This past summer, Pink Dog Creative collaborated with LEAF Easel Rider and the Edington Center to sponsor an art day for children in the community. Thirty children painted submissions for what they wanted to see on the double-decker containers across the street from Pink Dog Creative. “Pink Dog is on Depot Street and the Southside community starts on Depot Street,” says Hedy Fischer, co-owner of Pink Dog Creative with Randy Shull. “I was looking for a way to bridge the gap between the Southside community that is our neighbor and the River Arts District (RAD).” Fischer says that, with an arts initiative, she’s often found it’s easier to involve the children first and the adults will follow. “Children came with their parents and the parents talked with each other and with the teaching artists,” Fischer says. “We all hung out together. It became a real community event.”
After the event, Fischer was left with the task of choosing which child’s art would appear on the 40’ by 18’ containers. “I had a lot of good paintings to choose from,” she says. “It was difficult for me.” The winner was Trinity Harper Pierce, a sixth grader at Asheville Elementary School. Trinity’s design will be the seventh mural to be painted on the containers since Fischer and Shull placed them there and began the Container Project. “I liked Trinity’s message,” says Fischer. “What she is saying in her painting is what I am trying to do in the community, which is bring us closer together instead of farther apart. We have separated ourselves so much. The RAD is now a very white community and it once was an African American community. I just felt it was important to begin somehow to reconnect us.”
Connection was also a theme for Pierce as she created her work. “If you don’t love your community, there are lots of things that could happen that could be bad, like more violence and heartache,” says Pierce. “It’s sad to see families lose loved ones to violence.” Pierce says creating art helps her feel calm and express herself, and seeing her art on such a large scale gave her lots of emotions. “I feel a little bit nervous because I have never done anything like this and I am excited at the same time,” she says. “I hope that when people see the mural that their hearts grow bigger than the heart in the middle.”
Pink Dog Creative is located at 342 Depot Street in the RAD. The Container Project is across the street from Pink Dog Creative.