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  • Writer's pictureMike Brown

Jackie's Story

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

Jackie MacLeod is a metal artist whose work graces both institutions and private collections. She and her husband David, an anesthesiologist at Duke, are two of BCC's most energetic and enthusiastic members. When we asked the community to share how their BCC connections have sustained them during the pandemic, Jackie responded with a story about losing something and finding it again.

Jackie at work in her studio

I am a Durhamite and am lucky to have a friend and family support network here, which does not mean that I have not thoroughly enjoyed all the socially distanced walks, protests, and outside and virtual Happy Hours with my BCC friends.

However, the biggest support the BCC community has given me is showing me my “usefulness” especially in these times.

When the Coronavirus started sweeping through the country, I could not help but reflect on my former life as an MD.

David was coming home with details of what they were doing to protect the patients and themselves. He shared with me the steep learning curve the doctors and nurses were going through. He was adding many more shifts to his workload to cover the 24/7 special Covid-19 coverage that Duke had instituted.

And I was making art. Well, I wasn’t really.

It seemed the easiest thing to put on the back burner. It seemed more important to worry about kids moving back into town, fixing the house up to sell, downsizing our stuff, and dealing with the logistics of our family living again under one roof. I didn’t take the time to make art.

Examples of Jackie's artwork: decorative rail in steel and cast iron (top), and textured and patinated bronze orb (bottom)

My BCC family kept me looking forward. We were building this life together. We needed to discuss marketing in challenging times; how to run successful social events virtually; how to create an online platform to be able to share, sell, or donate items that we were not going to be able to take with us when we moved to the CoHo; and figure out the landscaping. It was all good and necessary to do -- and helpfully distracting! -- but I still wasn't making art.

However, the event that inspired me to create again happened about a month ago. And it was thanks to Bull City Commons.

Christine, Jim, and Jen asked me to work with them on figuring out how best to close off the parking podium for our building. It needed to have a good airflow, be safe, and look aesthetically pleasing. I had such a wonderful time! Here were questions that I knew the answer to -- some immediately, some with research. I could give fact-based advice and connect us with people in the fabricating sector that I trusted. I also had to get over my aversion of looking at architectural drawings and understanding them.

What fun! And the result was that we created a really good solution, I think, to a problem I didn't know existed.

I have recently started one of my largest projects yet -- an outdoor sculpture of 9’ x 4” copper and brass panels that have been shaped, patinated, and will be displayed on a large steel frame in Siler City, NC.

It feels good to be back.

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