Using toys donated by Goodwill Houston, artist Peter Hite is creating holiday-themed mosaics for the display windows at our West Alabama location. The unique, colorful displays will be up beginning Thursday, November 5 and can be seen through the holidays.
Hite, whose studio is in Houston, is visiting Goodwill Houston stores across the region to search through boxes of salvage toys that were donated but never sold. “This is the first time I have used toys to create my mosaics,” said Hite, who is nationally known for creating distinctive mosaics using postage stamps. “I’m excited to take twice-discarded toys and create something beautiful and nostalgic with them.”
The project is special to Hite and to Goodwill, as Hite is the nephew of Norton Ditto President and CEO Dick Hite, who serves on the board of Goodwill Houston. “I’m a big fan of Goodwill,” Peter Hite said. “In my studio, I have a map of Africa I bought at Goodwill when I was in college – and I’m 52 now. I’m impressed by the work that they do, and I’ve always enjoyed knowing the people who work there.”
The partnership worked out well because Dick Hite wanted the opportunity to promote Goodwill Houston in his stores, and Peter Hite needed a reliable source for collecting toys. So far the artist has made many interesting finds, including a collection of Star Wars characters, as well as Buzz Lightyear, Spiderman, Elmo and SpongeBob SquarePants toys.
To create his innovative window decor, Hite is first collecting toys and dividing them by color. Hite said the large images on the two 4×8-foot mosaics and single 8×16-foot mosaic will likely be Santa, the Grinch, and Rudolph with the Abominable Snowman. He will paint the large images on window-sized boards, then begin to add toys of various shapes and sizes onto the images.
Visitors to Norton Ditto are able to view the mosaics in three ways. “People walking by will first notice the familiar holiday images,” Hite said. “As they draw closer, they will see that the images are made of toys. When looking even closer, they will be able to recognize familiar toys that I hope will evoke happy childhood
Goodwill Houston President/CEO Steve Lufburrow said, “We are thrilled that our board member Dick Hite encouraged Peter to seek out this partnership opportunity with Goodwill. In many ways, this is a community project because the toys to be used in the mosaics were well-loved by children across the city prior to being to be donated to Goodwill.”
The mosaics will take about 160 hours to complete, not including the many days Hite spent searching for the perfect toys at various Goodwill stores.
“I have created holiday window displays for Norton Ditto in the past, but I am particularly excited about this project,” Hite said. “I hope families from across the region will bring their children to see the windows during the holidays. I believe it will be a special experience.”
We invite you to come view these special windows, and get in the holiday spirit! To learn more about Peter Hite, visit his website at www.peterhite.com.