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Peggy Younger 

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BENNINGTON — Local artist Peggy Younger is an abstract artist and mother of five. She creates abstract pieces of art in hopes of making a name for herself.

Younger, 33, is a painter, but she also uses charcoal, she crochets and she dabbles in other artistic skills, like making dresses by hand. “I paint on everything,” Younger said. She’s currently working on a project where she recreates each of Bob Ross’ paintings from his television show on business cards.

There are about 400 episodes, and she’s completed more than 30 of Bob Ross’ paintings in about two weeks.

Younger began painting at age 5. She was shy as a child and stayed close to her mother. When she started school, she realized that by the end of the day her teacher forgot all about her because she was so quiet.

One day after school, her mother sat her down, gave her a crayon and told her to draw. This became their regular routine. Her mother would sit and talk with Younger as she was drawing. “That kind of opened me up,” she said.

She brought her affinity for drawing into school. When Younger would draw, her teacher would finally recognize her and other children would start to talk to her. She said it “gave me a voice when I thought I didn’t have one.”

She started selling her art at the age of 25, and that’s when she considered herself a professional artist. Now, her original paintings go for $500 to $5,000. She’s also considering selling prints of her work.

“I’ve gotten to the point after years of selling art, I’m getting more comfortable with pricing my artwork a bit higher,” said Younger.

Anyone who purchases her art isn’t only paying for the amount of time she spent making that specific piece. They are also paying for “the years that it took me to get where I am,” she said.

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Younger went from doing “random art” to creating more Black art. “I’ve been painting more of my color and people,” she said.

The most recent change in her life that has impacted her art is the birth of her daughter, who is named after her. Everything she does, she does 100 percent so her children can look at the outcome and know their mother did her best.

Younger was born in the U.S. after her parents moved from Haiti, and said she identifies as a Haitian artist. “I’m trying to break the generational curses … I’m trying to make a healthy environment for all,” she said.

She speaks deeply and passionately about the lessons she wants her children to learn.

“I want to teach them … yes, life is hard, struggles and people judge you and whatever,” she said. “But as long as you’re doing what you love, that’s all that matters.”

Younger would eventually like to evolve into having fans and followers of her art. She also likes the idea of having her own studio where she can host poetry open mic nights and other events. “I want my art to work for me; I don’t want to work for my art,” she said.

Right now, the art that’s working for her includes a poetry book called “In Love With Art.” “I took the concept of art made into human form and had a relationship with it,” said Younger on the inspiration for her book.

Her art can also be seen in The Left Bank Gallery in North Bennington. Her art is part of “Infinite Delicacy,” Left Bank’s annual Shirley Jackson Day tribute show, and it will be on display until July 28.

Younger said, “For me, art is how someone connects to how I connect to the world, not how they connect to me, but how I connect to the world.”