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Used-Wallet Art Shows Triumph Over Unemployment

12:34 PM, Nov 13, 2012   |    comments
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Heather Hutton teaches aircraft technology at Middle Georgia College in Cochran, but a 20-by-11-foot flag made of used wallets, hangs in Russell Hall as a testament to her abiding artistic side.

"It's outstanding! Awesome! Great! It's just unbelievable," said Colonel Al Danner when he first laid eyes on the artwork.

Hutton says the idea was born in 2009 when she lost her job and wound up homeless for a year and a half.

"If it weren't for some people that I didn't even know, some people coming out of the woodwork to put gas money in my truck, or offer me a free meal, or let me sweep the floors in a warehouse for petty cash, I wouldn't have made it," said Hutton.

She says she reached a point where she lost all hope that things would get better, and her wallet became a symbol after she closed her bank account.

"I looked down at my wallet and realized this was my self portrait. That I was empty both physically, emotionally, mentally."

When things did finally get better, she decided to turn that symbol of defeat into the ultimate symbol of hope.

"If I can build an American flag out of used donated empty wallets, and have it resemble an American flag, then we should be able to rebuild a new economy using the resources at our fingertips and at a minimum help our friends and neighbors who have recently been laid off or are out of work."

The flag is made up of just over 1,200 wallets out of 3,000 collected over 11 months.

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