Charleston Women Summer 2024

70 | | Angela Caban As a Broadway dancer, singer and actor performing in “Cats,” Angela Caban would never have guessed where her journey would lead after a fateful day walking home from the theater and stumbling upon a box of World of Interiors magazines. Flipping through the pages showcasing old world decor, Caban was immediately inspired to enroll in FIT’s fine art and restoration program. Upon graduation, she started her own decorative painting business, specializing in 18th century gilding. A chronic student, Caban also traveled the world, learning from and working with French and Italian artists and mentors to master portraiture, still-life, landscapes and decorative painting. The result? Among other things, an opulent ceiling she designed was featured in the August 2022 issue of Architectural Digest. Now, a professor at the American College of Building Arts, Caban teaches techniques like sgraffito, fresco, hand sculpting, marbling, wood graining, molding and water and oil gilding. According to Caban, because ACBA blends a liberal arts education with this kind of heritage craftsmanship, the college offers a unique education unlike any other. When it comes to turning artistic talent into a career, Caban said that while in school learning, it’s important to play and experiment, cultivating the eye and honing the hand skills, because trying a technique just once and moving on without practice is never a good strategy. “Collect, read and study all of the books as well,” she added, “because you’re only as good as your library.” Carolyne Chardac Currently a senior studying ornamental plasterwork at ACBA (where Caban teaches), Carolyne Chardac reached a pivotal moment in her life. In 2018, when her mother passed away and her youngest son left home for college, Chardac visited Charleston and toured ACBA, where she knew she had found her new way forward. Starting life over in her 50s wasn’t easy, but staying at her desk job in Atlanta was not an option. She took the leap and never looked back. When Chardac was doing restoration work on ninefoot scaffolding at Hardwick Hall, an Elizabethan-era country house in Derbyshire, England, she gazed out the windows at the lush English countryside and caught Local Women Master Business by Mastering the Arts BY SARAH ROSE Charleston Women in the Arts Ceiling at Dakota done by Angela Caban. Photo by Douglas Friedman. Carolyne Chardac works her magic.