Upstate Artist Creates Art From Old Wood With Help From Disabled - WSPA.com

Upstate Artist Creates Art From Old Wood With Help From Disabled Adults

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Flags are flying high right now for Independence Day. This year a new flag design can be seen in the Upstate.

Artist Michael Standridge has just launched a new business called American Echoes. He takes wood that would be thrown out, paints it and turns it into a flag that can be hung in a house.

"In some ways it seems idealistic to take scrap wood that's going to waste, turn it into something beautiful," Standridge says.

Each flag takes four to five hours to complete, so to help with the work flow, Standridge has hired help.

"We rely on outsource and business from other companies," says Evergreen Skills Employment Specialist Scott Brewington.

A group of disabled adults who are at Evergreen Skills have been added to American Echoes' payroll.  They will be responsible for cutting wood. Standridge hopes to give them more work in the future.

"I think people are happier when they're busy when they're doing something they enjoy, something that makes them feel like their day is meaningful," Brewington says.

American Echoes is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for more tools for Evergreen Skills. These tools would enable the workers to paint and sand the wood

"When I showed them the pictures of the final products, their eyes lit up. They were like 'We're going to be making that?'" says Standridge, "To me, anyone that can have a creative outlet like that can be really good."

Evergreen Skills is constantly looking for more opportunities for their members to work. You can find their website by clicking here.

You can find American Echoes by clicking here.

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