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About Common Threads


Our Founder

Craig Shofed

C.a. Shofed’s art has been exhibited in galleries all along the East Coast. His first solo show was a month-long exhibit called “Double Take” which included ten photographs of fire hydrants as they appeared “in the wild”. C.a. Shofed also curates an annual art show featuring artists working in Trenton or inspired by Trenton. The highly successful show is called “Common Threads” and has been hosted successfully for the last 3 years at Hopewell Valley Vineyards. 2016’s Common Threads will be called “Power of Woman” will be composed of all women artist.

Born in Fort Dix, NJ, C.a. Shofed’s parents were in the military, He spent his early years in Germany. In high school, he studied Graphic Arts at Assunpink Vocational School, moving into Advertising Design in college. “It was college that first exposed me to what now is my love for photography.” Before he had a real chance to explore photography he took a summer job as a computer installer and never looked back.

“Although my professional life has focused on technology, I maintained an interest in photography, always carrying my camera with me, taking photographs whenever the opportunity presented itself or whenever a particular scene or object inspired me. In recent years I have made the transition to digital, although I still prefer film. Increasingly my work seeks to bring attention to ordinary objects pressured by nature. My art at times has been described as “industrial meets nature”. I enjoy finding beauty and power in things that are not naturally considered beautiful or powerful until that moment I push that button on my camera. I hope my photography inspires you to stop, look and view with a different eye the everyday objects you pass by and normally pay no attention too.”



Our Marketing Guru

Renata Barnes

Renata Barnes is the author of "The Taste Chase," MercerMe's food review column. She's a lover of all things poetic, colorful, funny and inspiring. A native New Yorker, who grew up in Hopewell Valley and spent the better part of her adulthood back in NYC, currently finds herself in a growing love relationship with “the Valley”. Latin food, Indian saris and mehndi, French perfume, African music, Middle Eastern spices, South American jewels, Asian fabrics and anything from just about any island (maybe not Riker’s Island) are things that remind her to go out and taste the world, live passionately and always wear deodorant. The mother of one rambunctious boy and the wife of a mellow fellow, Renata tries to put her too many years of university and her film and writing talents to good use here in NJ. “I’ve spent too much time trying to fit in some where when I probably belong everywhere. That slow revelation has been freeing.”



Our Design Oracle

Annette Earling

Annette Earling is a graphic designer for web and print, a benignly neglectful mom, a writer & essayist, and a cursing PTA member who is deep, deep in the thick of it. Born and raised (mostly) in Trenton and seasoned in Hopewell Valley, she's a maker and a taker who moved on to northern California, Rome, Italy, and a long stint in Philadelphia before returning to the wilds of New Jersey.

She is currently at work on her first novel, A Listener’s Guide to the Music of the Spheres. &