Black History Month Highlights: Duncan
This Week's BHM Highlight is Duncan of the Peace by Piece Connection.
The Artezan market space is a branch off the community tree that is Peace by Piece Connections . In 2020, Duncan and his team created a space for vendors to sell their products outside. Seventeen artists and vendors gathered and began building a beautiful community on S Flores. The journey to getting this space ready wasn't easy.
"I went from a multi-million dollar construction company to nothing in the matter of 3 days,'' Duncan explained. After closing on the southside property, Duncan's construction company experienced detrimental financial setbacks. These new budget restraints resulted in Duncan and his team of 4 entirely gutting an abandoned car engine rebuild shop. "I've had to wear all the hats. Janitor, gardener, contractor...it's had me everywhere at once" he says through a laugh.
The Artezan's growing space came from a place of necessity. Duncan needed a way to block the driveway during their market and with spare pieces of lumber and some carpenter creativity, he created movable raised beds! During our tour, we see beautiful beds rife with swiss chard, dill, sweet potatoes, snap peas, sage, and more. When we stopped in front of one bed, we noticed that Duncan's face lit up with glee. "These are my favorite!", he exclaimed. In front of us was his favorite crop: collard greens!
Although he started off the interview saying he didn't feel like much of a gardener, one look around the outdoor market area it's clear to see all the life these garden beds have brought to the space. We are inspired to level up our repurposing projects and reminded that the right opportunity may show up when you least expect it. Thank you Duncan for sharing your space and story with us! You can keep up with Duncan on Instagram @ArteZan and @PeaceByPiece_Connection