Last Friday evening was the unveiling of the fifth Durham Dreams’ portrait. There was standing room only in my little studio in Goldenbelt! So many friends and supporters of the Durham Rescue Mission gathered to honor the founder, Ernie Mills. I thought I’d give a summary of the meanings behind the imagery in this very special addition to the “Durham Dreams” series of paintings.
This piece, titled, “A Step of Faith”, portrays the “dream” of Rev. Ernie Mills: “to rescue the discarded relics of society, mine the diamonds in the rough, and see lives transformed into fully functioning members of society.”
The hand, symbolizing the work of the Mission to reach the addicted, touches and imparts strength. Where the Mission touches a life, there is a transformation in skin tone. The humanity of the addict grows as the entrapment of addictions fade.
The thorny snares of addictions slowly fade into a beautiful fruitful vine. The helping arm of the mission lifts the spirit, strengthens heart and uproots the addictions that paralyze.
The “seeds” of faith that have been “sown” in the community by Rev. Mills and his wife, have born much fruit. Fruitfulness multiplies as seeds of hope are scattered and sown.
A brightly colored palette of blues, greens and purples speak of the beauty that the Mission staff see in the individuals they serve.
The next portrait to be created in the Durham Dreams Series is the “dream” of Pepper Fluke, a local artist and community activist who led the crusade to refurbish the Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham. Her dream is to see the arts enjoyed by everyone!