BRADY BECK, photographer, videographer, & projectionist
Brady Beck was born in West Lafayette, IN. He moved with his family to Raleigh,
1986. He earned a B.S. in Wildlife Science from North Carolina State University in 1992.
Since then he has worked as a biologist for several conservation groups in the Sandhills.
He currently works on the Sandhills Game Land for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.
His photography interests sprouted from his love of the natural world. His images
have been published in Wildlife in North Carolina, The Nature Conservancy's North Carolina
Afield, Nature Conservancy Magazine, Snow's Cut Monthly, as well as several scientific
journals featuring papers on Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. For more information,
RYAN BOOK, composer & guitarist
Ryan Book began playing guitar at the age of 12. Throughout his late teens and early
twenties he spent his time touring with various blues, rock, christian and country
bands. At the age of 20, he began studying classical guitar with internationally
renowned classical guitarist and pedagogue Robert Trent. He received his Master of
Arts degree in classical guitar performance and pedagogy from Radford University in
2009. It was in these years at Radford that Ryan had the opportunity to study with
some of the world's most acclaimed performers including Jorge Caballero, Carlo
Barone, and Paul O'dette. Recent opportunities have included performances with the
Greenbriar Valley Community Choir, The RU Guitar Quartet, and various solo performances throughout West Virginia
and the East Coast. Ryan was recently appointed music instructor at Sandhills Community College where he teaches history,
theory, guitar and bass full-time.
ROD BROWER & TOGETHER-N-UNITY CHOIR
Mention gospel music to Rod Brower, the director of Together-N-Unity Choir, and joy sweeps across his face.
"Gospel music is for me a source of inner strength," Brower says. "When I sing, it gives me hope, and it takes me to another place outside the earthly realm." Together-N-Unity
has few peers in the Sandhills, with their inspired renderings of traditional African American spirituals. They are a leading representative of the region's ongoing tradition of gospel music,
based out of the 130 year old Fletcher Chapel United Methodist Church in Hoffman, NC. This well known community-based group includes members of various religious denominations from Cumberland,
Moore and Richmond counties. The formation of this musical group was the result of a Rod Brower's vision to form a small, yet versatile group to travel and spread God's message of hope and love through song.
In the early and mid-1990s, Rod Brower and his aggregation of singers (formally The W.E. McLeod Ensemble) were featured guest performers at the All People's Gala as part of the Atlanta Martin Luther King
commemoration events, and for several years they participated in the annual MLK March and State of the Dream Speech at historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.
ABIGAIL DOWD, actress, singer & songwriter
Abigail Dowd is a singer/songwriter and former arts educator.
A Sandhills native, Abigail grew up in Moore County and returned home to Southern Pines after graduating
from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied Anthropology
and City Planning. In 2000 she co-founded Mims Studios School of Fine Art - now Academy
of Classical Design - and later The Classical Design Foundation. As a child, she played
under the pine trees at Weymouth, and returned as an adult for long daily walks and quiet while
serving on the Southern Pines Planning Board and Town Council. Dowd also plays the classical
guitar and studied under master guitarist Danny Infantino for six years. She now lives
among the pines of Maine. www.reverbnation.com
FRANK HUNTER, photographer
Frank Hunter was born in El Paso, Texas, and grew up in the desert Southwest. He has
an M.A. in communications from the University of Colorado and an M.F.A. in photography
from Ohio University, where he was the John Cady Graduate Fellow in Fine Art.
Hunter has taught at the university level for more than twenty years. His interest in
photographic process includes the technical process of exposure and development as
well as the psychological and spiritual aspects of creating photographic work. Hunter
is best known for his landscape photographs done in the nineteenth-century process
known as platinum/palladium. His recent work includes a commission done for the
Federal Reserve Bank documenting Midtown Atlanta at the turn of the millennium,
which was shown at the High Museum in Atlanta in 2003. His work is represented in a
number of public and private collections, including the Speed Museum, the Denver
Museum of Art, the High Museum, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and the collection
of Sir Elton John. The artist currently lives in North Carolina, where he teaches
photography at Duke University. For more information, visit www.frank-hunter.com.
|photo courtesy of Tim Sawyer
DIANA TURNER-FORTE, choreographer & dancer
Diana Turner-Forte is an independent Teaching Artist. Her
professional dance career spans over forty years and includes performing with the
Chicago Ballet, San Diego Ballet, Des Moines Ballet, Ballet Met Columbus and
Taller Coreografico de la UNAM in Mexico City. Ms. Turner-Forte also has an extensive
background in arts administration at both the regional (Greater Columbus
Arts Council) and state (Ohio Arts Council as Education Director) levels. She holds
both a BA and MA in Dance with certifications in several areas related to movement
and brain-body awareness. Additionally, she holds memberships in the Royal Academy
of Dance, the National Dance Education Organization and the National Registry
of Dance Educators. Ms. Turner-Forte is the author of Letters to Amelia published by
Vantage Press, she has been featured in Muse & Spirit, a publication of the Center for
Faith and the Arts and has been recognized with awards and grants for her outstanding
contributions to the field of dance, including a 2009 Piney Award for Excellence
RAY OWEN, writer, director & producer
Ray Owen is a graphic artist, writer and historian who lives in Southern Pines, NC. His
interest is telling stories that connect us with our past and the cultural landscapes we
create. A past president of the Moore County Historical Association, he has been as a
lender, guest lecturer and curator for museums locally and statewide. Among his projects
was a two-year study of regional craftsmanship, and publishing his findings in the
booklet Plain-Style: The Work of 18th and 19th Century Craftsmanship in Moore
County, NC, for which he received an award of special recognition by the NC Society
of Historians in 1994. Curation projects include the first exhibition for the North Carolina
Pottery Center, A Different Turn, and the Bluethantal Exhibit of Jugtown Pottery for the Greensboro Historical Museum.
In 2010, he produced and directed the cultural theater Greeting the Train as part of the inaugural Palustris Festival.
Owen serves on the board of Friends of Weymouth, and has been a contributing writer for O. Henry and PineStraw magazines. For
more information read Ray's interview with The Cultural Landscape Foundation.
CAROLINE YOUNG, photographer
Caroline Young is a photographer, artist and avid horsewoman.
Originally from Greenville, SC, she has lived in
Southern Pines for 18 years. Caroline has taken numerous
workshops at the Santa Fe Photography Workshops, in addition
to studying with Jeffrey Mims at the Academy of
Classical Design and with Denise Drum Baker at Sandhills
Community College. Her interests include cultural and environmental
preservation, as well as community outreach.
She is actively involved in the Sandhills/Moore Coalition
for Human Care, the Boys and Girls Club of the Sandhills
and The Walthour-Moss Foundation. The mother of two
children, she resides on a farm in Vass with her husband,
Bleeding Pines of Turpentine was created by the Longleaf Cultural Theater Ensemble: Brady Beck, Ryan Book, Rod Brower, Abigail Dowd, Ray Owen and Diana Turner-Forte.
Other artists & scholars associated with performances & documentation include DanceFusion, the resident dance company of the Carolina Performing Arts Center, violinist Emily Braun, historian Earl Ijames, cellist Chase Johnson, George Kingsnorth/Gullion Media Limited, Perry Davis/Davis Video Productions, drummer Eoin Rogers,
piper Kevin Rogers, St. Andrews Presbyterian Pipe Band, historic landscape researcher Glenn Stach, and Wake & District Public Safety Pipes and Drums.