Ticia Valentine is a potter and recently retired Dare County public school art teacher. She is one of 60-plus artists exhibiting work at the 38th New World Festival of the Arts on tap Aug. 14-15 at the downtown waterfront in Manteo.

Valentine received a degree in art education with a minor in ceramics at the University of Tennessee in 1991. She’s trained as a yoga instructor since 2007. “In some ways, my yoga training has informed my artistic endeavors more than my college experience,” she says.

Her business, Kumari Pottery, translated as “Always Youthful,” is Valentine’s spiritual name given to her by her instructor at Yogaville when she received her certification to teach yoga.

“A lot of the imagery I carve into the clay is reminiscent of ancient East Indian art,” says Valentine.” I especially use a lot of mandala designs, which are used in meditation.” Valentine describes her art as a whimsical mix of color and imagery originating, at times, from her stream of consciousness. She is inspired by line and how various lines interact within her designs. Valentine creates colorful hand-built and wheel thrown pottery to form functional pieces. With her line carving as a common thread throughout her art, collectors can mix and match a variety of colorful pieces to come away with what she sees as a Bohemian collection that works well together.

Joining Valentine in the artist line-up is Joy Hannan-Copanazos, who has been participating in the outdoor show since 1998. She comes to her work with a BFA in metalsmithing from Syracuse University. Hannan-Copanazos is known for her mermaid jewelry. Her pieces are handcrafted in precious metals and genuine gemstones. “I draw my ideas on paper, cut my shapes out of metal using a thin bladed jeweler’s saw, solder them with an oxygen/propane torch and add wire for details. I apply textures and patinas, and polish on a polishing wheel,” says Hannan-Copanazos. “Lastly, I give them all names.” The results by this multi-award-winning artist are nautical, fantasy pieces that are whimsical and detailed. The New World festival is one of ten shows she does annually from Florida to Long Island.

Outer Banks artist James Melvin has been working on a series of ocean creatures in a very loose technique using acrylics. The series he will be exhibiting for the Manteo show explores the beauty and uniqueness of sea animals and includes jellyfish, seahorses, dolphins, and mermaids. Armed with a BS degree in Art Education/Design from North Carolina A &T State University, Melvin enjoys working in multiple mediums such as oils, acrylics, pastels and colored pencil. He’s wanted to be an artist since he was ten years old and has accomplished much in his long career including illustrating Suzanne Tate’s children’s Nature Series books and creating the Pea Island Lifesaver Series at the North Carolina Aquarium. A deeply spiritual man, Melvin works to include a sense of peace in all his work.

Exhibitors joining Valentine, Hannan-Copanezos and Melvin at the festival will be showcasing watercolors, oils, acrylics, drawings, photography, jewelry, sculpture, wood design, leatherworks and pottery. Hosted by the Dare County Arts Council and the Town of Manteo, the festival was started in 1981 by Manteo business owner Edward Greene. It is a juried festival that highlights not only local talent but brings talent to the coastal town from afar. Each year the festival draws between 5,000 and 6,000 attendees. A free shuttle bus to downtown Manteo will be available from the College of the Albemarle Roanoke Island Campus.

Mary Ellen Riddle has been writing the Coast’s art column for more than 20 years and brings to her work a BFA in painting from East Carolina University and a profound passion for the role the arts play in society.

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