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Make Durham is FRIDAY
Make is a roundtable on the creative process. A series.

Design Kompany loves to gather people to talk about a topic in depth.

On Friday, March 9 in Durham, NC, we host MAKE.

A roundtable on our favorite topic. Ever.

The creative process.

To mix it up, we’ve invited these people to join us and some 30 guests who’ve RSVP’d.

Introducing our speakers

Allow us to introduce our diverse mix of guest speakers.

Donald MartinyDonald Martiny, a painter, recently showed at The Carrack Modern Art in Durham. I haven’t met him yet, but the images I saw—bright colorful zooms of paintbrush strokes—reminded me of something Akira and I first noticed and loved in the Pop art of Roy Lichtenstein. In his artist’s statement, Donald says: “Many of the abstract expressionists of the 1950s, the second-generation abstractionists in particular, adopted an attitude of an all over attack, attempting to fill the canvas with energy.” For him, the gesture of painting is the most intriguing part. “My interest lies in freeing the gesture from the traditional rectangular shaped support and exploring its potential.”

Eleni You might not know this, but Eleni Vlachos co-founded Triangle Meatless Monday and the Bull City Vegan Challenge. When I first met her, I’d just come back to Durham from Seattle and she had lots to say about her time living there! So it was nice to have a common geographic vocabulary. Now I know she drums for Beloved Binge and screens her documentary Seeing Through the Fence. Akira and I met Eleni through our collaboration to find a look and feel for Durham’s Cleveland Holloway neighborhood, for which Eleni volunteers.

JamilaJamila R. Davenport, aka OMNI Photography, was born, raised, and cultivated in Durham. She came to MAKE last year, and since then we’ve seen her at a few other events of ours around town. Most recently, she photographed these images of SCALE for us, so we have beautiful pictures! I also totally admired Jamila’s professional style and superb follow-through when I commissioned her to photograph my Sharpie art show opening last month. And I have never seen anyone get so excited talking about photographing food! Passion is awesome. Jamila studied at the Savannah College of Arts & Design and N.C. Central, and her personal motto is: “LIFE… In Perspective.”

NathanNathan Clendenin is a photographer. “I try to spend time in bookstores and online looking for inspiration,” he says. “Even if it is just to appreciate the work of another artist, it’s nice to know there are so many creative people in this world doing different things.” When he wrote that, I just knew he was a good person to be part of MAKE! I met Nathan months ago at a mixer at Bull City Forward, and he popped into my mind when I was planning this. I was so happy he was game to be part of MAKE with very little to go on besides, “It’s a roundtable on the creative process,” or something to that effect, via Twitter. A self-described “extroverted introvert,” he says: “I love it when I hit my stride and things come together.” How did he get into this? “I think somewhere along the way I found myself immersed in art more than any other subject.”

MasI can’t say enough good things about Mas Sato, who makes kids furniture, and is one of the nicest people I’ve met since the Durham Return. That was by the farmer’s market, when I happened upon his furniture design booth. I met his kids (Hana and Kenji), his wife (Jeannine), and his parents! They are Japanese immigrants, and had Mas in Flushing, Queens. Growing up in the NYC metro area, he was surrounded by both the urban artistic influences of the city and his father’s interior architecture work within the Japanese community. In search of a profession that made use of his aesthetic sensibilities and attention to mathematical detail, he did stints in graphic design and architectural drafting after graduating from Duke University in 2000. Yearning for something more hands on, he found his calling in furniture design and craftsmanship.

SethSeth Patrick is an illustrator who, like Donald, I have yet to meet in real life! But I know he is one of those people who are open to coming to things, meeting people, and mixing it up, so I invited him to be a guest speaker for MAKE. You can see some of his work here. He has a dog named Macho, and cats named Wednesday and Picasso. He teleworks as a graphic designer for a New Mexico consulting firm, too.

SarahI met Sarah Goetz at a really random on-the-spot art show that we both had pieces in. I loved her circular watercolors instantly. “For better or worse, I just never stop thinking about art,” she says. “For me, art is a way of sharing sensations and thoughts with others through a medium which effects me more than words do. I tend to extend that to sharing sensations of all kinds – food, music, spaces, light. I try to draw the attention of those around me to things I find beautiful, and appreciate it all when it is in front of me.” One of the drawbacks of this, though is trying to get through to people. “Sometimes it is hard to communicate without going through the lens of art. Having this much enthusiasm for color and form is not always well received.” I think at MAKE, she may find her crowd.

Who’s on for MAKE!?

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