Can you feel it? The hope and promise of a brand spankin’ new, freshly washed, budding new year? There’s much to be grateful for, if only we take the time to look around with open eyes and open minds. On Friday, zipping back from an almost two-hour bureaucratic journey with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (we moved across the river as of January 1), I finally took the time to stop at the Open Hands Gallery, which has called to me every time I drive past (usually when they’re closed and I’m hurried).
What an awesome place. Here, the Open Hands Seed Project repurposes, upcycles, and redirects not only “stuff” but the strengths of its workers. Their mission statement? “We try to fail every day and defeat the fear of failure.” In the words of the director, who walked us through the small (but expanding) shop of unique repurposed objects, “We don’t look at our workers as being different. We look at our guys as artists. They are people with abilities and the desire to succeed.”
From roofing slates, old windows, and picket fences to barn siding, tossed-away furniture, and worn-out doors, new objects take shape: corner cabinets, entry-way benches, tables, and much more.
I’m grateful for being reminded that we all have value and purpose. Sometimes that value seems hidden, that purpose is shuttered. But then with a little help it flames up and burns brightly. That’s what this organization does: it stokes the fire, it blows gently on the embers, and it offers purpose to people … as well as to old throw-away ‘things.’
Visit them on Facebook at Open hands Seed Project. Better yet, get unhurried and stop by their shop in Williamstown, WV.