July 21, 2010

Behind the Easel: Scraps and Pepper

Last night I attended a really exciting meeting. The Scrap Exchange of Durham held it’s planning session for a collaborative community arts project which will serve in raising funds for a new building for the Exchange to call “home”.

In preparing to dive into the planning phase for the next Durham Dreams “portrait” of Pepper Fluke, I thought it quite appropriate! Pepper’s dream for  Durham is ”that all our citizens and especially our children have some form of art in their lives - that they all have equal opportunity to explore those things that expand their horizons and bring joy to their lives.”

One of The Scrap Exchange’s main mission is to foster creativity (and recycling, of course!) Durham is one of only 13 such  locations for creative recycling facilities in the nation. Every time I open the door to the "Exchange" I feel a bit like Alice falling into the rabbit hole. I lose myself in imaginations as my eyes skim across the vast array of barrels filled with possibilities. Slightly giddy with racing ideas, I struggle to maintain focus. Alas, I gather my wits and force myself to remain calm and try to act my age. 

I think the seed of my love for bits and scraps was sown by my Mom’s sewing basket. (No pun intended!) Although it was only about the size of a hat box, to me it was a veritable treasure chest. There were buttons, baubles, and scraps which I was given full access to use. There was no turning back. I became addicted to creating something from nothing. As a child it brought endless pleasure. As an adult, I contemplate how to share this joy and pass the baton. I believe this is the essence of Pepper’s dream. This is what I’m germinating - how can I translate this into a painting. I have a few ideas, so “stay tuned”. 


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