“WILL WORK FOR EMPTY WALLETS” ART EXHIBIT OPENS AT MGC
By: Tricia Purser Release Date:12/03/2012
(Cochran, GA) – Heather Hutton’s art exhibition, “Will Work for Empty Wallets,” recently opened at Middle Georgia College’s Peacock Gallery. To honor its opening, Hutton hosted an Opening Ceremony followed by a Gallery Talk/Opening Reception for students, faculty and staff, and community members.
“Will Work for Empty Wallets” is a sculpture of the American flag, created out of used, empty wallets collected from around the U.S. Hutton was inspired to create the project by her past personal experiences with unemployment.
The Opening Ceremony in Walker Hall featured spoken word artists Queen Sheba and MA, as well as MGC Professor of English Peter Gareis and MGC Assistant Professor of Learning Support English Dr. Khalilah Ali. Gareis gave advice to students on how they could maintain jobs and advance in their careers in the current economic climate. “You have to hustle,” he said. “You have to talk to people, take initiative, and get noticed. This is what sets you apart, and allows you to stand out to get a job.”
Dr. Ali performed a piece that reflected the struggle of not only unemployment, but of people under labor exploitation. “I am thankful and intrigued by the work,” she said. “I had my own experiences with couch surfing. However, education took me out of that place.”
A documentary by Savannah College of Art and Design M.F.A. students about the construction of the project premiered, and Brenda McCoy from the Georgia Department of Labor also spoke about their experience with the project. “We put wallet collection boxes in all of our offices in Georgia,” she said. “It’s an inspiring situation and a rewarding experience that so many people pulled together to give back.”
Following the Opening Ceremony, a Gallery Talk was held in Peacock Gallery. Based on her experience with unemployment, the project is about paying it forward, said Hutton. “I’m a stronger and better person for getting through it,” she said. “I’ll never forget the people who helped me. This is my thank you.”
Heather Hutton is a mixed media visual artist with a background in aircraft maintenance, including restoration exhibits at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Besides her work as an artist, she is an Aircraft Structural Technology Instructor at the MGC Aviation campus in Eastman.
“Will Work for Empty Wallets” will be on display through January 18. Peacock Gallery is open Monday-Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and on Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon.