(Columbia, South Carolina, United States) – Steve Pappajohn, a Greek-American who is a member of the Greek Orthodox Church in Columbia, South Carolina, is an artist who has been creating the t-shirts for his church’s Greek festival for several decades. Each of his designs are unique and memorable, and people look forward to seeing his creations each year.
Recently, however, he’s done something a bit different with his artistic talents. When the are floods of 2015 destroyed trees, vegetation, and even homes in his neighborhood and in his own yard, he decided to turn the disaster into something beautiful – he created art using the flood’s destruction as his inspiration. He knew that this was something that would make people smile while they were struggling with their losses.
Here is what Pappajohn said about his inspiration, “When we cut down the trees I said, ‘You know I ought to go over there and paint a happy face on one of them like the one I did in my own yard. You know, this is fun. I’m just going to go right stumping and do something.”
He went on to say that the flood waters from October of 2015 from the Saluda River, which flows close to his backyard, reached up to his chin. He went on to say that, “I was very fortunate on the flood. But all this, what you see in the background, it was just water…It’s a loss of treasures. I found right here in this pond, a book a baseball cards that was just soaked and messed up, because, you know, it was nothing but water…I’m sure there were some valuable baseball cards in there but they were just destroyed.”
When he and his neighbors collected debris that was leftover from the flood after the waters receded, they put it in the streets for people to claim. Because of that, he witnessed people’s heartache first hand. By creating this art, he hopes to bring the smile back to their faces.