owner/creative director

Owner and Creative Director of Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sonya Pfeiffer

Sonya Pfeiffer is a committed advocate for the arts with a passion for learning about diverse approaches to art-making and how artists interpret the world around us.  A former television journalist who is now a practicing civil rights and criminal defense attorney, Sonya has long been devoted to the written word and visual art.  She has directed and produced documentaries, including the award-winning short “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Social Justice.”  Sonya regularly moderates panel discussions related to law, art, and current events.  She also writes for a variety of local publications in Charlotte, and frequently puts her visual skills to work for legal clients by creating films that document their lives and personal struggles.


Sonya leads the gallery’s strategic planning and programming.  She is committed to representing artists who create challenging, thought-driven work that addresses relevant issues in our global society, as well as artists who embrace beauty, the power of color, texture and gesture, and who understand art’s value in allowing us all space to escape.   In addition to vibrant commercial solo and group exhibitions, Sonya also works on developing meaningful programming that addresses contemporary societal issues and focuses on creating dialogue through art. Feel free to connect:


curatorial consultant

Carla Aaron-Lopez is an artist, educator and well-known collaborator who has curated exhibitions in museums, artist collectives, and outdoors in a variety of venues. Aaron-Lopez’ reputation as an innovative curator and dedicated community builder has made her one of the most sought-after creatives in the Southeast. She is known for seamlessly blending aesthetics, experience and concepts in meaningful programs that highlight the talent of both emerging and established artists. With more than two decades in the cultural sector, Aaron-Lopez brings a wealth of experience to the gallery’s exhibition program.


Aaron-Lopez is also a gallery artist whose work is constantly pushing boundaries and defying expectation. She holds a Master of Fine Art in Photography and a Master in Printmaking from Savannah College of Art and Design – Atlanta.


gallery manager

Ashley Thurmond is an experienced marketing, communications and community engagement specialist who has been connected to the cultural community in Charlotte for more than 20 years. Her passion for the arts and a strong desire to innovate using compelling exhibitions and dialogue led her to Levine Museum of the New South, where she served as Vice President of Marketing and Guest Experience for more than a decade. Ashley led the museum’s marketing and communications efforts, and supervised guest services, store merchandising and rental events. As a member of the museum’s senior leadership team, she assisted in the development of several award-winning exhibitions and major community initiatives that garnered national recognition.


In her role as Gallery Manager, Ashley coordinates exhibition planning and management, as well as media outreach.  Ashley also develops artwork proposals for corporate and residential clients, and manages the gallery’s consulting practice.



marketing manager

Maddison Sumner posing for the leadership photo shoot.

Madison Sumner brings thoughtful creativity and an artist’s eye to social media and print promotions for the gallery. A Charlotte native, Madison is a skilled graphic designer and photographer who has worked on advertising campaigns for several Charlotte businesses. She photographs artwork, public and private events, and designs exhibition publicity. Madison is actively engaged in the arts community, and assists in the development of community relationships and collaboration with fellow art organizations.


Madison also serves as Director of Social Media and Marketing for the Charlotte Millennial Art Program (CLTMAP). The CLTMAP is housed within Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art and offers educational and networking opportunities for millennials.


Gallery Assistant

Simone Lindsey is a Charlotte native whose experience in the design world of Europe and New York could not keep her away from home. A BFA graduate in Fashion Design from Kent State University, Simone is an imaginative and energetic force with a creative eye. She brings her conceptual and technical design experience to the gallery’s online sales platform and assists in exhibition installations, communications, and developing artwork proposals. Simone uses her background in communicating ideas through mixed media to easily convey an artwork’s visual characteristics and technique, as well as the artist’s intent.


In addition to her work at the gallery, Simone is an instructor and assistant social media coordinator at The JAM: CLT. She also runs a boutique fashion-wear site,, focused on sustainable design and creating equity in the design industry.