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Artist Bios

Marlayna Demond graduated from UMBC in the spring of 2011 and since has been trying to figure out what comes next. Photography has been her passion since she was a kid, following in her mother’s footsteps, but ultimately she is just happy to create in some way or another. She has been a Marylander her whole life, but loves to travel the US and abroad, and has been especially inspired by her study abroad experience to Paris, France. When it comes to photography, she finds herself most often drawn to understanding and connecting to people through more documentary/journalistic approaches. Other than that, she also loves to read a good book and play ultimate frisbee!

Erika Ferrin prefers to work in the medium of meat, but occasionally dabbles badly in oil painting and creative writing.  Erika has worked in non-profit marketing for almost 10 years and currently is employed at UMBC.  Her turns ons are Michael McDonald, graphic designers, velvet paintings, anything from the midwest, the sound a manual car makes backing up and Crispen Glover.  Her turns offs are mercury in retrograde, slow drivers and those people that don’t understand the ironic genius of Thomas Kinkaide.

Nathan Filbert is a husband, father and writer who dabbles in any form of artistic expression if prompted.  He preforms all three priorities simultaneously.  He enjoys them all and they are all hard.  Samples of his work can be found at www.ekphrastixarts.com.

Katie Heater received her BFA in Print Media from University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2009, and is currently pursuing her MFA at UMBC as well, hoping to graduate in 2013. With her background in printmaking, she creates visual stories through precise line work and mark making. Stylistically, she is interested in techniques, processes, and equipment that can be characterized as outdated. She often uses found imagery and materials to create new pieces that reference the original significance of the objects and it’s connotation in today’s world. Most recently, Katie used embroidery and magazine pages from the 1950’s and 1960’s to create a commentary about traditional and modern roles of women.  Katie is currently the Graduate Assistant for commonvision: UMBC Design and Print Center, working closely to manage the undergraduate student staff, managing The Commons Gallery Spaces, and assisting in Art Week and The Commons Arts Program. See more of her work at http://katieheater.tumbler.com.

Emily R. Lee is a graduate student in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts at the University of Baltimore. She spent her growing years in Omaha, Nebraska and then some very happy years on Oahu, Hawaii. She spends her days working as a graphic designer. She is never as conscious of her own limitations or fights them quite as strongly as when she’s writing. She currently lives in Fells Point with her husband, Ryan and whippet-beagle, Poki.

Lani Naihe was born on January 19, 1980 and was raised in Central Maine, the only child of her Hawaiian father and her Maine-born mother. As a child, writing and reading were two of her biggest passions. By the time she was thirteen, she had written numerous short stories, poems and vignettes. Lani attended a private high school and graduated from the University of Maine in 2002 with a degree in English Literature, with a focus on creative writing. Plans to pursue her Ph.D fell through and upon graduation from college,  she managed a photography business for several years before taking a job in telecommunication sales. Disillusioned with her career path, she took a few months off before discovering her professional calling as a fundraiser, where she is able to employ her love of writing. Lani currently lives in the town of Somesville, on Mount Desert Island and is the Philanthropy Officer at MDI Hospital in Bar Harbor.  She is currently working on her first book, a memoir.

Jenny O’Grady writes and makes books in Baltimore. By day, she works in alumni and development communications at UMBC, where she also serves as associate editor of UMBC Magazine. Some nights you’ll find her teaching book arts or electronic publishing in the University of Baltimore’s MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts program, from which she received her MFA in 2006. You can see more of her work at kineticprose.com. She is editor of The Light Ekphrastic.

Rafe Posey lives in Baltimore with a pack of rescued dogs and cats, far too many books, and the first woman to graduate from West Point. They share a passion for infrastructure, the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and fine urban planning. Rafe is also an adjunct professor of writing at the University of Baltimore, where he recently earned his MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts.


Holly Suzanne is a full time practicing artist working in a multi-medium format including painting, collage, mosaic, and sculpture.  Her work engages the relation between self and other, including that of hand, brush, paint, canvas, paper, wire, clay, glass, and wood.  By seeking out the true nature of these things, asking into each what it’s elemental passion is and what is meant for her to do, she works out the process of these relations.  Holly works and lives in Wichita, Kansas, sharing a studio with her author, painter,  poet husband.  She finds inspiration in the simplicity and vitality of their shared work and family life and regularly practices ekphrasis!   To see more of Holly’s work please visit www.ekphrastixarts.com.

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