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2017 Artist Market Judges


Martha Cook
remembers being captivated as a child while watching an artist working on a potter’s wheel. She has had a passion for working with clay for most of her life. 
Martha taught art, including ceramics and sculpture, for over 30 years. She has continued to pursue her love of working with clay as a pottery studio assistant at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center’s Pottery Studio in Atlanta, Georgia – where she is currently a Resident Assistant and Pottery Instructor. She enjoys making pottery using both the wheel and handbuilding techniques. She strives to keep the inherent nature of clay apparent as she explores forms, textures and glazes that are enhanced by the spontaneity of atmospheric kilns.  

Martha graduated from the University of West Georgia with a BA in Art Education. She continued exploring clay at Chastain Arts Center and Penland School of Crafts, and was later awarded a full scholarship and graduate assistantship in the Ceramics Department at the University of Louisville, where she earned her MA in Studio Art/Ceramics. She previously taught art for Gwinnett County Schools – where she spent most of her career. She has also been a pottery instructor at Hudgens Center for the Arts, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Chastain Art Center, and the University of Louisville.  
While working as an art teacher for Gwinnett County Schools, Martha also garnered an Ed.S. in Educational Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University. 

She served as the Fine Arts Chairperson for Norcross High School for six and a half years. Under Martha's leadership, Atlanta Magazine selected Norcross High School’s Fine Arts Department as one of the top 10 Fine Art Programs in the Atlanta area. In 2010, a local Atlanta television station, 11 Alive, selected her as one of the Class Act Teachers in Atlanta. As an educator, she was nominated multiple times for Teacher of the Year. In 2016, Martha was inducted into the Norcross High School Foundation of Excellence Hall of Fame.

Martha retired from Norcross High School in 2013 to pursue her passion for working with clay full time as a studio artist. Martha has exhibited her work at LaGrange Art Museum, Abernathy Arts Center, Hudgens Arts Center, Fired Works Regional Ceramics Exhibition, Swan Coach House Summer Invitational, Perspectives Georgia Pottery Invitational, as well as Hambidge Center for Creative Arts Pottery Exhibition. 
You can see examples of Martha’s work and some of the work of her students at marthacookpottery.com.

Thomas A. Ross is the President & CEO of The Ross Jewelry Company, a custom design jewelry company located in Buckhead.  He has been a recognized designer in the jewelry industry for nearly fifty years.  Tom is a former vice president of Tiffany & Company, where he hosted a "Breakfast at Tiffany's" with Audrey Hepburn.  He also served as director of H. Stern's international flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York.
Tom has been invited to discuss fine jewelry, luxury goods and various aspects of the jewelry industry on CNN, CNBC, NBC, and ABC television. As a result of his community involvement on behalf of many Atlanta charities, he was awarded the Florence McDonald "People of Vision" award and recognized as a "Georgia Outstanding Citizen" by the Secretary of State. www.therossjewelrycompany.com

Elite Shaier is a self-taught artist. She is Sculpture in clay and other found materials (paper, rocks, pinecones etc.).  Author of short stories (two of which were published in Hebrew and one in English) and a poet (one of which is being published).  A teacher of social studies (MA) and Hebrew.  She has taught in the USA, Central - Yeshiva university high school, Weber - High school, AJA - middle school. Israel, Alon high school, Blich high school and researched the Native American's Sun Dance. 
A mother of two artists and married to a wonderful, supportive man and have two Great Pyrenees (from shelters, of course).  Loves desserts, art, animals and good people. Not necessarily in this order. elitetheartist.squarespace.com


Kate Belle is an Australian born professional photographer, who has called Atlanta home since 2010. Her career began in 2005 in Australia's North Coast as a music photographer covering festivals and concerts and working with a wide range of artists from REM to John Mayer and Parliament Funkadelic. When Kate met and fell in love with one of her musical subjects in 2006 she moved to Atlanta where she continues her path in portrait photography working with the rich musical and artists community of Atlanta. Kate also enjoys a busy wedding photography business that allows her to travel across the country documenting the love stories of her clients. She sees her role as a photographer in people's lives as a story teller, purveyor of meaningful experiences, a nurturer of relationships, and a preserver of memories. You can see more of Kate's work at www.kate-belle.com.

Molly Downey Newton has taught Visual Art in Middle Schools for the past 10 years.  She currently teaches at Peachtree Charter Middle School in DeKalb County. Before that she was the Visual Art teacher at Chamblee Middle School in DeKalb County. 
Teaching is Molly’s second career. Molly attended the University of Georgia and received a BFA in Graphic Design. She was a graphic designer and art director for several years, including in a large photography studio, which is where she met her husband, who is a professional photographer.  After having my second son, and volunteering in the Art room at their school, she decided to go back to school and get an Art Education degree from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA.  

Brad Newton has been a commercial and corporate photographer in Atlanta since 1985.
In his long and varied career Brad has photographed celebrities, CEO’s, cookbooks, annual reports, and advertising campaigns. Along the way Brad has developed into a magnificent husband and father to two remarkable sons. Brad is an avid photographer, woodworker, birdwatcher, painter and great neighbor.  He loves to walk his dogs with a cigar.