Peggy Koop attended 12 schools before she graduated from high school. As one of six children in a military family, she was a world traveler by the time she was 17. She is thankful for this childhood because of the opportunities it gave her to meet and make friendships with people with divergent world views.

Major influences: Peggy’s mother, an artist and a school teacher, introduced her to art, not only the visual arts, but the performing arts as well. Fine craftsmanship and skill with your hands were highly valued, and handmade gifts were prized. Peggy said her mother taught her how to be adventurous. She said her father had a poetic heart and was an English major in college, which she always thought odd for someone who spent 23 years in the military. She learned though that it became his career because of circumstances rather than choice when he sacrificed his scholarship to graduate school to study Chaucer and enlisted in the Army during World War II. After the war, more children began arriving, and he had plenty of mouths to feed, so his military service turned into a career. Peggy said she got her love of poetry and reading from him. He gave her the gift of patience.

So, what has this got to do with her work? Everything. She attended college to major in art, switched to English, and spent 30 years as a writer. She never gave up her love of the visual arts, particularly drawing and sculpture. Over the past decade, she revisited them to find a completely different approach with the combination of design and textural sculpture on cloth. She continues to seek the universal in her work, which brings to play the early lessons of childhood. However, she is patient that the adventure is a slow unfolding that cannot be rushed.

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