Childrens Museum. The Chilrdrens Museum is also the site of a Dreams collaborative mural created by she, Abby Spangel Perry and Dreams students. In 2009 Fritzi traveled to Cochin, India to create a dedication mural for the Home of Hope orphanage located there. She is occasionally a scenic painter for stage productions.
Whenever possible, Dreams has been her home teaching base for over 18 years.
Laura McLean is a veteran mainstay of the NC music circuit and a supporter of the Cape Fear music scene—touring solo, with her band, New Riders of Calamity, and as the fluid lead guitarist of Someone’s Sister. A UNCW grad with a BA in Creative Arts, Laura has been a part of DREAMS since 1998 and currently teaches Guitar, Digital Music Production and Photoshop.
Ashika Payne is the creator and owner of Sewfli Designs (so fly). She has been a fashionista long before she knew what the word meant. Her desire for fashion developed at a young age, and it continues to be her focal point. She has a BA in Visual Communications, an Associate of Arts in Fashion Design, and she just recently obtained her Master’s in Elementary Education. Currently, Ashika is working on her company and developing her line.
Gordon Singletary is always looking for ways to create using his favorite medium, concrete. Native of Thomasville, Georgia and a graduate of the University of Georgia, he has called Wilmington home since 1999. With sixteen years of experience working with concrete in the construction industry, he loves the opportunity to make concrete craft projects and art using this most basic utilitarian material.
Gina Gambony is an actor, director, storyteller, teacher, musician, puppeteer, and artistic experimenter. She has taught all kinds of art, from felting to shadow puppetry to waltz, from coast to coast, and taught her first class at Dreams in 2002. She was the director of Wilmington’s Port City Puppet Festival, a performer in the unsurpassable all-female performance art group, Brawdeville, and is a co-founder and director for Wilmington’s only theatre troupe for people with developmental disabilities: Theatre For All. Gina is the host and producer of Communique for Wilmington’s public radio station, WHQR.