Denise Hughes has traveled the world capturing images that the artist plans to share with Sampson County residents during an artist exhibit and reception at the Victor R. Small House.
Hughes’ art will be on display through the beginning of January and introduced during an artist reception Thursday, Nov. 16, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
A native of Charlotte, Hughes has worked for the last several years as a mural artist, painting murals for places like the Marbles Children’s Museum and Wake Medical Center in Raleigh.
The local display, Hughes shared, will feature approximately 24 pieces of her work, which are a culmination of a project that has taken place over the last couple of years. Each piece, she explained, started as a photograph that was then painted on canvas.
“I am a mural painter by trade,” Hughes said Tuesday as she worked to hang her artwork in the Small House. “I like working on large projects.”
According to Hughes, she has traveled the world to places like France and Italy, taking photographs of different landscape scenes or nature scenes. She has even captured some of her images closer to home in New Orleans, Nashville, Tenn., and Wrightsville Beach.
Hughes then takes those photographs and puts them to canvas as oil paintings. To mix things up, she has taken underwater photographs of her children and painted those to canvas.
In just second grade, Hughes said her teachers began noticing her artistic talents. After high school, she said she knew she wanted to do something in the art field, and pursued a degree in medical illustration. Eventually, she obtained a degree in Fine Arts from East Carolina University.
“I always enjoyed drawing and painting something,” Hughes said. “Years after I graduated, I returned home and saw my second grade teacher. She had laminated all of my artwork and had it on display in her classroom.”
Three years ago, Hughes tried her hand at a different form of art, using plastic and recycled materials to create art pieces. She recently helped create a piece made entirely of plastic to be part of the Downtown Recycle Art Walk on Ferrell Street.
Hughes began collecting plastic bottle caps for recycling and educational purposes at schools. They were mailed to her from different parts of the United States and even as far away as the Netherlands.
The first half of the recycled art piece was created at Sunset Avenue School and was displayed during the Downtown Street Fair.
“Art is my life,” Hughes expressed. “I couldn’t imagine myself not doing it. Art makes me who I am.”
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.