Local Artists

AT BOTANIC

Rabbit Fish

Ceramics - Auburn, AL

Owners Brian & Laura began their small-batch ceramics operation in 2019 with pottery that embraces imperfection, oddness, and flights of imagination. The perfect duo, Brian throws most pieces on a wheel while Laura hand carves using the sgraffito method. Each piece is hand made, making for one-of-a-kind pieces!

Barbara Birdsong

Jewelry - Auburn, AL

Barbara developed a vision for a creative jewelry studio to teach others how to make jewelry, as well as create and sell her designs. Perch was opening in 2009 and became a community meeting place where everyone came together to create, collaborate, inspires on another. in 2020 Perch was transitioned from a retail store to an online studio and a new company was created with a jewelry collection that carries her name. Barbara is a creator who works form a place of love for people, life, and making things!

Earthborne

Pottery - Leeds, AL

Thanks to an observant teacher who helped her as a somewhat troubled teenager, Tena discovered her love of pottery early on. Beginning in Birmingham, she now has international success in the hospitality industry. Tena believes working with clay give us a connection to the earth and a respect for our Creator who made it. She graciously customized the plateware used in our Grille restaurant with the Botanic logo.

Karen Slayton

Watercolor - Clarke County, AL

Born in a small town in Clarke County where she still resides, Karen has 3 children and 4 grandchildren who all live in Auburn, so much of her time is spent there.  Her love for flowers and nature led her to purchase a florist which she owned for 10 years.  She enjoyed drawing and doodling, mostly with charcoals, but have always been drawn to watercolor. She was so intrigued with the way the water made the colors flow and blend.  Water does what it wants, more or less, therefore you never know exactly how a painting will turn out. That is what makes it fun and interesting.  Karen started painting for friends and family, who encouraged her to share her art.  Someone once said, “What I love about watercolor is that a lot of happy accidents occur.”  That is so true!

Sarah Wagoner

Painting - Selma, AL

A 1988 Auburn graduate in education, Sarah Wilbourne Wagoner is a self-taught Blackbelt artist. Her father bought her first paints encouraging her to paint flowers. Sarah began a calligraphy side-hustle in high school. Since 2016, Sarah has dabbled in clay, watercolor, oil, and acrylic. Sarah’s whimsical work is inspired by faith and nature. You can find Sarah enjoying her family with a candle lit nearby.

Phil Raley

Basket Weaving - Opelika, AL

A native of Andalusia, Alabama, Phil graduated from Troy State University (BS) and Auburn University ( M.Ed., Ed.D.) and served for 39 years in the Opelika City Schools as a teacher, counselor, principal, asst. superintendent and superintendent. He and his wife, Sara Hart (of Dothan), have two children, Jim & Leigh, and a grandson, Raley! Phil’s hobbies have multiplied and broadened during his 15 years of retirement to include bread and cinnamon roll baking, fountain building, and basket making. Basket making was self-taught using designed and built worktables to complete his various projects.

Debbie Folkerts

Stoneware & Weaving - Auburn, AL

Debbie creates stoneware embellished bowls with longleaf pine needles. The needles are naturally shed, gathered from the forest floor, and woven in Native American style. The needles are bound with sinew and the pottery is high-fired stoneware. The long-lasting character of the needles provides for a durable vessel when combined with stoneware. From the sale of each bowl, a donation is made to the Longleaf Alliance, Andalusia, AL, working to ensure a sustainable future for longleaf pine ecosystems.

Color Terra

Pottery - Auburn, AL

Originally from Argentina, Maria’s hobby is to make ceramics and gemstone jewelry. She reinvents pieces that serve human needs and cherishes the rhythms of life through beauty and color using clay and stones. She feels her pieces offer a vibrant energy for all of life’s moments, big and small, to be cherished.

Margaret Cunningham

Pottery - Montgomery, AL

A student of pottery for over seven years and painter since early childhood, Margaret studied art in college and now brings her creativity to her pottery. Her love of abstract forms in her painting have transcended to organic shapes in her pottery. Never one to think a bowl has to be round, she manipulates the clay by hand to form magnificent bowls and pieces in shapes and textures thin and flowing like fold of cloth enveloped & frozen in time. Her unique application of glazes further reflects her love of the abstract in both shape and color.

Lee Evans

Woodworking—Auburn, AL

Dr. Evans was the former dean of Auburn University’s Harrison College of Pharmacy.  He is a native Southerner—growing up in LaGrange, Georgia, Dr. Evans has lived in Auburn for the last twenty-nine years. Lee enjoys working with wood, gardening, and the great outdoors. His work on the lathe is influenced by his love for the fauna and flora of Alabama. The wood he uses is indigenous to the area and he tries to bring life, beauty, color and emotion into his work. Bowls, round boxes, platters and candlesticks are produced in his wood turning shop. His intention is that his work be used and admired.

Ginny Wolfe

Ceramics & Watercolor - Auburn, AL

Following a career in academia, Ginny returned to a lifelong interest in art. Nature in the form of flowers, plants, birds and animals inspires her to work in the mediums of watercolor painting and ceramic figurines. After retirement, Ginny have had the opportunity to travel and to photograph the subjects (animals, gardens, etc.) upon which much of her artwork is based. Ginny’s paintings are in private collections and have been juried into local, regional and national shows. She is a signature member of the Georgia Watercolor Society and a signature gold member of the Alabama Watercolor Society. Her clay ceramic figurines include a variety of dogs, wildlife and barnyard animals. They are hand built, each a unique creation, developed through a series of kiln firings with colorful glazes.

Kathy Miller-Lowe

Oil on Canvas - Lake Martin, AL

An award winning artist whose works are guided by the dual principles of rich contrasts & broad brush strokes. Kathy’s love for the countryside and her travels have influenced her subject matter. Being primarily self-taught, she has studied with many prominent national & international mentors, with her work featured in local & national magazines. Kathy is a lifelong resident of Auburn and the Lake Martin area & regularly gives back to the community that she loves.

Sherry Bernie

Pottery/Painting, Upcycled Art — Auburn, AL

Sherry is an abstract expressionist. Born and raised in Colorado, she received her bachelors in Applied Arts and worked as a Graphic Designer for many years – including working as an Art Director at a design studio in San Francisco, CA and creating art out of her home in Denver, CO.

30 years ago, her family relocated to Alabama, where Sherry received her Masters of Art Education from Auburn University in Montgomery. She taught for several years and is now retired from full time teaching, but still passes her passion for visual arts onto homeschoolers.

Sherry has been an artist from the day she could hold a paintbrush. Always drawing, painting, and experimenting. She started off painting landscapes and still paints from time to time for friends and clients. But her love is turning natural elements into functional clay pieces. Her creative process starts with collecting leaves from the plants and trees around her home to create functional art that adorns tables with serving pieces, place settings and tablescape decor.

Sherry and her husband Clark of 44 years live on Lake Martin, AL with their fluffy and friendly English Cream Golden retriever, Gracie. They have two grown daughters and son-in-laws gifting them with five grandchildren, who all share a love for art with their grandmother, “Sherbear”.

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