Born in Durham NC in 1952, my childhood memories revolve around family, church, woods, sports, singing, and reading. As this evolved into middle school, there was more interest in riding bikes, exploring the woods, fishing, basketball and the UNC Tarheels. Going into high school, more sports, the new influence of rock and roll, playing guitar, being in chorus and bands, an interest in politics, involvement in student government, and girls.  

My dad was a UNC graduate, so there was always a desire to go to college in Chapel Hill. He was a serious but loving man, and Mom was an enthusiastic gardener, and fun loving. There were four sibs, and a generally full loving family life. At athat time my interests centered on going to UNC to study Law in 1970. After a year on campus, and many new experiences, the ongoing Vietnam war, the deaths of political leaders, and some disillusion, it became apparent that interest in art and music put an end to desire for law school.

 

Becoming an art major led to intense study of painting, printmaking, and better learning of the use of shop tools. There was always a constant participation in bands, guitar, and the writing of music and lyrics. English classes were a source of enjoyment at UNC. Upon graduation in 1974, there was an interest in grad school, but instead, I began my  own business in the sign-making world, with a desire to be self employed, leaving it more possible to travel in bands, but also to keep a home in Chapel Hill.

 

The business name became Archer Graphics, and in the 1980s decade, I married and had two children. This of course was a thrilling change and challenge, and became the center of life in town and around the home centered business.

In 1982  I entered grad school at UNC and received an MFA in Studio Art, concentrating on printmaking, while still running a business and being a new Dad. I gave up bands for those 2 years, but not songwriting or sports or fishing. An avid volleyball player and softball player until an achilles injury in 1986, my interests turned more to carpentry and painting.  

Important to note about this changing period in my life is that I had always been involved in political dissent - Vietnam, unsafe nuclear waste storage, lying politicians, the power of lobbyists. I believe it stirred an unrest in me that came out in drawing and writing. But my large family and friends managed to give me balance.

 

Upon graduating from grad school I passed on opportunities to leave Chapel Hill, and instead attempted to make my company more artistic than just a sign shop, and began selling prints, paintings, and sandblasted wood. We were sandblasting redwood for signs, which led to blasting everything in sight - cedar stumps, bottles, benches, stones, etc. 

 

In 1992, I built a new home in the woods of Orange County, which we now call Cedar. It is the largest and most rewarding wood sculpture and teaching event of my life. Many years of Archer Graphics this has been the working office, along with some years in and out of spaces rented in Carrboro. 

 

On my business card there are several headings: printer, painter, musician, father, fisherman. I would boil that down now to family, music, and wood. I now have two lovely grandchildren, no living parents, wonderful siblings, great friends, an avid interest in writing and recording music, painting, woodworking, fishing and still a rabid Tarheel. My son Shannon is guiding Archer Graphics and my daughter Lia helps dad through computer world. A good day is seeing my kids. I still play guitars and hope for warm days where I can play in the outdoor shop, and hope for days on the water.

RAP