About Claudia Fulshaw
artist, wanderer, retreat leader
Known for being ridiculously creative, having a fondness for wild ideas and a propensity for wandering, Claudia has blazed a trail that supports others in the realms of Art, Spirit, Nature and Rest. Experiencing other’s joy as they discover unique ways to allow their “art spirits” to shine, fuels her desire to create a variety of workshops and retreats that blend these four, life-giving longings of many a passionate soul.
Claudia hales from Middletown, New Jersey and is the middle child of parents who met in art school. Her natural creativity and fun-loving personality must be the mash-up of illustrator and best mom, Maggie and interior designer, charming yet bewildering dad, Don. Growing up at the shore and living close to New York City created an affection for solitude as well as excitement. Time was spent engaged with all aspects of life, including: diversity of people, natural beauty, colors, textures, patterns, music, lights, friends and family, as well as wonderful moments of solitude. At an early age, Claudia, her sister and her brother were taught that the two most important words are “thank” and “you” and that the sky really could be orange if you wanted it to be.
“Claudia is not the annoying creative type – more just the fun-creative type. She leads retreats in an engaging, thoughtful and optimistic way and makes everyone around her happier.”
~ Lisa Giannini-White, participant
An art and design major at The College of New Jersey, an NCAA Div. III athlete, a women’s lacrosse coach and manager of several design departments, Claudia’s training and leadership skills led her straight toward entrepreneurship. Using her solid creative background, coaching style and intuition as a compass, Claudia opened a graphic design business in downtown Durham, NC in 1994. She is a founding member of the Durham Art Walk, now in its 25th year. She is a multimedia artist, not content to work in one medium or style. Using a combination of materials, focusing on paint, wood and/or paper, she creates work that is lyrical, unique, and decidedly fun. Since 1997, she has led an annual retreat (originally at Avila Retreat Center in Durham) that blends elements of Art, Spirit, Nature and Rest. From this retreat, and with enthusiastic encouragement from participants, family and friends, Art Wanders – creative retreats that invite your spirit to roam – was born.
“Claudia’s confidence shows in her own design/creation/art as well as in co-creating, collaborating with others. It shows in her self-awareness, understanding of and ability to make space for and embrace others with enthusiasm. It shows in her sense of humor.”
~ Mandy Mizelle, co-leader of annual Art & Poetry retreat
Claudia’s main motivation for starting Art Wanders and building The Stable (the home of Art Wanders) was to share the unconditional love and creative encouragement given to her throughout her life, and to demonstrate that when given time, a nurturing space, solid support, and the right materials, unique creative energies, ideas, and art spirits will emerge.