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Isolation Celebration

Kara Pugh Smith

Kara Pugh Smith was on her way home to Baltimore from Mexico, eager to start a new project creating props for a theatrical production, when the pandemic hit. Things shut down. She was searching for some creative activity for her own peace of mind. Late in the spring she found various Easter eggs on a clearance rack. These have become her “Peeps.” Kara repurposes materials such as tissue paper, fabrics, jewelry, beads and more for her Peep population.

The Isolation Celebration show at Gaslight Gallery features over 100 Peeps, as well as hand crafted collages, and giclé prints of Peeps that she photographed out in the world. Kara is a self-taught Artist with experience in theatrical and film production. Isolation suited her just fine as she went on a creative surge over the past two years “Every moment offers infinite possibilities, says Kara, “Creation comes in the way we prepare a meal or, in the clothes you choose to wear.” This artful focus kept her centered and calm during the pandemic. Creating her Peeps and their world became her wellness practice. She designed sets and made props and costumes for her Peeps. It all tied into her multidisciplinary background in production, with consideration for lighting, photography, story-telling, poetry, music, and character development.

According to Kara, you can change your everyday reality and create positive experience in your life. Kara, who is a grandmother to six beautiful grandchildren, taps into her inner child because, she says, you are never too old to play.

Kara Pugh Smith was on her way home to Baltimore from Mexico, eager to start a new project creating props for a theatrical production, when the pandemic hit. Things shut down. She was searching for some creative activity for her own peace of mind. Late in the spring she found various Easter eggs on a clearance rack. These have become her “Peeps.” Kara repurposes materials such as tissue paper, fabrics, jewelry, beads and more for her Peep population.

 

The Isolation Celebration show at Gaslight Gallery features over 100 Peeps, as well as hand crafted collages, and giclé prints of Peeps that she photographed out in the world. Kara is a self-taught artist with experience in theatrical and film production. Isolation suited her just fine as she went on a creative surge over the past two years “Every moment offers infinite possibilities, says Kara, “Creation comes in the way we prepare a meal or, in the clothes you choose to wear.” This artful focus kept her centered and calm during the pandemic. Creating her Peeps and their world became her wellness practice. She designed sets and made props and costumes for her Peeps. It all tied into her multidisciplinary background in production, with consideration for lighting, photography, story-telling, poetry, music, and character development.

According to Kara, you can change your everyday reality and create positive experience in your life. Kara, who is a grandmother to six beautiful grandchildren, taps into her inner child because, she says, you are never too old to play.

"The eggheads that I purchased were a reminder of new birth. I was getting so excited about making these characters. I began to study more about puppets and saw all the possibilities. I thought wow, I could Meditate. Create and Educate."

“As the pandemic continued and there was no place to go, I started relating to my puppets, giving them names. I realized I was making my own village, well, community. I even made an Amanda Gorman Peep. My Peeps are my friends. I tell them all my secrets. They have style and profile. No need for social distancing.”

“Ask them questions. Where do they live? They'll tell you we have no address. We live where there's no virus, no drama, no masks, no gloves required. You take COVID-19 and exit on Pandemic Blvd. Then continue until you see the Isolation Celebration. Where and when the vibration hits you, make a right turn. Continue as long as it feels good and right. Take a deep breath, slow down, look around and embrace all that is. You won't need a mask, no gloves, no hand sanitizer in an invisible bubble away from any virus or disease. Your journey will be amazing in this foreign place. You will know when you reach the destination because your inner voice will tell you. That's when you'll stop and listen to your inner voice. After all, what’s the worst-case scenario?”