Ann Hobgood creates figures from anything and everything. One look around her studio is all it takes to see everything from a small figure with a number 14 billiard for a head to a bird with bent kitchen tongs for legs. It’s ingenuity and creativity at its finest. It’s Ann Hobgood’s Recycled Folks.
Hobgood lives in Hillsborough right next to her studio, which is impossible to miss. The front is a rainbow, with each panel painted a different color, and the periwinkle sides have sprawling red flowers drawn on. After moving to the area and knowing no one, she said she wanted to attract attention to herself and her art, and did just that.
In many ways, however, Hobgood’s art speaks for itself. All of her pieces are made from recycled materials, she said. “The older and rustier the better.” People will often leave boxes of “junk” on Hobgood’s porch for her to use in her art.
It is important to Hobgood that she is doing her part to help the environment by recycling items that would otherwise end up in a landfill. “If we don’t do something to save this Earth we are not going to have it,” she said, “or at least my grandchildren and great-grandchildren aren’t going to have it.”
With her eclectic art and passionate personality, Hobgood is a perfect fit for Hillsborough, and the arts community makes Hillsborough a perfect fit for her as well. The general support for the arts in the community is incredibly important.
Margaret Lane Gallery is one arts space that greatly contributes to that support, Hobgood said. The gallery had her art when she first got started in Hillsborough and has since displayed the work of other new artists that Hobgood has mentored. In fact, Hobgood will be hosting her first ever workshop at Margaret Lane Gallery later this month.
On April 13, Hobgood will be teaching how to create her signature owls made from paint can lids. The workshop features “using your imagination to see the possibilities of creating art from found objects” and learning “the basics of cutting, positioning, and adhering metal items.”
One of the most important things to Ann Hobgood is that her art makes people happy, that it makes them smile, and her upcoming workshop is another way to do that.
“When people come into the studio, I can guarantee that [my art] will elicit smiles,” she said. “And to be truthful, that’s my judge of ‘is it doing what I want it to do?’”
She recalls a couple of women who came into her studio this past fall that had lost their house in Hurricane Florence. Despite everything that they had lost, they purchased a piece of Hobgood’s art.
“We’re buying this,” she remembers them saying, “because we lost everything, and this makes us smile.” And that’s what it’s all about, Hobgood said. She has run into the women twice since then and both times they make sure to let her know that they’re “still smiling.”