CARY – A Wilmington artist is currently seeing her work displayed in an unusual format – on aluminum Diet Pepsi cans.
Painter Sarah Sheffield, who opened a gallery this year in downtown Wilmington’s Brooklyn Arts District, said she was ecstatic to see her work on the silver cans.
“I was very excited when I learned they decided to use my featured poster artwork to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival,” Sheffield said. “I’ve already found cases of the cans in local Wilmington stores last week.”
The art, titled “Ringing in Lazy Daze,” honors the Cary festival, which will celebrate its 40th iteration on Aug. 27 and 28.
Sheffield said the Pepsi placement almost did not happen. At first, she was chosen to to be the featured artist for the event’s promotional posters. While she described that alone as an honor, it was an offer she almost turned down.
“I almost didn’t say yes. I had a lot going on in my life,” she said.
But she did, and soon after the poster was complete, she found out her artwork was chosen to represent the annual festival on commemorative Pepsi cans.
“It’s one of those kinds of special gifts that come along in your life that you don’t plan for, you don’t expect,” she said. “I was thrilled. It kind of reaffirmed saying ‘yes’ to things that challenge you. They don’t always work out, but this time they certainly did.”
It was especially gratifying because Sheffield said she normally paints outdoor scenes. However, with the art festival moving to a new location in Town Hall Plaza due to street construction in Cary, she had to use her imagination to complete the artwork.
“In this case, I had to imagine what the festival would look like on Town Hall Campus,” she said. “I had to come up with imaginary scene without too much reference material and I had to make it say what the festival was all about. In a sense, it’s sort of fantasy composition.
“It was a challenge for me, glad people seem to like it,’ she said.
On Aug. 26, Sheffield’s next exhibit will open at her gallery, located at 802 A N. 4th St. “The Road Back” will showcase more than 20 of Sheffield’s oil and watercolor paintings featuring Wilmington as well as other places she’s visited on her journey to the Port City, where her husband Walter is originally from.
Sheffield Arts Studio and Gallery is open each Fourth Friday and by appointment. Sheffield is a juried associate member of Oil Painters of America and Women Painters of the Southeast and is an associate member of the American Impressionist Society.