Meet the artists and makers who are leading Studios at sacred studio 2019!
Anna Kate lives in Birmingham with her husband and two young boys, and is blessed to be doing exactly what she dreamed of as a child—owning and operating a stationery business called Calabash Card Co. What started at the age of twelve as carefully collaged Christmas cards for friends has morphed into a custom stationery company, using her own drawings and calligraphy as well as her mom’s watercolor paintings. She is continually amazed by the story the Lord has written for her life and and enjoys sharing her talents to encourage others in their creative pursuits.
My name is Katie Howell and I am a total needlepoint lover!! There are not a lot of us at age 37, but I’m telling you once you start, you will not want to stop!! Or maybe that’s just me! I started my needlepoint journey because of a hilarious story that includes my mother in law, that I will of course share in my class. She set me on a journey to my first project which was a Christmas tree topper that her mother began, but never finished. I had the privilege of finishing it and now it hangs at the top of our Christmas tree each year. From there I have added to our needlepoint collection with a nativity, stockings for everyone, tooth fair pillows, ornaments, seat covers, and belts for our boys. I have two boys and little girl, who had started her own needlepoint project, which brings joy to my heart, and a husband that knows when I start a large needlework project it may be a while before I’m doing laundry again! It’s just like a good book, I keep going until it’s finished!
Ashley McCullars is a first grade teacher at Edgewood Elementary by trade but is also a known local artist. She is recognized for her fresh and often colorful, abstract works of art. “Not only do I love the process of creating, I also really enjoy meeting people I would otherwise never encounter. I consider it a gift to do two things I love.”
Born and raised in Birmingham I was formally trained since age 9 in fine art. So for over 19 years I have had my hands in oil, acrylic, watercolors, graphite, Calligraphy, and graphic design and building an art education company from the ground up for the past 8 years. With reaching over 1,000 students locally and globally via video calls and workshops in Great Britain. I have won national awards for my work and am the illustrator for the Down in the Ham project in Birmingham. My new husband and I enjoy traveling in between my projects and his ministry as the assistant Pastor at First Presbyterian of Brewton. We are learning that sweet new rhythm of marriage bliss in Brewton now.
Emily is a charcoal and egg tempera artist celebrated for her portraits of children as well as her large scale botanical tapestries on raw Belgian linen. Emily is represented by galleries and brokers across the United States and in Sydney, Australia. She works out of the studio in her backyard in Homewood where she lives with her husband and three daughters.
Jane Lazenby has always enjoyed making things and drawing. When her last child left for college, she found herself with time to pursue her passion of painting. She is always wanting to learn new techniques to play with . She enjoys sharing her art and words, woven together to make stories to share with others.
Elizabeth is a self-taught artist. She was born with 95% hearing loss, so much of her talent is reflected from silence. By using her eyes, she sees the beauty in the world around her most people don't see. She believes the imperfections you see or don't see are the artist's "marks". She feels it all; the good, the bad, and the worst. But she chooses to believe in the good.
Christina Johnson is a local self-taught artist. Using her empathy for the world around her to connect on a deep level with those that cross her path. Her work is Spirit lead as her quiet time with the Lord is a key part of her creative process. She has committed to using her gift to glorify the Lord and to share his unconditional love with others.
"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."
I am a Birmingham native who loves her city and it’s people! My passion is to to invite people into a deeper awareness of the voice and presence of God through the medium of ART. I create from my home studio in flurries of inspiration that ebb and flow with life’s seasons. From woodworking to watercolor I love using a wide variety of mediums and styles that constantly change. Full of mess and process, art has strengthened my faith and given me a new voice. I celebrate the challenges and face the fears of creating while learning to be freer to make mistakes.
Mary Ashley is a Birmingham transplant who fell in love with this city and then a boy in it. Here she’s found a community that supports and encourages her to walk with the Lord and pursue her business, Fox and Brindle Designs. Being a mother to a 20 month old and one on the way, she feels more than ever the importance of discovering, using, and sharing your gifts to glorify God and serve those around you.
Salaam Green is a poet, author, social health activist, and speaker. She is the founder of The Literary Healing Arts Foundation- Promoting the healing power of words. Salaam has been an author/contributor in many publications and recognized by multiple organizations for her innovation and entrepreneurship in writing and speaking.
Colleen Conner describes herself as an accidental artist. She has always loved the creative process and working with her hands. Seeing something old or plain, like clay, wood or old belts, become something new is invigorating to her. Anything that is seemingly a mess, used up, cast off or in need of redemption calls her name because it is such a beautiful picture of her relationship with our Father, God. She started working with clay years ago as a part of teaching at Created for a Purpose and is thrilled that is has come full circle with the opportunity to be a Studio Leader at Sacred Studios.
Misty is married to Brent Powell and is the mother to 4 girls and 1 boy, ages 12-18. She works part time as a pediatric physical therapist. Misty has been involved with the girls art camp, Created for a Purpose, since its inception directing the sewing portion of the camp. Her favorite part of CFAP has been spending time with the girls who come through the camp and encouraging them as daughters of the King! She is looking forward to participating in Sacred Studios and can’t wait to fellowship and sew with all the wonderful women involved in this great project!
Amanda Childress is a graphic designer who decided to pursue the art of bookmaking nearly 4 years ago in an effort to create a product for NICU parents. Her small business name, Elise Ray Books, pays homage to her two (now older) preemies. Amanda believes in the healing benefits of writing on paper and encourages others to embrace the habit of journaling. Her testimony is one which tells a story of conquering debilitating anxiety by discovering her identity in Christ.
She loves working with her hands and immersing herself in the creative process. She loves anything with four legs, a warm cup of hot green tea, and has learned to accept and embrace life as a curly girl (even on humid days in Alabama). She resides in Margaret, AL with her husband, son, daughter, and multiple animals including a squirrely hen named Mrs. Dash.
My name is Towns Tortorici. I am originally from Montgomery and moved to Birmingham after college to teach school. I am a 4th grade teacher at Edgewood Elementary and I love it. In my spare time, I also really enjoy sewing. I love getting to make projects with and for people. I have been sewing for about 5 years. I've had an etsy shop where I sold aprons for the last 2-3 years. I have recently taken a little break from selling my products but I still sew lots of projects for myself and my friends.
I've grown up around sewing and handwork my whole life. At 6 I learned how to "crochet" and mastered a 200 yard chain from the ugliest, scratchiest multi-colored yarn that existed 50+ years ago! As a teen, I taught myself how to REALLY crochet and even how to knit by watching my grandmother, reading, taking master classes and by ripping OUT a LOT!!! As a musician I still find myself with plenty of time to sit and knit during rehearsals and the Lord has used these sweet moments to stitch gifts for friends, to pray with the passing of each stitch for sweet new moms, or sick friends who need that tactile reminder that they are loved and cherished and bathed in prayers during their season. Psalms reminds us that the Lord was the first knitter and clearly His knitting skills are as varied as each of us ... yet He calls each of us HIS creation! So in learning to knit I learn more about Him .. and then I can share what I learn with others!
Linda is an Atlanta-based artist and Auburn graduate with a degree in art.
Do you struggle with doing more than one thing at a time? Choosing which is better or best? Painting and sculpting is consuming; I say “is,” because they are the same consuming creative energy. Thank you, Lord, for giving me the desire to “do art”, be creative, be consumed. I would like to say it is a gift because it is, for everyone has a gift the Lord has given them to share and encourage one other in His Love.
My favorite way to “do art,” paint, sculpt is to have all my chores done with nothing pressing, put on worship and praise music, and stand in front of a canvas singing to God and seeing what happens. Sometimes nothing, sometimes a little, and sometimes, something good. I am slowly learning that if I lean on Him, I don’t have to have the chores done. He is enough.
My name is Christie Ford with Leather & Pearl Girl. I met my sweet husband Byron in 2002, married in 2004, and had our first son in 2006. Four short years later (as we were trying to decide if we would try for another) we were SHOCKED to learn we would be having twins! Two more boys to complete our family of five. Life for us is never dull and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!
I began playing with jewelry when the twins were babies, I suppose I just needed something else to do - HA! In all seriousness, it was an outlet for me during a very hard and stressful time. It wasn't long before I settled into working with leather, pearls, and beautiful gemstones. I enjoy the juxtaposition of the tough and durable element of leather with the unique beauty and delicate nature of pearls and gemstones. Doesn't that perfectly describe the way the Father creates each of us, His daughters?! I love that our creative Father can make beauty even from stones, as he so graciously loves to do with our hearts, if we will allow Him.
Sally Boyd finds inspiration in her environment whether the streets of a big city or the beauty found in nature. With her curiosity for life and a creative spirit, she has lived in New York City, Atlanta, GA and the Florida gulf coast before returning to her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.
Sally’s experience of working in the interior design industry as well as as a floral designer has allowed her to see the creative process executed in a variety of ways. In 2004, Sally took these experiences back to the canvas and has been a full time artist since 2006.
As an artist, the joy comes in the creative process and making something from start to finish. With a keen sense of color, scale, form, contrast, texture and composition, she naturally brings these elements to her work. From her first love of painting to her more recent work in encaustic, she is discovering how to incorporate different mediums into her art from painting, encaustic (hot wax), photography, transfers, and drawing to name a few. Sally works from her studio on 5th Avenue South in Birmingham, AL.
Elizabeth and Josh moved to Birmingham in June with their two-year old son Bridger after having lived in Peru and after Josh finished seminary at RTS Jackson. Spurred on by excellent art teachers from childhood through college, Elizabeth began exploring various media, most recently painting watercolors of themes and verses inspired by Scripture. She lives the creative process and loves seeing beautiful things come from humble beginnings. Using her creative gifts to encourage others through her artwork gives her joy, as she hopes each painting points to the beauty of her Savior and His living Word.
Michele is an abstract artist in Atlanta, Georgia. She focuses on a monochromatic palette and large scale canvases. Her work tends to begin from nature, either as an abstract, floral, or landscape. Michele shows in Atlanta at The Atlanta Artist Collective and commissions with designers and by word of mouth. Michele has a Bachelors in Fine Arts with a focus on painting from Hunter College in NYC.