Plastic cap murals designed by artist Denise Hughes and created by students from Sunset Avenue and Roseboro Elementary were installed earlier this week along the Downtown Recycle Art Walk (DRAW), located on Ferrell Street, Clinton. The project was a collaborative effort between the Clinton Main Street Program’s Design Committee, the Sampson Arts Council and the Public Works Department of Clinton, and made possible through the Simple Gifts Fund, which brought Hughes to the local schools in early October. She will be at the Victor R. Small House for an exhibit of her own work starting Thursday (today). See more photos of the plastic cap art inside.
A rural theme, “Our Home, Our World, Our Responsibility,” was used for the mural project to represent Clinton and North Carolina. Some of the depictions include a farm setting, pink dogwood trees and people of different backgrounds and races working together to preserve and protect their environment.
Denise Hughes helps local student Aaron Watson drill plastic cups for the mural project during a local residency in October. She was approached by the Sampson Arts Council after learning about her work with plastic caps. Hughes used 12,000 of them to make an image of Sir Walton Raleigh and has often designed environmentally-themed creations depicting wildlife. The work is viewed as upcycling, a process of using discarded objects or materials to create something of higher value than its original purpose.
The Sampson Arts Council assisted with collecting plastic caps, headed by Eagle Scout Eli Bradley, a Clinton High senior who solicited the caps from the public and gathered them with the help of local drop-off locations in and around downtown Clinton.
Years ago, Denise Hughes began collecting caps for recycling and educational purposes at schools. A Charlotte native, Hughes has created murals throughout homes and businesses in the Triangle, including Marbles Kids Museum, historic churches, pediatric offices and numerous WakeMed hospital facilities, with art from plastic caps and other discarded plastic being one of her newest ventures. The City of Clinton is now among those locations where Hughes’ art can be found.