Sterling Silver Club Member Masterpiece
August 08, 2022
A Gallery-Worthy Member
Artistry usually refers to a person’s ability to express their unique creativity in powerful and surprising ways. But there is also an art to living your life in ways that celebrate who you are, your limitless potential, the people you love and the community you care about. So imagine our delight to discover a Sterling Silver Club member and artist whose artistry of life reaches far beyond gallery walls.
An Early Love of Art
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Debbie arrived as the last of her parents’ three children and has two older siblings, Cynthia and Henry (a.k.a. Skip).
As is usually the case, school played an important role in their shared childhood and Debbie remembers being drawn to art assignments in class from an early age.
“When I was a young girl, I loved working on various art projects at school,” she recalls. “I always found myself learning something new and then teaching it to everyone I knew.”
Later, Debbie would play violin in the school orchestra, join the swim team, and to continue to learn about art and its broader influence.
“I remember taking a class and learning about color theory,” recounts Debbie. “I was so impressed with how colors relate to one another and also discovered how primary and secondary colors can be used together to make everything from products and advertising to what we wear more pleasing to the eye.”
Expression-ism. “Art allows you to express yourself,” says Debbie. “And I’ve always been quite happy being expressive.”
Though Debbie’s affinity for art was obvious, it wasn’t destined to be her career… at least initially.
After earning degrees in marketing and public relations at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois and George Williams College of Aurora University in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, respectively, Debbie began what turned out to be a career in technology.
In the Chicago area, she held positions as a systems analyst and computer programmer and a role in marketing and public relations for a computer software company. Then it was off to Los Angeles, California with her new husband, David, where she worked in sales and education for another software company.
The couple returned to Elmhurst, Illinois to start their family but eventually moved to and settled in Minden, Nevada where David had an insurance business for 23 years and their children grew to become the adults their grandparents dreamed of.
“My mom and dad would be most proud of our children,” beams Debbie. “They (her parents) always hoped for the best for them and would be over the moon that they are doing what they want to do, two of them in the field of medicine.”
Debbie and David now live in Carson City, Nevada and their three children have established lives of their own. Jeffrey, the oldest, is a pastor and holds two master’s degrees. Rachael is an OB/GYN provider in Southern California and a graduate of University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med). And their youngest, John-Henry, is finishing up his medical training and will soon be a trauma surgeon.
Furry Family Members
Debbie’s other “kids” are of the four-legged variety. “Mercedes and Bentley are really our luxury pugs,” she admits. “But are named after famous characters from books, not luxury cars.” She also says they are goofy, much-loved and simply melt the hearts of everyone they meet – “always!”
An Artist, a Teacher & Books
Though her early jobs were in technology, over the past 40 years, Debbie’s passion for art was something she made time to nurture and often shared her enthusiasm and skills through teaching. In Chicago and Los Angeles, she taught and created art for several not-for-profits, community centers and clinics. During a mission to Kenya with two of her children, she taught art to the local community and helped to build an orphanage and even held classes on the high seas when she instructed passengers on the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2).
In Nevada, Debbie has been artfully involved with many organizations and today travels far and wide with NVArtStops, which teaches and shares art with residents throughout the state. She also works with Nevada Artists Association, Western Nevada College (WNC) and their foundation board, the Sierra Arts Foundation, Burning Man 360 and other local groups.
And then there are… the BOOKS.
Debbie and her daughter, Rachael, have garnered quite a bit of attention and become celebrated artists for their My Thousand Words book sculptures. The creative duo “recycles” used, hardback books into delicate, magical, three-dimensional works of twisted, cut, sculpted and glued paper art in themes that are often retellings of the books themselves.
“While we are both artists,” explains Debbie, “we are very different in our styles. We feed off one another as her style is very detailed and mine is abstract. When we are working on a commission art piece, we bounce ideas around and together come up with the perfect design, it’s uncanny.”
To learn more about Debbie, Rachael and their book sculptures, please visit MyThousandsWords.com.
The Art of Living 55+
As for advice for our readers who are “of a certain age,” you don’t have to be an artist to appreciate Debbie’s thoughts on making your life as vibrant and meaningful as possible.
“Enjoy each and every day of your life!” she exclaims. “Live your life to the absolute fullest so you’ll never look back on what you didn’t do and keep moving forward. Go out there and try new things! Learn something new, every day! Share your knowledge with others and start LIVING your life in every way you can.”
Because life,” Debbie insists, “is a true gift.”
We couldn’t agree more.
The Sterling Silver Club thanks Debbie for sharing her story and art with us and all of our members for inspiring others with their talents and passions.