20 WBM trending Kim Papanicolaou designs angels with a “soul” from architectural salvage, metal and other found objects. Her art, Soul Pickets, comes from a need to create. “Often I work out my own problems through my angels,” she says. Papanicolaou, a former gift shop buyer who works at a kitchen and lighting company in Jacksonville, North Carolina, writes stories for the angels inspired by what is happening in her life or the world at the time. Challenges have included losing her hearing and becoming a caretaker for her father in his declining health. She also created an education-themed angel with tickets and keys while thinking about her daughter in college. “I was getting out a lot of what was happening to me through the stories,” Papanicolaou says. “But they were always positive ... coming into your own, finding yourself or staying with it.” Papanicolaou also makes memorial angels, creating her own inter-pretation from listening to people talk about loved ones they lost. She started making her angels in late 2014, but her affinity for upcy-cling started long before then. “I’ve grown up in a world of repurposing and recycling,” Papanicolaou says. Her father, Douglas Moore, is a former cabinet builder from Wilson, North Carolina, who did repurposing work starting in the 1970s, building restaurants out of materials from old houses he would tear down and reuse. He also had a salvage business. “My father is the greatest influence in my life,” says Papanicolaou, whose nick-name growing up was Little Doug. “It’s like I’m coming full circle for him.” Everything that is old has a story, says Papanicolaou, who visits junkyards, estate sales and thrift stores for materials. She takes apart lamps and will buy a whole chair to salvage one decora-tive piece. “You’re tossing something that is perfectly good, and it has a story,” she says. “But when it’s something that’s tossed that can’t be reworked into what it was before, that’s where the art and intrigue comes for me. I love junkyards, and I love rust.” GUARDIAN ANGELS Kim Papanicolaou of Soul Pickets puts the finishing touches on a piece at Seaglass Salvage Market in Leland. Each of Papanicolaou’s angels comes with a name and story.
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