Community Q&A with Artist Haley Harwood


Meet the artist: Haley Harwood

Check out her website:

Tell us what you do: I find old windows and custom paint them. I began painting windows with multi-color flowers on them, then moved to painting monograms and sports logos.


Tell us about your history: I have always been interested in art and have taken countless art classes over the years. From drawing to painting, jewelry making to taking photos, art has always been a passion of mine. A few years ago, I really got into painting and just randomly decided one day to paint a window we had replaced at our home and it turned into a business. I have gotten old windows from neighbors who have replaced the windows in their houses and have sold over forty windows in the past 2 years. I have sold my windows at a few different art exhibits throughout the state of GA and would like to expand my business as much as I can.


Tell us about the importance of your work: I really enjoy painting, and painting windows has been such a fun and rewarding part of my life. The comments and feedback I’ve gotten about my windows has been extremely humbling and rewarding. It really pushes me to continue painting and selling my art.


Tell us why you live in Athens. I am a student at the University of Georgia and I never want to leave!!


Describe your favorite things about this city: I love everything about Athens: the variety of people, the variety of places to go eat/hang out, the art, the music scene, the bar scene and so much more. Athens offers so many things that many other college towns don’t, and I think that makes Athens special. Athens swells with Georgia pride and love for our Bulldogs, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

Bread and Thread Presents: Raw


Top: pomegranate segments

Bottom: pointed berry earrings, pointed kale rings, and assorted brass and silver chevron rings, Rhys May Jewelry; black American Apparel crop top


Our collective New Years resolution at Bread and Thread is all raw everything. We believe in harnessing the raw power around us and within us in order to make 2015 the best year yet. We teamed up with jewelry maker and badass bike racer Rhys May to create this installment of our food and fashion duo.

What does “raw” mean to you?


Top: raw amethyst earrings, pointed kale earrings, and pointed berry earrings, Rhys May Jewelry

Bottom: purple and green kale, almonds

Raw is a state of being. Raw is the zest, the crunch, the spread on the cutting board in front of me. It doesn’t apologize for being bold. The raw state of food lends itself to assertive flavors and exciting textures. I’ve entered a new phase in the way I look at cooking – I want to appreciate things as they started, then to fully enjoy them as they nourish me. Raw makes me strong and it makes me alert.

Raw is a solid foundation. Raw is energy. It’s what I start my day with and it’s what carries me through. It is enduring and transformative. I’ve decided to approach the new year with a “raw” outlook as well, but the slate isn’t completely blank. It’s the bruises, the skinned knees, and all those shoulders to cry on, too. Raw is vulnerable. However, this raw lifestyle allows me to acknowledge the past and feel empowered in the present.

Raw is full of endless possibilities. At this very moment, it is packing up my most important belongings and getting ready to board a plane to Italy. Raw is terrifying and beautiful. It’s a collaboration with old friends that lead me into new territory, in which we created greatness.


Top: pointed kale rings, silver stacking rings, pointed kale earrings, and pointed kale necklace, Rhys May Jewelry; black jumpsuit, Community

Bottom: Raw Power salad with pomegranate seeds, almonds, and mixed kale


Raw is a word that seems to describe many aspects of my life in this moment.  I have recently graduated college and the post-graduate life is currently very new and curious to me.  I feel as if I have been pulled out of a comfort zone that I have embedded myself in for the past 22 years and my mind feels raw.  The possibilities are endless to me at this point and raw is the most appropriate way to describe how my brain is processing this freeing life alteration.

With that being said, I am now exploring different creative outlets in their rawest form.  When I was in school, I started various creative projects, but I always felt a weight on my shoulders from tedious obligations (like Intro to Political Science … yikes).  Now, I feel free to express myself in the simplest way: this is how my creative brain formulates ideas and this is what I love.  I am taking raw ideas and finally turning them into realities and it’s invigorating.

In conclusion, raw to me means no frills.  Raw is taking things I’m passionate about and projecting them into the world with vulnerability as my co-pilot.  I am actually in the process of coordinating a fashion and art event that focuses on people’s raw talents, which is inspiring me to notice mine and act on them. In 2015, I cannot wait to take the “raw” lifestyle – a lifestyle without excuses and embellishments – and use it as a motivator to get out of bed every morning and have days that I’m proud of.


Top: mixed kale

Bottom: brass and silver chevron rings, pointed kale rings, silver double finger rings, silver stacking rings, Rhys May Jewelry


Raw is a force. Its a little rough around the edges and is all the more beautiful for its flaws. I love fabricating metal spikes and leaving marks of hand-making all over my work. Hammered facets and raw sawed edges, prongs created for an irregular stone, asymmetry and oxidized metal. I have fun creating, and I try not to overthink my designs. They are spontaneous and organic and human.

Raw is power. Its what I feel when I get up before sunrise and go ride, feeling my chest burn and my legs get stronger, noticing I can launch myself over new terrain. When I’m racing and pushing myself as hard as I can go, finding new limits with my body and mind. Crossing the finish line with mud in my teeth and my lungs screaming, feeling strong and beautiful and knowing I left it all out there.

Raw is a feeling, a state, an attitude, a lifestyle. Raw is singing out loud at the top of my lungs and dancing like no one is watching. Raw is loving things as they were created, as they are, with no need for embellishments or editing or making over. Raw is pure badassery.


Top: pointed kale earrings, Rhys May Jewelry; assorted studs, Piercing Experience

Bottom: kale


Check out our RAW playlist here and enjoy the powerful picks from all three ladies.


Food preparation, styling, and photography: Madison Trapkin

Fashion styling: Ally Smith

Fashion photography: Tatim Kilosky

Hair styling: Tatim Kilosky

Hair cut & color: Model Citizen Salon

Shot on location at Lake Claire Community Land Trust

Featuring the Bread and Thread x Rhys May Jewelry, on sale at Community


Left: raw amethyst cuff, silver double finger rings, silver stacking rings, raw amethyst earrings, Rhys May Jewelry

Right: purple kale


Raw Power Salad

2 bunches kale, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped

½ cup pomegranate seeds

½ cup almonds, roughly chopped

¼ cup parmesan, grated

1 ½ tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp fresh ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, toss, and serve.


This recipe and more can be found on Born & Bread, Madison’s food blog.


Community Q&A with Wesley Johnson

Meet the artist: Wesley Johnson

Check out his website:

Tell us what you do: I’m a self branded beatsmith that goes by the name “WesdaRuler”. I mix 90s era boom bap/sampling with 90s ear video sounds. I also do traditional mpc style boom bap beats. No one really raps or seeks out this kind of production anymore so I recently started doing live shows where I recreate/remix my own beats live in a non-stop 20-45 min set.

Tell us about your history: Ex military brat. I was born in Warner Robins, GA. My mom grew up there. My dad grew up here in Athens and met her when he joined the Airforce. We have lived mainly in the south (SC/GA/FLA), but spent some years on in northern Cali. I came up in SC as the neighborhood “beat box” and was just called “big wes”. When I moved to Cali and got exposed to a different kind of music scene I became the street dj and was given the name “Wesdnile da Virus” (lol). From there I started making beats. I’ve always been a fan of 90s hip hop usually referred to as the “golden era”. I’ve also always been a huge chipmusic fan (8bit video game sounds) which ironically is considered the golden era of gaming. Listening to great producers like Pete Rock, Large Professor, and DJ Premier led me to Jay Dilla of Detroit. I became a huge fan of his productions and have adapted that style as my own. I’m also a big fan of Mr. Dibia$e/ Professa (darkerthanwax)/Phillipe Edision/Mndsgn. I’m also into photography and sometimes attempt to express the picture in a beat.

Tell us about the importance of your work: It’s important to me simply because I really love doing it. I could never clearly explain in words how I might feel one day, but I am able to take those feelings and vibes and turn them to a beat. It’s a way to express myself. I would love to help build the beat scene here in Athens. I’ve already done a few shows, and people seem to be into it. Any way to contribute to the overall scene and feel of Athens.

Tell us why you live in Athens: It’s a great town. A lot of my family is here and after growing up in the military it’s nice to finally be around. I also have a wife and one-year-old son, and would like to give him a stable environment. I have a good career at UGA. I love football! I love the food here, the music here and MOST of the people here (lol). Sometimes this lil’ town takes my breath away when I take a minute to just stop and look.

Describe your favorite things about this city: I like to old town feel of it. It’s historical, but not TOO historical if that makes sense.


Community Q&A with Artist Brianna Rawley Isbell of Moonsail Design

Meet the artist: Brianna Rawley Isbell of Moonsail Design

Check out her website:

Tell us what you do: Moonsail is an independently owned business that specializes in all things art. We do everything from handmade clothing and accessories to paintings, illustrations, woodburnings, and embroideries.


Tell us about your history: We started in 2006 as a one woman operation when I was 14. Originally, I was just making custom clothing items for people at my high school, but soon it grew into an online business with customers all over the country. In the past 9 years, we have expanded our focus to include art of all sorts.


Tell us about the importance of your work: I feel like my work is a creative outlet for all the little inspirations I stumble across in my daily life. Some of it is meant to be silly and cute, while other things are coming from a deeper, more sensitive part of my life. I really enjoy being able to express the highs and lows of my life through a positive outlet.


Tell us why you live in Athens. I was originally drawn to Athens by some of my best friends who spoke highly of the art scene in the area. I’ve been here for two years at this point and I still find new inspirations on a daily basis. So many people here are artistic in one way or another. I’ve been working with Indie South and The Broad Collective lately. Those two brands in particular are a major driving force for why I love this town so much. It’s just an amazing feeling to be apart of a constantly growing and changing artistic environment.


Describe your favorite things about this city: I love that there’s always something going on! It has all the quirks of a small town, with the entertainment of a larger city. I’m constantly flipping through Flagpole for things to do and have never been disappointed! I also love that I feel comfortable going to events by myself because it’s practically guaranteed that I’ll run into someone I know. Athens is really just a perfect mix of everything I could ask for in a town.


Community Spotlight: Mary Charles Howard of Georgia Food Tours


Meet Mary Charles Howard, the beauty and brains behind what started as Athens Food Tours and has now expanded into Georgia Food Tours. Georgia Food Tours offers both walking and bicycle tours of locally owned and sourced restaurants and farms all over the state. These tours are a way of connecting the people of Athens to their local restaurant owners and the farmers who supply them. 

Howard graduated from the University of Georgia in 2008 with a degree in Landscape Architecture. After graduating, she moved to Durham, North Carolina to pursue a job in landscape architecture. However, the recession took a toll and Howard was forced to pick up two bar tending jobs in addition to her day job as a landscape architect. She eventually picked up another job as a tour guide for a food tour in Durham, North Carolina.


After returning to Athens one weekend for a football game, Howard ended up meeting the man who would later become her husband and decided to make the move back to Athens. When she moved back in 2010, the food scene was just starting to pick up and she felt like it was the perfect time to start an Athens Food Tours.

Having been trained as a food tour guide in North Carolina, Howard could tell that the food scene in Athens was progressing quickly.

“When I came back I realized that if I didn’t start a food tour now, someone else would!” Howard said.

Therefore, she decided to take matters into her own hands and start the local food tours in Athens. The tours were a one-woman-show with Howard running everything. Without any prior knowledge of how to run a business, Howard figured out quickly just how much is involved.

“At first it was overwhelming and I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it or afford all of it but the love of the business just kept me going and now its been 5 years,” she said.


The qualifications for being on the food tour’s list include being locally owned and preferably locally sourced. In 2010 it was difficult to find enough restaurants that were locally sourced, but Howard felt it was important to include locally owned restaurants that aspired to be locally sourced on the list.

By going to these locally sourced restaurants, Howard was able to figure out what local farmers were supplying the restaurant’s food. She realized these same farmers were not too far from the hub of Athens and came up with an idea to ride her bike from farm to farm. She called it an “if I build it will they come?” situation, and created an event that would allow cyclists to take tours of the local farms in Athens.

The cyclist did come, and more than she expected. Seventeen people showed up to the first cycling food tour, fifty to the next and seventy-five to the third. She capped the maximum number of people to attend at seventy-five with an inclusion of all different skill level. The shortest tour is fifteen miles and the longest and most popular tour, is fifty miles. The cycling tours occur 3 times a year and include the farmer’s story and a shared meal at the end of the tour.

 “I love Athens Food Tours because I love revealing the stories behind local farmers and business owners. I love when the people of Athens get the chance to hear these stories because it instills the importance of a sense of localness and allows them to share these stories with other people. It is a way to connect people to their local towns and preserve stories of the past while supporting these businesses in the today.”


Written by Meg Taylor. Photos by Ella Ferguson.

Community Spotlight: Family and Friends

Meet Family and Friends–one of Athens’ most popular bands, known for their sincere music and energetic shows. They not only have a unique sound, but also an interesting set-up too with two drummers, an upright bass and multiple vocalists. Family and Friends is made up of JP McKenzie (guitar), Casey Harper (vocals and percussion), Mike MacDonald (guitar and vocals), Ryan Houchens (drums), Tuna Fortuna (bass and upright, guitar), Maria Kindt (violin and viola) and Alejandro Rios (drums).


They are a large group with a big sound–and a big following.  They’re gaining recognition too. This year Family and Friends won Flagpole’s Music Award for start up and best artist of the year. Their music is joyful and carries truth. Even the name Family and Friends holds a meaning that speaks to their audience. When asked about the band’s name, Mike stated that it’s the “concept of what that invokes”, meaning that the band and the audience are joining together as family and friends–sharing in music.

“We want everyone to feel a part of it”, Alejandro said about their music. Their live shows are also a place for the audience to experience and participate. To say that there’s energy is an understatement. At Athfest this year, it was amazing to see the band and the crowd feed off of each other.

For Ryan, Athfest 2014 was the most memorable show, being on the mainstage with at least 1000 people was an incredible experience. For Casey, Alejandro and JP their CD release show was their favorite moment, especially JP who was so happy that he hugged Ryan mid-song.


We were curious about the band’s structure and how they formed. Mike explained it as a sort of “universal phenomenon” or one of Athens’ serendipitous moments. He knew that he wanted two drummers and female vocalists, but he needed to find the musicians. Through a series of events, Tuna, Casey, Maria, Ryan, Alejandro and JP joined in and became Family and Friends.

Musical inspiration for these guys ranges from Typhoon to James Taylor. Alejandro “likes the way they [Typhoon] build their songs”. JP finds inspiration from ambient post-rock like Explosions in the Sky, while Mike prefers The Oh Hellos and The Head and the Heart.


We asked the members to give each other superlatives just for fun and here’s what we got:

Ryan: Best Smile/Most Energetic

Tuna: Father Wisdom/Philosopher

JP: Best to Bring to Home to Mom/Nicest

Casey: Most Responsible

Alejandro: Most Spirited

Maria: Wildcard

Mike: Most Driven

Family and Friends has an upcoming show at the Georgia Theater on January 9th with Roadkill Ghost Choir and Semicircle. Be sure to check it out.. Also, their next EP will come out in a few months, as well their very own Jittery Joe’s roast called Love You, Bean It (based on their album Love You Mean It). Grab an EP and a cup of Love You, Bean It this spring!


Written by Zelda Speight. Photos by Ella Ferguson.