“Healing” by Chris Wallace


Southport, Open Your Doors! offered local artists a unique opportunity to bring to life an artistic representation of thriving in the face of adversity.

Fourteen artists sought to show their own interpretations of what that looks like to them, and how they feel Southport has excelled beyond mere survival.

Here’s Chris Wallace's artistic re-imagining of what that means to him:

“Healing” by Chris Wallace

A story told in the panels of a door, Chris Wallace’s approach to reimagining this vintage door called on the experience we all lived through together: an unprecedented response to an unprecedented situation. A pandemic that washed the world over in fear, sickness, and death darkened the world for too many of us, and left us wondering where we go from here.

The figurative and literal opening of doors inspired this piece, retelling the shared life experience of seemingly-endless quarantines and business closures, to the daily precautions we all took to support each other, and finally our triumphant reopenings. Wallace says he is “inspired by the historical doors, which are tangible symbols of resilience and determination to survive.”

While Wallace says the door (#13) has no official name, each panel has a name, read from bottom to top: Closed, Mask Up, Healing, Happy Group, and Now Open. But, says Wallace, “The more I did it, the more I realized the healing part was really a game-changer.” Wallace also points out a subtle message in the vines growing up the length of the door. “That’s a symbol of growth. That we’re going to grow through this and everything’s going to be just fine.”


About the Open Doors Project

Up Your Arts and the Southport Historical Society invited local artists in April 2021 to envision a post-pandemic world that draws strength from Southport’s people and its history. A quote from Maya Angelou provided the overriding theme and a gift of doors from the historic
Harper home on Bay Street provided the canvas.

A juried selection process chose nine solo artists and two collaborating teams to decorate the doors using whatever mediums they preferred.

Thanks to the generous support of local business people, the results are on stunning display throughout downtown Southport at 11 retail locations during November and December 2021. After the holidays, the doors will travel to 11 non-profit organizations then be auctioned off at a gala event in March 2022. Proceeds will be used to support Southport Historical Society’s ongoing stewardship programs and Up Your Arts’ efforts to turn the Old Brunswick County Courthouse into a community center for the creative and performing arts.

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