Educational Program Manager and Project Coordinator
2016 Board of Directors
Mark Hewitt (Pittsboro) was born near Stoke-on-Trent, England, and began an apprenticeship in 1976, moving to NC with his wife Carol in 1983. Mark is the author of numerous articles about potters and pottery. In 2005, he co-curated The Potter’s Eye: Art and Tradition in North Carolina Pottery with Nancy Sweezy at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Mark is currently serving as board president.
Mary Holmes (Robbins) is a Project Manager at STARworks in Star, NC. She grew up on a dairy farm in Ireland. After earning a business degree, she worked in Dublin, England, New Zealand and Australia for international financial software companies. She came to Raleigh in late 1999. She collected her first pottery in Ireland when she bought her kitchen ware from Kilroot Pottery in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland in her mid-twenties. Fast forward more than 20 years and she meets a Seagrove potter, Michael Mahan, and moves to Seagrove in late 2002. She was President of the Seagrove Area Potters Association for a number of years. She is the chair of the Celebration of Seagrove Potters. She spends her summers in Ireland with Michael and her family where they make pots, listen to great music and walk the highways and byways. Mary is currently serving as board vice president.
Linda Wharton (Cary) is a principal software quality analyst at SAS Institute in Cary, NC, where she has worked in many capacities over thirty years. Linda’s interest in community service and the arts have provided opportunities to serve multiple terms on the Board of the Friends of the Gregg Museum of Art and Design at NCSU. Passionate about pottery, she collects from her favorite potters and has worked at Mark Hewitt’s kiln openings for more than twenty years. Linda is currently serving as board secretary.
Clare Ruggles (Pinehurst) is the executive director of the Northern Moore Family Resource Center, a nonprofit organization serving families in northwestern Moore County, NC, where many Seagrove area potters live and work. She received a BBA in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas. She feels fortunate to work in a community with such rich artistic heritage. Clare is currently serving as board treasurer.
David Fernandez (Seagrove) owns and operates Seagrove Stoneware Inn and Pottery with his wife, Alexa Moderno. He graduated from Williams College, WA, with degrees in Art & Mathematics. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Craft Fellowship and was the Western States Coordinator for the Visual Arts Education Program of the NEA. He was also the Director of the Kimball Art Center, Park City, UT, and has been a potter since 1980, moving to Seagrove in 2007.
Wilma Laney (Aberdeen) is a retired database systems specialist who moved to Moore County in 2003. She has tutored middle school students, volunteered at the NAACP Southern Pines Community Center in an afterschool program, served on the board of the Moore County Department of Social Service (MCDSS), served on the MCDSS Child Protection Team, served on the NAACP Moore County board (serving as both regional director and president), and is a member of the League of Women Voters and NAACP Moore County, amongst other numerous other things. She has also portrayed Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Mary Church Terrell in League of Women Voters fundraisers, as well as Hannah Craft as part of the Ruth Pauley Lecture Series.
Carolyn McDermott (Star) is a retired business software consultant. She grew up in Delaware, but moved from Massachusetts to Spies in Moore County, NC, with her husband, Fred Shuker, in 2001. She has been a volunteer for the NCPC, the NC Zoo, and the Northern Moore Family Resource Center, where she also served as a board member. She participates yearly in Spring and Christmas bird counts here in NC. She also serves on the Moore County Board of Elections and the Board of Social Services. Carolyn and Fred both love North Carolina pottery and glass.
Nancy O’Donohue (Wilmington) is a graduate of Columbia University and Teachers College who retired from the New York City public hospital system and moved to Wilmington in 2001. Working in clay since middle school, she studied at Parson’s School of Design, School of Visual Arts and UrbanGlass in New York City, and had the privilege of studying for seven years with Hiroshi Sueyoshi at the Cameron Art Museum in NC. She currently serves on the Board of the Coastal Carolina Clay Guild.
Vicky Smith Vicky (Wilmington) was raised in eastern North Carolina. She received a BA in Studio Art at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and a Masters in Fine Arts at East Carolina University in 2001. Vicky taught as an adjunct professor in ceramics at UNCW from 2002 to 2013. She maintains a ceramics studio in Greene County which includes a wood firing kiln. In May of 2015, she completed a month residence in France at AIR Vallauris. She was the recipient of the North Carolina Regional Artist Project Grant in 2014 and in 2012. Her work has been shown in juried national and international exhibitions. Vicky divides her time between her studio in Greene County and her home in Wilmington, NC. She is an active member of the Coastal Carolina Clay Guild where she chairs the workshop committee. She is on the Steering Committee of Empty Bowls, an event held locally to raise awareness of hunger and to provide funding for local soup kitchens and food banks. She is also on the Board of Directors of Homes of Hope, India, which has taken her to India twice to work on a ceramics project for the organization.
Elysa Stockin (Charlotte) is a graduate of Stephens College and UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a retired medical illustrator who worked for the Emory University School of Dentistry and Georgetown University Medical School. Elsya has been actively involved in NC ceramics and crafts for 40 years as a collector and is a 32 year member of The Mint Museum of Art’s Delhom Service League’s ceramic study and research affiliate where she previously served as the DSL President, program chairman, and as Potters Committee Chairman for the Potters Market Invitational, a show founded by the DSL to promote the ongoing ceramic tradition in North Carolina.
David Stuempfle (Seagrove) is originally from Gettysburg, PA. David spent many years as a journeyman potter working in different parts of the country, including Wisconsin and at Jugtown Pottery in Seagrove, NC. He has lived and worked for more than 15 years in Seagrove.
Charlie Tefft (Greensboro) is an instructor of art at Guilford College. He grew up in Columbia, MD, where he learned to create pots on the wheel at the age of thirteen. Although this was not his first experience with clay, its effect was profound. He continued to make pots in a school environment until he graduated in 1997 with a BFA from Guilford College. After graduation, Charlie moved to Atlanta, GA, and began making pots full time. During those two years in Atlanta, he had work published in two books, was accepted to various exhibitions, and received a Purchase Award from Skutt Kilns. He returned to Greensboro in the Spring of 1999 to teach at Guilford College. Over the past 18 years, he has continued to show and exhibit functional pots. He has become heavily influenced by the animals with which he has come in contact. The wrens that lived in his studio, his family’s rabbit, and the wildlife that occasionally appears.
David Zmiewsky (Pinehurst) David is an avid pottery lover and a Market Executive working out of the Seven Lakes office of First Bank (FBNC). He has over a decade’s worth of banking and financial experience and expertise. David will be serving on the finance and membership committees.