Few things have eluded humanity like the quest for peace.
Perhaps that’s why artwork by local resident Carol Neal had such penetrating appeal with officials at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. Neal’s work was one of four pieces accepted by the Frist Center this month to serve as holiday banners on the organization’s Facebook page.
Neal’s art spells the word “PEACE” using aging objects from yesteryear. They’re objects you’d expect to find hidden in some corner of a flea market tucked inside a $5 box of junk. There’s a rusty chain used for the “P,” while a corroded sparkplug is part of the letter “E.” Two rulers, an old spoon, and a spring long past its prime are used to form other letters.
“Peace is a wish mankind has always had, yet we haven’t had peace since Adam and Eve fell,” said Neal. “The timing of my submission was just right. It came on the heels of those horrible things in Paris at a time when everyone had peace on their minds and I think it must have spoken to them.”
For her backdrop, Neal started with an old, lace tablecloth from The Collection, an antique store on Main Street that closed more than a decade ago. Then she added other older materials.
“Only time can put that kind of natural wear on things,” said Neal. “I like to work with really old things and I can’t turn it off when it comes to looking at something and thinking about what it could become. This actually came from a three-piece series I did. The other two are ‘HOPE’ and ‘LOVE,’ but the ‘PEACE’ one is my favorite.”
Neal says she was surprised by the Frist Center recognition, but she is certainly appreciative.
“For a little peanut like me, this was a pretty big thing,” said Neal. “Being an artist is kind of like being a musician. You hear no so many times, you come to expect it. But anything like this that gives a plug for the arts in Warren County is always a good thing.”
Neal’s artwork was used atop the Frist Center’s Facebook page as its banner the first eight days in December. A paint-ing of a young Santa Claus now fills that spot, but Neal’s work can still be found under the photos section of the Frist Center page.