9-year-old readies for her first art show

Posted 3/15/19

Nine-year-old Darby Janette Powers says creating art makes her feel “amazing!” On Saturday, the Peppercorn in Siler City will host a very special art exhibit of her works. She’ll be showing off her artistic talents, aided by her artist father, Darren “Johnny Glaze” Powers.

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9-year-old readies for her first art show

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SILER CITY — Nine-year-old Darby Janette Powers says creating art makes her feel “amazing!”

On Saturday, the Peppercorn in Siler City will host a very special art exhibit of her works. She’ll be showing off her artistic talents, aided by her artist father, Darren “Johnny Glaze” Powers. The elder Powers has been working in art for more than a decade, getting his start at Central Carolina Community College using his G.I. Bill to take its sculpture program. Now a resident at the N.C. Arts Incubator, Powers is using his skills in clay to bring Darby’s art to the masses.

Darby says her interest in art is rooted in family saying that her father’s and brother’s love for making art drew her to creating her own. Powers says combining his art with his children’s was a natural progression. Art has always been a family affair.

“I wanted to spend more times with my kids,” Powers said. “The whole time I was at CCCC, I was engaging them.”

At that time, it was mostly his son Owen spending time in the studio. Powers and his son did a similar showing in 2012 when Owen was 5.

When Powers became the art teacher at Haw River Christian Academy, he began exploring different mediums such as painting in order to teach it effectively to his students. Darby would practice what Powers was working on teaching.

“It was really a way to spend time together,” Powers said. “It was a progression of spending studio time with them to spending time with them at school.”

Taking from her sketch books, Powers picked works that told “sentimental stories,” something that spoke to him, and began working to recreate her art on pottery. He used clay slabs to make vessels and pots, then he faithfully redrew Darby’s pieces onto the clay, merging the two pieces of art into one familial piece.

“She did all these when she was really little, some are from up to six years ago,” Powers said. “I try to keep it as true to their original drawing as possible. Some of the pieces were big enough that I was able to combine multiple drawings to let it tell a story.”

The father-daughter created art will be showcased from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday at the Peppercorn at 138 N. Chatham Ave. in Siler City.

“I have a feeling it’s going to go well,” Darby said. “I’m really excited. I want people to know how much I love art and how much I enjoy it.”

And Darby’s art is progressing as well. Though her favorite type of art is “just drawing because you just need a pencil and paper,” her father notes her growth in painting is exciting.

“Darby is still making interesting, playful artwork,” Powers said. “She doesn’t need me anymore to upscale and recreate her drawings on canvas anymore because she is doing it all on her own. I’m really impressed with her painting because she has a good feel for mixing and coordinating colors when she paints so when her next show comes around you can expect great things.”

The show, hosted at the same location as Powers’ first exhibition when a student at CCCC, ushers in a sense of wispy nostalgia.

“As much as we both love creating art, it is the time we get to spend doing it together that we love the most,” he said. “Finally putting this show together after so many years and looking back on how much she has grown... and how much of her childhood I have got to share with, both fills my heart and breaks it. Children grow up way too fast and they really do need our love and attention. We should never take the time we have with them for granted.”

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