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Teacher of the Arts: Steven Ray

Art instructor Steven Ray is a one-man show at Community School of the Arts. He teaches all of the visual art classes at the school's Spirit Square location, including comic book creation, adult and teen painting, and sculpture. In September, Ray collaborated with student Patrick Choulas on an exhibit called "Teacher/Student" at the Wachovia Gallery in Spirit Square. With more than 20 years of art experience, Ray is working on a series of oil paintings, pen and ink drawings, and comics.

Professor: After Ray earned his art education degree from Florida State University in 1992, he worked in the public school system for several years. Then he worked as a professional artist for 14 years. He returned to teaching in 2006 at Community School of the Arts and "loves every minute of it."

All ages: Ray appreciates his "diverse students," who range in age from 5 to 60. They include executives, retired people and "very talented kids." He hopes students stay curious and excited about art long after they leave the classroom.

The artist: Ray has painted murals professionally and done illustration, cartooning and design projects. While he still does the occasional commissioned piece, his art is purely for fun. "I'm not doing the work for anyone else. I'm doing it for me."

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