WALTER the magazine was named after Sir Walter Raleigh the man, the intriguing individual our city claims as its namesake. He was, among other things, a writer, poet and explorer—and we channel those qualities in our pages.
WALTER believes in stunning photography and elevated prose. We believe in celebrating the folks who make the Triangle an amazing place to live, work and play. In our magazine, website and social media, you’ll learn about our leaders and do-ers, artists and athletes, innovators and old-timers. You’ll get a glimpse into unique spaces and be inspired to explore our parks, museums, restaurants and stores. You may laugh when a local personality shares his insights, or cry when you witness your neighbors helping neighbors. Above all, WALTER wants to share all that’s good in our community.
Interested in working with WALTER? Learn about opportunities here.
Ayn-Monique Klahre joined WALTER as editor in 2018. A semi-recent transplant to Raleigh, she grew up mostly in Virginia (with stints overseas with her military family), graduated from Princeton and got a certificate in publishing from Columbia Journalism School. She spent over a decade in New York City, editing and writing for publications including Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, Woman’s Day and The New York Times. She loves sunrise jogs, oat milk lattes and exploring North Carolina with her husband and daughters. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative director Laura Wall won her first art competition at age six and has led her life in search of creative pursuits. She has always lived in the deep South — Georgia, North Carolina… and the southeast of the United Kingdom. Laura is a classically trained graphic designer and has created and launched numerous nationally award-winning magazines prior to joining WALTER in 2017. She enjoys working in the community as a board member and volunteer. Contact her at email@example.com.
Addie Ladner, a writer originally from Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, joined WALTER as associate editor in March of 2020. She graduated from Spring Hill College with a degree in Integrated Communications where she received the Autry D. Greer Media Service Award for excellence in public relations and journalism. At WALTER, she writes and edits WALTER’s online stories, runs the social media channels and works to unearth the untold stories of this city for the print issue. She’s just as content spending time in her kitchen or garden as she is hitting up an outdoor concert or art exhibit her three little
hooligans girls. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Nickens joined the WALTER sales team full-time in July 2017 after decades with The News & Observer. She has over 26 years of advertising and marketing experience and has worked with WALTER since the very first issue. Julie has a bachelor’s degree from Salem College. She and her husband have two grown children; they are enjoying the empty nest life and spending as much time as possible in Morehead City. Contact her at email@example.com.
Cristina Hurley joined WALTER in 2014, where she serves as an account executive. She has been in the advertising industry for over ten years. She is a graduate of East Carolina University and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business marketing. She is an active volunteer within the community and in her spare time enjoys traveling the world with her husband. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kait Gorman has been a part of the WALTER team since 2016 as an event coordinator and account executive. She was born and raised in New York where she obtained a bachelor’s degree from SUNY New Paltz. After a few years living in NYC, she headed abroad, but eventually made her way to Raleigh and couldn’t be happier. In her spare time, Kait enjoys eating her way through the Triangle and figuring out what beach she can head to next. Contact her at email@example.com.
Noor Azeem grew up all over the map, but North Carolina is where she found her true home. She graduated from N.C. State in 2018 with a degree in English. She has a passion for reading, writing, and film photography. “The best part of speaking with Ms. Julie Beck about the North Carolina Pickle Festival was the sheer excitement and delight with which she described her preparations for the event.
Mallory Cash is an editorial and
portrait photographer based in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in the Knoxville Museum of Art, Oxford American, The New York Times, Garden and Gun, and The Bitter Southerner. On photographing Ana Shellem: “I met Ana Shellem on an unseasonably warm December day. The clouds and light changed so dramatically during those hours, revealing the different faces of the landscape and its myriad colors and tones. Although Ana doesn’t own the waterway, she knows every inch of it, and she’s at ease on the water and in the muddy marshes. Being there with her felt like being a guest in a sacred place, and I’m so honored to have visited it.” See more of Mallory’s photos here, or visit her website here.
Chris Charles is a photographer and multidisciplinary creative. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY with dreams of becoming an architect, Chris studied Architectural Engineering at SUNY Farmingdale College of Technology prior to a “short” 12-year stint as a U.S. Army paratrooper. He then earned a degree in Graphic Design and has since used his technical training and natural ability to successfully carve a niche in his local market. Charles’ client list includes Red Bull, Spike Lee, Moleskine, The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Sony Music and many local and nationally recognized artists and organizations. On shooting for Delicate, Declarative: “Maya Freelon is a consummate artist and I’ve had the pleasure over the past several years to witness her growth as she’s continued to build her vision, on her terms.” Visit Chris’ website here. Follow him @the_chrischarles.
Jillian Clark is a Raleigh-based editorial and portrait photographer and an advocate for people with Trichotillomania. She grew up in Durham and came up with the idea for the photo shoot featured in Glammas. On shooting for the piece: “This series was born out of frustration with seeing a lack of representation in the beauty and fashion industry of mature women, as well as wanting to give grandmothers of all ages specifically an experience in front of a lens that they may not necessarily have otherwise. Age: The Grandmother Project seeks to cherish the individuality of each grandmother above beauty.” Visit Jillian’s website here. Follow her @itsjillianclark
Justin Kase Conder put away his suitcases and moved to Raleigh four years ago. Having spent the previous seven traveling as an international photographer, the people he came to admire most were those who worked the land. Whether photographing a farmer five miles from downtown Raleigh or on the Himalayan plains of Mongolia, Conder appreciates the people who dedicate their lives to the laborious work of growing the foods that fuel our lives. On shooting for Farm Fresh: “My time with Jonathan and Kayla was no different. I’m grateful that was able to illustrate such an important story of people who are really making a difference in the region.” Visit Justin’s website here. Follow him @jkasephoto.
Liz Condo studied photojournalism at Ohio University before working as a staff photographer at The Advocate in Louisiana. Since becoming a freelance photographer, she has pursued a broad range of projects with a focus on conservation and sustainable agriculture. “I was fortunate to spend a few mornings surrounded by rows of gorgeous flowers, watching farmers carefully select the most beautiful to harvest. Humble plastic buckets overflowed with deep red columbine blossoms, brightly colored poppy petals and the soft, pastel curves of snapdragon blooms. I later watched in fascination as the simple stems were transformed into ephemeral works of art.” Visit Liz’s website here. Follow her @liz_condo.
Catherine Currin is a Raleigh native and former associate editor at WALTER. When she’s not writing about her favorite new restaurant in town, her day job is fundraising for local nonprofit The Green Chair Project. She had an absolute blast writing on Matt Fern and his new spot (ish) for the August 2021 issue. “Matt Fern is someone you just want to hang out with because he has so many amazing stories and experiences. Learning about his time in Raleigh’s restaurant and wine industries, plus tasting sandwiches from (ish), makes the story even more exciting.” .
John Dancy-Jones is a writer and retired special educator who operated The Paper Plant bookstore and small press in downtown Raleigh from 1982-1990. His published books include Performance Poems, Snapper: My Life with Snapping Turtles and most recently The Natural History of Raleigh. He makes hand-laid paper and letterpress prints on in the new Paper Plant studios in Asheville. On writing about Raleigh’s oak trees: “I grew up running around downtown Raleigh as my Dad ran a luncheonette a half-block from the Capitol for thirty years, so I have always had an appreciation for Raleigh’s impressive trees. I highly recommend checking out the grove of oaks behind the State Archives. Gorgeous!”
Jim Dodson is the New York Times Bestselling author of 15 books including Final Rounds and A Golfer’s Life with Arnold Palmer. His latest book is The Range Bucket List. A son of North Carolina, recipient of the Order of the Longleaf Pine Society and numerous national and regional writing awards, including the William Allen White Award for Public Affairs Journalism and four Books of the Year in the golf world, Dodson is also the Founding Editor of PineStraw, O.Henry, and Salt magazines, as well as Seasons Style & Design. He was also involved in the creation of WALTER. “WALTER truly has become the distinctive voice of the Capital region and a welcome partner in our quest to tell the stories of our state.”
Samantha Everette is a portrait photographer and Durham native. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from N.C. State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design. Samantha spent a decade in New York City as a footwear designer and has since returned home to explore her passion for photography. On shooting for The Hard Path: “Photographing Rissi Palmer was a dream. I owe her many thanks for braving the 27 degree weather so that we could exploit the early morning light!” Visit Samantha’s website here.
Miranda Evon is a writer born and raised in Raleigh. She is a recent writing graduate from Savannah College of Art and Design and a previous editorial intern at WALTER. Perhaps because her mother works in an assisted care facility, Evon particularly enjoys profiling the older residents of our community, sharing their stories and passions. On shooting for Sanford’s Santa: “I was so happy to have the opportunity to visit Jim Annis’s workshop, and it was deeply inspiring to hear about his love for giving back to less fortunate children. Watching him sing and dance while crafting wooden toys was like watching Santa Claus in his workshop.” Follow her @mirandaevon.
Ilina Ewen works by day as director of corporate responsibility at Samet Corporation and spends her nights using her voice as a writer and an advocate. Interviewing Dr. Paulette Dillard for WALTER was an intersection of her worlds, since Dr. Dillard serves on the Dix Park Conservancy board, where Ewen perviously worked. Ewen’s favorite professor at the University of Virginia was Julian Bond, a founder of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, founded at Shaw University. “As a history buff, it was awe-inspiring to walk the storied grounds of Shaw.”
Jason Frye travels to all corners of North Carolina looking for stories and the best food and drink around. He’s the author of several travel guides to the state, including Moon North Carolina, Moon Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip and Moon Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He’s a barbecue fiend, a bourbon lover and a selective beer drinker. Exploring breweries in the area with Raleigh Brews Cruise for our March 2019 issue led him to some new favorites, namely the kombucha beers at Fortnight and Clouds Brewing’s exceptional Midnight Delight.
Joe Giglio covers sports for The News & Observer and first started working at the paper in 1995. He lives in Garner with his wife and two sons. On writing about Akshay Bhatia: “In 25 years of interviewing athletes of all ages, I can honestly say I haven’t talked with many who are wired like Akshay Bhatia. There is a determination and focus there that goes well beyond his 17 years. I don’t know if he will make it as golf’s next great phenom, but I know it won’t be for a lack of effort.”
Samantha Gratton is a freelance writer in Raleigh who loves hearing and sharing life stories. From artists and musicians to small business owners and families, she enjoys finding the ways we can all relate to one another, while appreciating the beauty and perspective in our differences. Visit Samantha’s website here.
Madeline Gray is a documentary photographer based in Wilmington, North Carolina. She enjoys spending time in rural communities and collaborating to help share the diverse stories found there. After attending art school, pursuing a master’s degree in photojournalism, and living in large cities along the east coast from New York to West Palm Beach, she decided to call North Carolina home. Now she focuses her attention on the unique culture and issues that shape these areas that are off the beaten track. Visit Madeline’s website here and follow her @madelinepgray.
Jaki Shelton Green is the ninth Poet Laureate of North Carolina, the first African American and third woman to hold the title. She is a 2019 Academy of American Poet Laureate Fellow, 2014 N.C. Literary Hall of Fame Inductee, 2009 N.C. Piedmont Laureate and 2003 recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature. Green teaches documentary poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies and has been named the 2021 Frank B. Hanes Writer in Residence at UNC Chapel Hill. Her publications include: Dead on Arrival, Conjure Blues, breath of the song, Feeding the Light, and i want to undie you. On Juneteenth 2020, she released her first LP, poetry album The River Speaks of Thirst. Green is the owner of SistaWRITE retreats for women writers. On writing for Slant of Light: “I am grateful and humbled to have my words in dialogue with these beautiful images.” Visit Jaki’s website here.
Joel Haas is well qualified to write about local history and eccentric passions. A Raleigh native and freelance sculptor, Haas has turned water heaters into whimsical dinosaurs and electric motor parts into beautiful angels. In his youth, he worked as a reporter for the N&O and then wrote paperback Westerns. Joel Haas has interviewed a man who lassoed whales for a zoo and a woman who sexed alligators for conservationists. While not old enough to remember Sherman’s Army, he does recall growing up in a Raleigh only six miles across. Joel’s father was a prolific novelist and his mother a professional theater costumer.
Smith Hardy is a professional photographer who most frequently shoots sports, real estate and interior design photography. He got his first camera in 2002 and went on to study media communications at UNC Wilmington. Smith’s work has appeared in National Geographic, Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home and Architectural Digest. On shooting this eclectic Oakwood home for our September 2019 issue: “I have shot a variety of homes over the course of a few years, but this was one of my favorites. The Gotwalts’ house was full of color and style! Every room was unique, which made for great composition. The kitchen was stunning and by far my favorite part of the house.”
The founder and co-owner of Artsuite, an online art gallery and content platform, Marjorie Hodges is a creative professional with deep experience in marketing, public relations, development, art consulting and community engagement who has worked with the North Carolina Museum of Art and CAM Raleigh. Her passion for arts, culture and community, as well as experience in contemporary art and exhibition planning, contribute to her effectiveness as an arts leader and community catalyst. In this essay, she shared her mindshaping experience with the art and environment at Burning Man.
Hampton Williams Hofer graduated from the University of Virginia and has an MFA from New York University’s Writer’s Workshop in Paris, France. She lives in Raleigh where she writes and raises babies. “I was thrilled to learn and write about the NCMA’s timely acquisition of Corrugated, a masterpiece that should make everyone want to mask up and head to Blue Ridge Road. Simone Leigh is a force, and Raleigh is fortunate to have her fingerprints here.”
Dan Holly is a former journalist, most recently an editor at the News & Observer. He also has worked as a reporter or editor at the Detroit Free Press, Miami Herald and Newark Star-Ledger. Currently, he is a journalism professor at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh. “I tell my students to recognize the stories sitting right in front of them,” he says, “and I had the opportunity to take my own advice this month. Isaac Horton IV is someone I met a while ago but had never known particularly well. At a conference we both attended last year, we had a chance to sit down for beer and conversation. I was fascinated by his family’s story and quickly realized that others may find it interesting, too. I hope you do.”
Keith Isaacs is an architectural photographer based in Raleigh. His work has been featured in ARCHITECT Magazine, Architectural Digest, Dezeen, Dwell, and Dominand Wallpaper, among others. “It was an honor to have the opportunity to photograph Frank Harmon’s final project. His far-reaching impact on modernism throughout North Carolina and the wider region are immeasurable, evidenced by not only his own incredible work, but—maybe more importantly—by the numerous award-winning firms and designers that have come out his practice. The Sepi Saidi residence is a great example of the sensitive, vernacular modernism that echoes throughout his body of work and continued legacy.”
Bob Karp moved to Cary from New Jersey after a 30-year career as a photo editor, staff photographer and multimedia producer for the Gannett NJ Press Media group. He lives here with his wife, Claudia, and dog, Bodhi. Karp’s always felt at home at the shore, so in discovering the beauty of Topsail Island, he thinks he’s found his new muse. “Shooting the Surf City feature was a dream come true. I was a Jersey Shore and Cape Cod lifer before moving south and discovering the shores of Topsail Island. After I learned its correct pronunciation— and gained an obsession with shark tooth hunting—it’s become one of my favorite places on the planet.” Visit Bob’s website here. Follow him @photopup.
Susanna Klingenberg is a writer and copy- editor who calls Raleigh home. Her work is shaped by years of teaching N.C. State freshmen to write clearly, and think critically. A cellist herself, Klingenberg was thrilled to learn more about Shana Tucker, a cellist and singer/songwriter who is taking both the music scene and local schools by storm. “Shana is carving out her own niche as a musician—a niche that makes space for both captivating ChamberSoul performances and rambunctious elementary school jam sessions. I’m so happy to tell you more about her.”
Craig LeHoullier is a gardener known as NC Tomatoman, and the author of Epic Tomatoes: How to Select and Grow the Best Varities of All Time. He shared his thoughts on diverse tomato varieties just in time for the fruit’s peak season. “For me, tomatoes—or gardening techniques, or heirlooms—are vehicles that I utilize to excite my readers with the ultimate goal of simply growing gardeners. Writing about tomatoes puts me in such an energized mood, hopeful of the harvests, teachings and meals to come. Having grown so many different varieties of tomatoes, I just hope that my piece will inspire gardeners to try something new and different.”
Juli Leonard, who works as a photojournalist at The News & Observer, lives in Raleigh with her daughter, partner and a houseful of creatures. Leonard was delighted to get the assignment to photograph the arboretum during the off- season, a less likely time to admire the gardens, but one of her favorites to document the rich colors before they fade into decay. See the piece here. Visit Juli’s website here.
Will Lingo grew up in Goldsboro (home of Wilber’s Barbecue) and has spent large swaths of his life thinking about barbecue or baseball—or both. He went to school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and purchased the sign off the front of iconic Allen & Son Barbecue when it shut down in 2018. He worked at Baseball America magazine in Durham for more than 20 years, serving as editor in chief and later publisher. He is now a partner in Helium Agency, a sports marketing agency based in Durham. While spending most of his working life in Durham, he has lived in Raleigh for more than 25 years, with his wife and two children, and at last count, two dogs.
Colony Little is a Raleigh-based freelance writer and the creator of Culture Shock Art, a site dedicated to the synergies between art, music and design. Little started her site while living in California, writing about the street art she encountered on her commute to downtown Los Angeles. Its spontaneity captured the pulse of a city with a sense of immediacy. On writing Resistance and Renewal: “Writing about the plywood murals that were created in response to the Movement for Black Lives was special to me. As our community continues to heal and create paths toward restorative justice, we look to art to help us process the emotional weight of these historic times.” Follow Colony @CultureShockArt.
Tim Lytvinenko is an artist and photographer based in Raleigh. His work can be seen on the side of The Dillon in downtown Raleigh and he has a studio at Anchorlight. Lytvinenko photographed Raleigh Denim Workshop for this month’s photo essay. “This was somewhat a dream assignment to be able to photograph my brother. Sometimes I forget the beauty of his machines. They reflect the quality and timelessness of his product.” See more of Tim’s work here.
Taylor McDonald grew up in Raleigh. She graduated from The Savannah College of Art and Design in 2015 with a BFA in Photography. After school, she moved back to the Triangle to start her own business. In her free time, she loves shooting personal projects with her film camera. On shooting for The People’s Potter: “Liz Kelly’s pottery work offers more than a beautiful place to nourish. Each cup, plate, bowl, seems to tell a story. Her work is modern, yet also links the viewer to the past. It’s amazing to watch how effortlessly she molds earth into art.” Visit Taylor’s website here. Follow her @teaylor.
Forrest Mason is a food and travel photographer, videographer, and documentary filmmaker based in Chapel Hill, NC. With a lifelong passion for food and storytelling, Forrest’s career has taken him all over the country. From working as a line cook in the NYC fine dining scene, to becoming a contributing member of the Martha Stewart Living digital team, to spending two months filming a documentary in Oxford, MS for the Southern Foodways Alliance, he has traveled far and wide in search of new cuisines to experience and fresh stories to share. Visit Forrest’s website here. Follow him @fmasonmedia.
The 2019 Piedmont Laureate, David Menconi, spent 28 years covering music for The News & Observer. He has also written for Billboard, Rolling Stone, The New York Times and Spin Magazine. His book on the history of North Carolina music, Step It Up and Go, was published in the fall of 2020 by University of North Carolina Press.
Baxter Miller and Ryan Stancil are storytellers and photographers whose work explores the synergies between food, place and people in rural and coastal communities. On shooting for Forging New Traditions: “Oyster roasts are a touchstone of fall in Eastern North Carolina. As soon as the first cold snap arrives, our minds race to oysters over a fire. No one understands this more than Vivian Howard. The oyster chapter in Deep Run Roots is one of our favorites, so it was a pleasure to shoot her family’s very Eastern North Carolina Thanksgiving celebration for this issue.” View some of their work here.
Jaclyn Morgan is a Greenville-based family and wedding photographer. In her third assignment for WALTER, the Greenville-based family and wedding photographer explored one of Raleigh’s most beautiful private homes and gardens. “Anne and Scott live in a true oasis. Their outdoor fireplace is a sculptural work of art and their garden was so abundant they sent me home with a bag full of veggies. I love being with people in their natural habitat, especially when they’re super-passionate about it.” Visit Jaclyn’s website here. Follow her @jaclynmorgan.
S.P. Murray, a national award-winning photographer who has covered everything from Olympic athletes to Rockettes, had the pleasure of photographing the cover story for this month’s issue, artist Caitlin Cary. “Caitlin is amazingly talented in so many ways; she’s an accomplished vocalist, a songwriter, as well as an artist. Plus, she and her husband have three beautiful rescue dogs and two of them, Cherry and Gracie, joined us for the photo shoot and added to the fun!” Visit S.P.’s website here.
Courtney Napier is a journalist and writer from Raleigh. She is the founder of Black Oak Society and editor of BOS Zine. Her work can be found in INDY Week and Scalawag Magazine, as well as on her blog, COURTNEY HAS WORDS. Her spouse and two children are a daily source of love and inspiration. On writing Nurturing a Narrative: “My introduction to Victoria Scott- Miller was algorithmic magic—we became instant friends. We both understand the power of having Black stories in print, an heirloom for the next generation. The story of Liberation Station is not just a story to tell, but a story to hold.”
Catherine Nguyen is a Raleigh-based advertising and editorial photographer specializing in residential and commercial interior design and architecture. A New York native, Catherine has a background in visual design for banking and management consulting, branding and marketing—she even studied programming and economics at Columbia University. After realizing her passion for creative pursuits, she attended The Academy of Art University in San Francisco to study photography. From landscapes and fashion to food and real estate, Catherine worked in many different photography genres before focusing upon interiors and architecture. Her work has been published in Walter Magazine, Flower Magazine, Home Design and Decor Magazine , California Home and Design, San Francisco Magazine, The News & Observer, and City Lifestyle Magazine. Her work also appears on popular design blogs such as ApartmentTherapy, The Decoist and Houzz. She is also the still photographer for HGTV’s Seasons 13, 14, and 15 of Love It or List It. When she is not photographing professionally, Catherine enjoys painting (follow her art at @catnguyenart on Instagram), cooking, baking, and traveling abroad. After meeting her husband in San Francisco, the couple decided to make their home in Raleigh in 2013.
Her work can be seen at www.catherinenguyen.com and @catnguyenphoto on Instagram.
The youngest of six kids, Gerry O’Neill always had someone to outdraw, outwit, or outrun. With a degree in commercial art, O’Neill worked in Washington, D.C., advertising agencies before striking out as a freelance illustrator. He put down roots in Durham in the ‘90s and his love for North Carolina only grows stronger. The state’s landscape has been a compelling muse, which he tries to to capture in oil paint. “Each painting or illustration offers me an opportunity to engage with a new place or viewpoint and bring a piece of myself in capturing its essence. Jim Dodson’s writing evokes a sense of wonder and humor that I’m privileged to bring my own wonder and humor to.”
Raleigh native CC Parker has been sharing her family’s adventureswith WALTER readers since 2013. Her March article about the Beaufort Game Faire was inspired by the event’s visionaries, Wendi and Bucky Oliver of the Beaufort Hotel, and their efforts to create an outstanding sportsman event which benefits the larger community. “Beaufort’s historic charm, paired with its lovely new hotel, is a perfect spot to host this event. There is truly something for everyone.”
LaTanya Pattillo is a wife, mother of five and a Jane of all trades. Originally from Philadelphia, she has strong roots in Columbus county, and lives in the Sandhills region of North Carolina. LaTanya received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from American University in Washington, D.C. She enjoys many things, but laughing and quilting are at the top of the list. On writing Middle-aged Mom: “As mothers, shouldn’t we feel special and magnificent and appreciated? A resounding YES! We should. I do believe that motherhood (in the immortal words of hip hop artist Keith Murray) is the ‘most beautifullest thing in this world.'”
Shelbi Polk is a writer and artist living in Durham. Her work has appeared in the News & Observer, the Herald Sun, North Carolina Health News, among others. Shelbi studied literature and international arts and cultures at Texas A&M University before moving to Manila to work in communications for an anti-trafficking organization. She has since helped dozens of nonprofits tell their stories and contributed culture and travel coverage to several national and international publications. Her favorite pieces for WALTER are an interview with Sylvan Esso that left her inspired and a fun conversation about the tricky science of finding a bra that actually fits. Visit Shelbi’s website here.
A former Ohio newspaper staffer, Eamon Queeney is a Raleigh-based freelance photojournalist who can regularly be found exploring his adopted Southern state for editorial clients like The New York Times and The Washington Post. Eamon believes in moment-based photography and the complex imagery of life’s everyday scenes. On shooting for Homebound: “It never ceases to amaze me how welcoming and warm people are, and this month’s trip to dine with the Register family was no different—I felt an overwhelming sense of belonging. The stories of Matt and his family shared were heartfelt, funny and uniquely Eastern North Carolina.” Visit Eamon’s website here.
Bryan Regan is a Raleigh-based photographer specializing in environmental, lifestyle, studio portraits and product photography. Dropping out of design and photography school, back when people still shot film, Regan learned his craft crisscrossing the country assisting other photographers. Six years working in Las Vegas was too much and Regan moved back to the city he loved. He’s had a studio downtown for 17 years When he’s not booked, he’s out shooting personal projects and spending time with his family. “The holidays are my favorite time of the year and I’m excited to share them in this issue.” Visit Bryan’s website here.
Melissa (Mick) Schulte is a writer and photographer based in Durham, NC. She grew up in Minnesota and went to the University of Missouri-Columbia where she received a degree in Journalism in 2003. Since then she has worked as a freelance reporter for small newspapers, a feature writer for magazines, and a photographer for a number of publications. Schulte also teaches photography courses through the North Carolina Museum of Art and loves to share her passion with students of any age and background. In 2019-2020 she completed a year-long documentary project – The Refuge Collective – which focused on the lives of refugees in North Carolina. Beyond using her words and images to bring light to social justice issues, Schulte also enjoys travel, fitness, home design, food and art. She lives in Durham, NC with her partner, Mark, and four young children. Learn more about the Refuge Collective at www.therefugecollective.com.
Andrea Rice is a writer and editor in Raleigh by way of Brooklyn covering health, wellness and lifestyle. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, INDY Week, Yoga Journal, The Wanderlust Journal, Verywell, and SONIMA, among other publications. Rice is also an accomplished yoga and meditation teacher with over a decade of experience. She has taught at national yoga festivals and international retreats, and at local institutions like The North Carolina Museum of Art and The Redbud Writing Project. Her first book, The Yoga Almanac, was published in March 2020 by New Harbinger Publications. Read her work at andrearice.info and follow her on Instagram @doctordrea.
Eleanor Spicer Rice is an entomologist and writer. She lives right in the middle of Raleigh with her husband, Greg, their two boys, a large, ill-mannered dog and a flock of homing pigeons. On writing for Fans and Friends: “My favorite part of writing about Green Monkey was getting to pop in that warm and happy place a couple of afternoons with my husband… you know, for ‘research.’”
Jenn Rice is a Raleigh-based food and travel journalist best-known for capturing subjects and places in an interesting way. Pre-pandemic, Rice traveled the world to seek out interesting places and storylines for magazines such as Food & Wine, Vogue, Departures, VinePair.com and Wine Enthusiast. Nowadays, you’ll find her sitting on her Mordecai porch reporting locally about the food and beverage industry. On writing Mezcal Magic: “Lily Ballance’s vibrant personality and the oddities found inside William & Company transported me to Mexico during our interview, and it was the greatest escape I’ve had in a while—plus her cocktails are out of this world.” Visit Jenn’s website here.
Liza Roberts was the founding editor of WALTER magazine, and loves to tell the stories of creative people. She was honored to have the opportunity to profile Maya Freelon, who she has known for a few years and interviewed several times. Roberts has also followed Freelon’s work closely for “The Art of the State,” a book she is currently writing about the art of North Carolina to be published in 2022. On working with Freelon for Delicate, Declarative: “Maya Freelon’s work is as singular and beautiful as the artist herself, reflecting the times we are in and Maya’s sensibility with nuance and originality.”
Jessie Ammons Rumbley is a local writer who has reported for national publications and edited several city magazines. The Raleigh native loves to tell stories that celebrate home, like Will Hooker and Jeana Myers’ prolific garden on Kirby Street and Lucy Tomova’s energetic creative process. “Lucy’s enthusiasm is inspiring, as is the idea that you can cultivate everything you need in your own backyard, from food and water to spices and teas. Will and Jeana are patient, joyful teachers.” Visit Jessie’s website here.
Gus Samarco is a Brazilian transplant to Raleigh who is an avid reader and likes to listen to Heavy Metal and watch bike races on TV. Samarco photographed owner of CORE Fitness Jojo Polk and Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin for this issue. “I was very impressed with Jojo’s determination to overcome paralysis and the fact he gets to look back and find good things that came from his tragic accident. Mary-Ann Baldwin has a great personality and was very spontaneous in front of the camera.”
Katherine Snow Smith is a journalist in St. Petersburg, Florida, but grew up in Raleigh and makes monthly visits to see her parents and friends. She was a business reporter, parenting columnist and magazine editor during 20 years at The Tampa Bay Times. Her first book, Rules for the Southern Rule-breaker: Missteps & Lessons Learned came out in July. The book highlights the humor and messiness of life—which is what she conveyed in the piece she wrote offering Thanksgiving preparation tips. “In case you can’t tell behind the face mask, it’s written tongue-in-cheek, but also with an appreciative heart for all we do have this year.”
As the son of a newspaperman and a teacher, Joshua Steadman inherited a love of learning and telling stories. He believes that both are used in equal measure to do what he does. On shooting for Legacy of Plenty: “I began what I thought would be a brief discussion with Demetrius about how he got into grocery deliveries, and learned that his personal history has been setting him up for this nonprofit service his entire life. Ten minutes later, I realized he was a storyteller, too—and that he’s also got a great one to tell.” Visit Joshua’s website here. Follow him @steadyfilm.
A lifelong passion for architecture and interior design coupled with a serious love of photography led to Trey Thomas switching careers in 2012 to focus exclusively on interiors and architectural photography. A longtime resident of downtown Raleigh, Thomas loves the excitement that comes from being a short walk from one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. On shooting for Modern Sanctuary: “The Sonowane residence is filled with eclectic charm and unexpected details. Practically every nook begs for your attention with its purposeful design. It was truly a pleasure to be welcomed into this inspiring home.”
Charles Upchurch is a writer and public relation executive who works in downtown Raleigh. His magazine journalism, including numerous articles for WALTER, has covered the finer points of cocktail making, the perfect oyster roast, the perils of ascending Mount Everest, the lost art of cane pole fishing, what it’s like to die and other essential reading. His profile of Dontez Harris, Raleigh’s unofficial jazz laureate, is a reminder that music is a doorway standing open, inviting us in.
Stacey Van Berkel, a Canadian transplant based in Greensboro, is passionate about creating beautiful images. Whether she is shooting a luxury travel story or gorgeous interiors, she in infuses her creativity and infectious enthusiasm into each project. On shooting for Simply Elegant: “It is always a joy to shoot projects with MA Allen—I love her color sensibilities and attention to each detail. I remember that after a long day of shooting, our final shot was from the gorgeous outdoor space looking into the glowing house—it was so warm and inviting that I could picture many happy dinner parties happening there.” Visit Stacey’s website here.
Bert VanderVeen is a photographer based out of Greensboro. He and his wife Rebecka have been in business for 20 years, and he represents the fifth generation of professional photographers in his family, beginning with his great, great grandfather, who was apprenticed to one of Queen Victoria’s court photographers. The family opened their first photography studio in Hendersonville in 1884. VanderVeen specializes in portraits, architectural and commercial photography. He has been published in magazines like Traditional Home and O’Henry. He has two daughters and two dogs. Visit Bert’s website here.
Chris Vitiello is a writer and artist based in Durham. He’s also the Poetry Fox, writing custom, on-demand poems on vintage typewriters at events over the last seven years. He took his performance installation, The Language is Asleep to ArtPrize9 in 2017, where he wrote and gave away nearly 12,000 one-line poems on dictionary pages over a 28-day endurance performance in the Grand Rapids Art Museum. His critical writing garnered a 2017 Rabkin Prize for Arts Journalism He’s also written three books of poetry, the most recent Obedience (Ahsahta Press, 2012).
Billy Warden is a writer, public speaker and band leader (of altglam rock pioneers The Floating Children) as well as a marketing executive. His collaborators on various projects have included everyone from governors to Joan Rivers (more at wardenprojects.com). On writing Lifting Spirits: “We all spend a lot of time encased in hard little bubbles; our heads in our smartphones as we hurry through our routines. Tony’s joie de vivre snapped me out of my routine at the Y; made me look up and pay attention. He was lively, unique, loud. He burst my bubble, and I wanted to know more about him. I soon realized that my fellow Y-goers felt the same. We bonded, in part, over Tony. And learning more about his story made him even more of an inspiration. I’m grateful to Tony. And I’m determined not to get back into my bubble. Life’s too short and the world’s too rich.”
J. Michael Welton writes about architecture, art and design for national and international publications and is the architecture critic for The News & Observer. On shooting for the Cary piece: “Seeing photographs of in situ studio’s work is always a pleasure, but nothing beats the experience of exploring one of their homes in person. That was the case a few weeks ago when I toured the Trull Residence in Cary, a home that’s sited extremely well on a very tight lot, with spaces and materials tailored to benefit the clients’ specific needs.”
Lori D. R. Wiggins first got wind of the state’s rich history of Rosenwald Schools in her communications studies at UNC-Chapel Hill in the late 1980s. As she built her career covering— and uncovering—stories of the oft unsung, yet amazing, people, places, things and culture that surround and define us, the buried story of Rosenwald Schools surfaced again and again. On writing Saving a School: “I’m delighted to finally share with you the impact Rosen- wald Schools had on communities close to home,” says Wiggins. “I hope that Rosenwald’s example of selfless innovation can urge states toward greater public responsibility and inspire progressive interactions between the races for greater good even today.”
Jeffrey Williamson is originally from Reidsville, N.C., and attended Elon University for Undergraduate and Graduate school where he obtained his Master’s Degree in Interactive Media. He enjoys photographing concerts, weddings and editorial portraits through his company, Jeffrey Lynn Media Photography. He has a Yorkie Poodle named Tuxedo and has resided in Raleigh for the last five years. “Photographing Dontez Harris at Transfer Co. was an amazing experience. It was great to capture him in his element and I enjoyed seeing the audience groove to the soundtrack of their Friday evening.”
Larry Wheeler, Director Emeritus of NCMA, consults nationally with arts and nonprofit organizations on vision and storytelling. He is particularly interested in advancing the success of regional artists and arts organizations as described in this issue of WALTER. Wheeler’s travels focus on significant arts events in the world and enjoying his friends. He recently received the NC Award in Fine Arts, considered the State’s highest honor.
Iza Wojciechowska lives in Durham, where she works as a writer, copyeditor, and translator of Polish poetry. When she’s not working, she goes hiking with her hound and cooks. As a sporadic patron of the North Carolina Museum of Art, she was particularly keen to learn about the Matrons of the Arts program, instituted last year, which champions female-driven artists and exhibits. She looks forward to seeing what the NCMA’s first female director does in this arena in the future.
Geoff Wood’s plan is to dive headfirst into
life behind the lens. At the end, he hopes to look back with a close family, deep friendships and scars and shots that show the adventure. “Getting a chance to work with artists is one of my favorite things. So I jumped at the chance to photograph my friend Corey Mason. His work is phenomenal. The depth, the creativity and the ease at which he sketches is awe-inspiring.”
A member of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective, Gideon Young’s work has been in Journal of Black Mountain College Studies, Modern Haiku, and North Carolina Literary Review. His debut haiku collection, my hands full of light, was published in April 2021. A Curious Honeybee, his multimedia literacies film, was commissioned by the Arts Education Partnership and the Education Commission of the States. Gideon is a Fellow for A+ Schools of North Carolina, a K-12 Literacy Specialist, and stay-at-home dad. “Many stalks of this essay sprouted in conversations with editors, writers, and colleagues over the last year. I’m thankful for the opportunity to unify ideas and embrace the presence of Grandma’s spirit.