Portraits of Peach Road Park community members displayed on the outside of Peach Road Park Community Center

Photograph by Tzu Chen

Raleigh Stories Public Art Project: Peach Road Park

A public art project created by artist Deborah Aschheim for Raleigh Arts

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Portraits & Stories

Artist Deborah Aschheim has installed a selection of Raleigh Stories portraits at Peach Road Park. The portraits include park patrons and residents of the nearby neighborhoods. You can find the portraits on the outside of the community center and visit during park hours.

View the portraits and read the stories below. 

Portraits & Stories

A portrait drawing of Adwoa Asante by Deborah Aschheim

Adwoa Asante

I serve as the Director of Operations at Southeast Raleigh Table, a local church, and also as a Body Liberation Ambassador at Current Wellness.  

At my church, we really care about doing no harm and creating safe space for spirituality. We're building partnerships around the church. People know that they can come to us, ask questions, and make requests of us.  We really care about who our neighbors are. At Current Wellness, I get to help members of our gym and wellness space celebrate their best selves. We are a space and community centered on developing holistic and healing relationships with our bodies. 

In both roles, I get to co-create structures to support people as they transform. It’s what I love most about the work I do. Whether it’s coordinating details for an event, developing protocol around the use of space, or leading teams, I get to cheer people on as they make magic happen! 

I live in Southeast Raleigh and have high hopes for our community. I hope that its residents who have been here a long time can stay in Southeast Raleigh. I know that we are experiencing a lot of change, and people are being uprooted. But I want people who have called Raleigh home to still be able to do that, and whatever ways we can come alongside them to make that possible. I want my skills and gifts to be a key part of that. 

A portrait drawing of Aleccia by Deborah Aschheim


Aleccia loves to do art and says she may want to be an artist when she grows up.

A portrait drawing of Amanda Bobley by Deborah Aschheim

Amanda Bobley

I work at NC State for the North Carolina Extension. I teach all over Wake County.

Question: What can people find out about when they come over to booth today?
Answer: How to eat smart and move more, and be healthier. I teach how to prepare healthy 30 minute meals, save money at the supermarket, portion control and read food labels.

You can find information at the North Carolina Extension website

I live in Garner. My family comes to this park.

A portrait drawing of Amy Veatch by Deborah Aschheim

Amy Veatch

In 2018 at Peach Road Park, I painted the mural called Sweet Bee on the outside of the handball court. In 2019, I had to repair it due to a storm and water damage. In 2023, I repaired it again, due to graffiti damage.

A former director of the park wanted to have art in the park. She had studied how art helps people understand they are important and their local community is cared for. Murals promote park usage and help keep graffiti off park structures.  She wanted an artist who would incorporate working with the after-school program and the camp programs done in the park, also. The kids and adults in those programs participate in painting the mural, along with volunteers from the larger community, each time I worked on the mural.

A lot of refugee families who were Muslim had moved into the neighborhood. In Islamic art, the hexagon is a central form, so I used it, as well as depicting where we see it in nature—the honey bee comb.

I used the colors from the playground at Peach Road Park, orange, green, and purple, as well as the primary colors that make them up, red, yellow, and blue, to represent the people that are from different cultures that come to this park. As people come together in a community, they don't lose their culture, but they come together, living side by side, and maybe realizing ways to understand one another. That was the inspiration for the design of the mural. Since the honey bee is the only bee that makes that an hexagonal cell, I put a queen honey bee and a flower to tie the hexagon to nature.

I loved working in Peach Road Park, getting to know the people who use the park, and being in this little oasis of nature in the city. I heard many different languages spoken while I was working on the mural, and saw people of all ages come together to play in the park. 

I work at Pullen Art Center, where I'm the studio coordinator for the metal/jewelry studio, and I teach classes there. I teach also at Sertoma Art Center and at NC State Crafts Center.

A portrait drawing of Aziah Zachare by Deborah Aschheim

Aziah Zachare

My name is Aziah. I came to the event at Peach Road Park to support my friend Iona. We work together, and she makes really good skincare and I'm a fan of skincare. I'll be her cheerleader.

I moved here from South Florida with my family. I'm really just feeling the city out, I'm really new. I like all the trees. I like the lake. I'm so used to being by the beach, so this is a different scenery. The bugs are different. The heat is different. But I like it. I told myself I give myself three years. If I don't like it. I'll go back. 

A portrait drawing of the Boggs Family by Deborah Aschheim

The Boggs Family

Jackie Boggs: We used to bring Ethan, our son, to some of the summer camps that the City of Raleigh Parks and Recreations had at several different locations. Peach Road Park was probably his favorite. We hadn't been in probably five years, so coming here was a nice walk down memory lane. 

Johnny Boggs: We love being outside. Raleigh has a pretty nice Greenway system, and they're continuing to expand so we go biking on the Greenway. We have a tradition of Sunday walks. When it’s really nice and not too hot, we take the dog with us. Being outside and doing things on the weekend, and hanging out in our backyard, with friends, is another thing that we really like to do as a family.

A portrait drawing of Jackie Boggs by Deborah Aschheim

Jackie Boggs

I studied statistics in college. I took a class my high school senior year in statistics and next thing you know, I was majoring in it. Now, I’m into supply chain management. I’ve been in supply chain my entire career. I’ve worked in different areas of it in different cities around Raleigh. Supply chain is definitely a huge focus now.

I now do more consulting at my company. The best way to describe my company is, we're kind of the plumbers of the pharma industry. They need disposable ware to actually mix the products, and we provide all of that.

I’m born and raised in North Carolina, I grew up in a small town called Warrenton, NC. It’s an hour north of here, on the border going to Virginia. I knew I wanted to go to a big city and leave the small town. One thing that I definitely enjoy about Raleigh, it’s much bigger that Warrenton but not too big. There’s always something to do, literally any day of the week, and a really good cost of living.

It’s been wonderful raising Ethan here in Raleigh. The school system is really good and it’s been a joy to support him in all the things that he wants to do, to have a vast choice of activities. From time to time, Ethan and I will volunteer with the SPCA. He has a huge love for animals. The food bank is another good opportunity that we’ve done.

A portrait drawing of Johnny Boggs by Deborah Aschheim

Johnny Boggs

I am from Camden, Alabama, a small town in the Southwest part of the state. I went to college at Alabama A&M University, and I majored in environmental science. Growing up in a small town, my friends and I did a lot of things outside, hunting and fishing. I also took forestry classes. I got a job working in the forestry and environmental field and I moved to Raleigh in 1998. 

My work involves ensuring that the studies we conduct on the ground are producing results that can be used to protect our environment and water resources. Whether that’s studies on cutting trees, performing prescribed fires, or applying other kinds of forest management practices, we want to ensure that the environment is protected. As part of my outreach efforts, I've been engaged with the Walnut Creek Wetland Center and other parks in the city, to teach kids and college students about tree identification, and watershed and water resource protection. 

Jackie and I met in Raleigh in 1999, through a mutual friend. We got married in 2004. Raleigh—the area and the people are really nice. I love my career and the people that I work with. We've built a wonderful network of friends in this area, and I cherish both the Raleigh community and the people that live here.

A portrait drawing of Ethan Boggs by Deborah Aschheim

Ethan Boggs

I go to the Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy. We have an early college program for our Juniors and Seniors, so I take college classes at St. Augustine’s University. I want to go into Animal Science, I’m looking at NC State, North Carolina A&T, Alabama A&M, and Tuskegee University.

Animal Science is a broad spectrum of different sciences related to animals, which I really love learning about. I want to research and learn more about them so I can teach people about animals.  

My all-time favorite animal is definitely the wolf. I really like how they travel in packs, and how they are related to dogs, which are also one of my favorite animals. One thing that many people probably don’t understand about animals is that they really don’t like us. They prefer to stay away from us. Most of the time, animal attacks happen when they are provoked and people are in their territory. If we stay away from them, they’ll leave us alone.

I’m a Boy Scout, I’m a part of Troop 253, and in February, I attained my Eagle Scout rank. I am very proud to be an Eagle Scout! We go on campouts a lot, hiking, and swimming. I really enjoy being outside with my troop and having fun with them. 

A portrait drawing of Cassidy Ray by Deborah Aschheim

Cassidy Ray

I've lived in Hillsborough my whole life. I work as a hair stylist. I do lots of creative color, and super-duper layered shaggy haircuts are my favorite thing.

I'm friends with Hot Wendy, one of the bands that are playing here tonight. I tried to go to all their events and support local music. This is my first time at Peach Road Park.  Super cute. I love all the colors.

A portrait drawing of Crystal Bone and Josh Brousseau by Deborah Aschheim

Crystal Bone and Josh Brousseau

 Crystal Bone

I live in downtown Raleigh. I’ve lived here about 10 years now.

I work at Llibott Consultorios Medicos. We do primary care for adults, and we also help people with the immigration process, residency documents and vaccinations and physicals, health services that are required as part of the process of becoming a citizen.

I actually found myself in a really great place where I can serve the community by helping educate them in their own language. I speak the languages of the Latino community. In addition to me, we have representatives from various backgrounds and cultures, Costa Ricans, Cubans, Colombians, Mexicans, and more. We try to help educate the patients so they can advocate for themselves, to break barriers, and provide them resources, whether that is to help them with their own health care needs or to access mental health care or other services.

Josh Brousseau

I'm trying to make a more efficient, positive future in the energy field by investing my life into sustainable technology. Specifically, wind is what I'd like to try to grow.

Question: What's the most interesting thing that you've learned that surprise you about wind technology?
Answer: That there's so much more room for development, and it's really underutilized?

There's a major amount of investment that's going towards fossil fuel production rather than green technologies. If we could maybe have a little bit more investment to have more research in green technology, that could be sold.

Crystal: I'm originally from Texas…
Josh: …and I'm originally from Vermont.

We both met here in Raleigh, and have been together for about a decade and going through so many ups and downs and learning experiences and growing and really just figuring it out.

A portrait drawing of Cynthia and Emeli by Deborah Aschheim

Cynthia and Emeli

Question: I know you want to be a singer when you grow up, Emeli. What do you want to be when you grew up, Cynthia? Do you know yet?
Cynthia: I want to be an artist.
Question: You do? Excellent. That's the best job. Well, no singer is really good, too. Ou guys know those are hard jobs, right? You have to work hard at them.
Emeli: We come here a lot. We live near here. I always come with my parents. I like to play. Yeah, sometimes sing a little when I'm walking by myself.
Cynthia: Art’s my favorite thing. It makes me happy. That’s my thing. When we have art, I just get so excited.
Emeli: I feel like that about singing.

A portrait drawing of Deisha Hughes and Alani by Deborah Aschheim

Deisha Hughes and Alani

Deisha and Alani live in Durham. They came to Peach Road Park for the first time to attend the Peach pARTy event.

A portrait drawing of Dravious Wright by Deborah Aschheim

Dravious Wright

My name is Dravious Wright, I go by Dre. I have a dog kennel, Blitz Bully Dog Kennel. It’s in Raleigh.

These dogs are Pocket Bullies. That is the kind of dog that I breed. They get very stout and short, they don’t get too tall. I always liked dogs as a kid growing up but, man, I fell in love with these dogs. I found out about them a couple of years ago. I was a big pit bull lover, I just fell in love with the Pocket Bullies that were short and stout. They're calm. They're very calm. They're lovable, cuddly. clingy.

I don't really too much tell people that I played football— kind of keep that on the quiet.

I was scouted out of high school, coming out of Florida. Honestly, you really have to just play and let the scouts come to you out of how you play on the field. If you play really good, you're going to have a lot of scouts coming. If you’ve got the grades to go to that school, they're going to acknowledge you and try to recruit you to go to their school. The better your grades are, and the more talented you are, the more options you have.

I was an OK student. I was recruited from multiple Division One schools, but I ended up coming to NC State on a scholarship. I liked the atmosphere. And you know, just a fan of everything about Raleigh, the city, a different look, a different state. I’d never been out of Florida. It was welcoming and it felt like it was the right place to make home for four years.

It was very exciting, being able to go travel and meet different people. All my friends were teammates and coaches. It was very nice for football to take me this far in life, to where I can experience all those things. I ended up going pro, becoming an undrafted free agent to the Rams. I did training camp all the way up until mini-camp, and then I just decided to come back and finish school and take a different route.

Playing ball that was a little bit fast, all the traveling and training and things like that. It's a little bit more chilling and relaxing just hanging out with puppy dogs, going to little shows to see how it works. I decided to put my one dog into the show, from a litter I decided to keep— I'm actually going to show him and try to get him some recognition.

Another adventure or another opportunity might take me somewhere else, but Raleigh is home.

A portrait drawing of Indira Bautista by Deborah Aschheim

Indira Bautista

My name is Indira Bautista. I’m 25 years old and I’m a Communications and Fundraising Coordinator at ISLA NC, a non-profit organization located in Durham. We bring Spanish Language Heritage programs to our community for children, and Advocacy leadership resources for parents.

I love to bring my creativity to the organization!

Indira Bautista's Instagram

A portrait drawing of Jabari Harris by Deborah Aschheim

Jabari Harris

I work at the Pullen Art Center, front desk, and I assist with teaching artists and other community members who come in to do work. I am also a part-time artist. I do pet portraits and some faith-based pieces.

I went to High Point University and received my B.A. in Communication. I studied film and digital media.

I really love drawing animals. I enjoy doing commissions for other people and showing the beauty of their animal through my portraits. My love for animals and art has lead me to where I am today!

Jabari Harris' Instagram

A portrait drawing of Karise Baron by Deborah Aschheim

Karise Baron

I'm from Brooklyn, New York, originally. I came to Raleigh with my family and for school.

I went to Leesville High, and I graduated from St. Augustine’s University in 2020. I majored in graphic design. Since graduating, I have been freelancing and working on proposals for the city.

In my art, I like to focus on the Black perspective, but specifically, from my point of view, I see other people's perspectives to my community. My art is very emotional, you can see it on my Instagram at @_nocturnal_vibez.

Right now I am working on a proposal for a project I want to do at Latta University Park, which used to be a trade school for orphans.  I want to portray the original mission of that school, which was to teach kids how to be themselves and be sustainable through art. I want to combines  history and community engagement from the cultural perspective of particularly Black experience.

I was at Peach Road Park in April because I was helping with Akira Dudley’s Raleigh Stories event.

A portrait drawing of Linda Luna, Humberto, Layla, and Alina Moreno by Deborah Aschheim

Linda Luna, Humberto, Layla , Alina Moreno

We live nearby, we come here often. It’s a nice park.

We are from Mexico. We have been here two years. We came here because of Humberto’s work, he is an Engineer.

Raleigh is very familiar and it has a lot of nature. We don’t have that back in Mexico.

A lot of beautiful parks, it’s really nice. It’s green.

A portrait drawing of Marissa Smith and Cristina Lopez by Deborah Aschheim

Marissa Smith and Cristina Lopez

Marissa: I worked in the Wake County public schools as a teacher and instructional coach for 20+ years.  WAKE Up and Read provided the opportunity to work with families and community partners in a unique manner to support learning at home so children are better prepared for school. I am able to help families and community leaders realize that learning happens everywhere, not just in the classroom. Those simple, every day learning experiences yield high impact literacy outcomes. 

WAKE Up and Read is a community coalition of 30+ agencies across Wake County, with Wake County schools as our backbone. We focus on birth to 5 school readiness, K-5 learning opportunities, and engaging families as partners. We collaborate with community partners to provide high quality access to books and resources and walk alongside families to ensure they feel empowered and equipped to support learning at home.

We have co-created a Parent Leader Network with parents. These gatherings are held every 2nd Saturday of the month from 10-12 at the WAKE Up and Read Center at 1820 Capital Blvd. Families gather for brunch, conversation, and learning. Childcare is provided.

Cristina: I have worked for Wake County public school system for 6 years. I started as a parent liaison for the early childhood program, and now I am working with families during the application process as a Processing Technician. I support and help facilitate the gathering of documents that are required for the program. I started working with WAKE Up and Read almost a year ago, my job consists of educating families about the programs and the extensive opportunities offered for families to engage in their child’s education.

Our website is wakeupandread.org.

A portrait drawing of Maryam Azimi by Deborah Aschheim

Maryam Azimi

I work here at Peach Road Cultural Center. I'm an assistant.

My responsibilities are registering people for different programs, and managing chairs and tables for different programs, and helping Pashto and Dari speakers. And teaching.

And answering phone calls.

Question: It helps a lot that you can speak multiple languages?
Answer: Yes

My favorite part is, I think the staff are great, both of my supervisors are very kind. I'm really happy and lucky. I'm working in a place that's full of good people. I live nearby.

I came from Afghanistan one year and six months ago.

A portrait drawing of Ryan Lutz by Deborah Aschheim

Ryan Lutz

I was born and raised in Raleigh, I've lived here most of my life.

I started woodworking from having some skateboards laying around in my garage, started making smaller things. I primarily make everything out of upcycled skateboard decks. That really snowballed into all of the woodworking I do now.

Skateboarding in Raleigh increased popularity with the Olympics, and the rise of Raleigh funded parks and skateable areas is really helping out the scene. The new park off Capitol Boulevard is definitely bringing skateboarding to the forefront.  It's way more of an accepted sport or activity than it used to be when I was growing up, which is really good for everybody involved.

I've been buddies with Akira Dudley, who was the main host of the event at Peach Road Park in July, since high school. We've been involved through the arts together for many years. He asked me to come set up a little booth and be a part of the Peach Road pARTy. I'm local in the area. My online storefront is Dusted Woodworking or  @Dustedwoodworking on Instagram. 

A portrait drawing of Wanda Middleton by Deborah Aschheim

Wanda Middleton

I’m here supporting Bela Flor which is a new body, self-care product line. My friend. Iona Brown is the creator. I am officially relocated to Raleigh from Washington, DC. I'm retired from the federal government, so I'm new to the area. I’ve been here two years now. I like the trees.

Question: Is there anything that you miss about DC?
Answer: Oh, yes. I miss the diversity, the culture, arts, museums, my kids and grandkids.



Kelly McChesney
Public Art Director

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Service Categories:
Raleigh Arts
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Public Art



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