“It’s Like Christmas-Only its Trash!”

While this was the excitement expressed by students at Heritage Elementary School when they noticed the art room counter with bins of recycled materials for their sculptural mask making workshops, it’s often how I feel when I discover a new object, texture or material discarded on the road, on the beach, or in neighbors recycling bins on my daily dog walks.


Photo of art room at Heritage Elementary School in Wilmington

Tubs in the art room full of possibilities.

Drawn to the discarded treasure for visual or tactile reasons, I see potential. An opportunity, an adventure, and of course, a challenge.

Installation shot of work by NanciHersh

Installation shot of new diptych with Life Line 2

The story behind the found treasure is unknown, a mystery, and a call for action. Images, objects, and materials are the tools I use to find a deeper connection to the world around me and a higher purpose. They are woven with intention into a narrative about a place or experience and the creative process is part of recreating the story to discover new meaning.

For example, there is a birds nest in the lower net, and a piece of bamboo and dried hydrangea in the upper, all from our backyard, both from NJ and here in PA. Life Line 2 is about creating a nest or sanctuary for healing and to hold our fragile treasures while letting go of what does not serve us.

So while personally,I don’t think of Christmas when I find unlikely treasures, I do feel the excitement of unwrapping something wonderful.


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