Teaching Artists

Renato Abbate

Renato Abbate

Teaching Artist

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.

Ben Billingsley

Ben Billingsley

Teaching Artist

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.

Lesa Broadhead

Lesa Broadhead

Teaching Artist

Lesa Rogers Broadhead, MFA, has taught classical ballet and contemporary dance at colleges and universities across the country. Her choreography includes reconstructing classical ballet favorites and contemporary works with themes on historical and societal issues, such as the Holocaust. Professionally, she has performed with The Cleveland Opera and The Atlanta Ballet. Presently, she teaches at DREAMS of Wilmington, Dance Arts Conservatory, and at Brunswick Community College.

Colby Byrd

Colby Byrd

Teaching Artist

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

Todd Carignan

Teaching Artist

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 Davis

Roger Davis

Teaching Artist

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

Anne Firmender

Teaching Artist

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

Kevin Lee-Y Green

Teaching Artist

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

Laurel Herbert

Teaching Artist

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

Fritzi Huber

Teaching Artist

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 also active in the film community as a specialty prop maker.

Whenever possible, Dreams has been her home teaching base for over 13 years.

Laura McLean

Laura McLean

Teaching Artist

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

Ashika Payne

Teaching Artist

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

Gordon Singletary

Teaching Artist

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.

Lizz Wells

Lizz Wells

Teaching Artist

Lizz Wells received a BFA from East Carolina University in 2008 and an MFA from Rutgers University in 2012. Her recent photography explores spaces, including private, public and imagined ones. Lizz currently teaches photography at Cape Fear Community College and DREAMS of Wilmington.