WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — When Emily Beroth, 11, was approached to have her first gallery show at Delurk, her response was an overwhelming, “Yes!,” according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
Having grown up in the wake of her father’s artistic influence — Chad Beroth, a Delurk co-founder — Emily has been able to glimpse into the business of artists since she was in third grade.
Before Chad opened Delurk, Emily was already in the early stages of developing her own style and voice as an artist. Starting out with painting, Emily’s abstracts show an early understanding and appreciation of color themes and composition. It was when she started collecting bottle caps, though, that she started down her own path of artistic exploration. Her cap people creations are figurines that she designs and constructs out epoxy, bottle caps and small pieces of plastic.
“My favorite thing about what she does — I paint and occasionally sculpt — but what I love is that she does her own thing. She found her own way,” Chad said.
Q: How did you get into art?
Answer: I’ve been doing art forever. My dad is an artist, his dad is an artist, and all their friends are artists. I’ve been to so many art galleries so it’s something that I naturally started doing.
Q: Who are some of you are favorite artists?
Answer: My dad, of course. I really like Patrick Harris and Dane Walters. I really like everyone in the Delurk Gallery. The persons showing next to me this month, Holland Berson and Julie Armbruster, are amazing.
Q: Going from painting to your found art, what made you want to do these?
Answer: I couldn’t just keep showing cap people at Delurk. I wanted to do more. I didn’t want to not express myself more in art. When I started doing the found art pieces, I really just started having fun.
Q: Of the pieces you’re currently showing, which one really resonates with you?
Answer: There is one piece that has a computer mouse as the body of the subject. I actually took that mouse from dad and it was $125 piece of equipment. There is also a pallet knife at the top that is a tool he used for a very long time.
Q: Do you just find stuff and create?
Answer: A lot of people give me stuff, and it’s just something that I look for. People ask me what kind of caps I use for the cap people and I really just use anything I can find.
Q: How did you start making the cap people?
Answer: I started three years ago because the homeowners association where we live said we couldn’t recycle bottle caps. I started saving them and collecting them. My dad said I should do something with them, and Father’s Day was coming up and I wanted to make something for him.
Q: How much do you sell them for?
Answer: I used to sell them for $15, but that was when I used hot glue. The hot glue didn’t stay together very well, so now I sell them for $20 and I use an epoxy that costs a little bit more.
Q: Are you going to stay doing the found art stuff, or are there other mediums you’d like to experiment with?
Answer: I will definitely do this because it’s fun, and I also paint still. I love working with clay, and the cap people are always fun. People always recognize me as the person who makes cap people.
Q: Is this your first show?
Answer: It’s not my first showing, but this is my first named show in Delurk. I’ve had some pieces on the group wall.
Q: Were you nervous getting everything ready?
Answer: Not really. For the past couple weeks I was just trying to picture how it would look when it was hung and it turned out better than I could’ve imagined.
Q: Are you excited to have your first show?
Answer: Yes! A few months ago Jennifer O’Kelly (a Delurk member) asked me if I wanted to show in August and I said, “Of course!”
Q: Does this make you the youngest artist to show in Delurk?
Answer: It does. For some reason there are regulations in other galleries that don’t allow people to show under the age of 16. I don’t know why, but Delurk doesn’t have that.
Britt Chester writes about artists of all stripes — visual, musical, literary and more — weekly in relish. Send your story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AwfullyBrittish.