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Local is an artist and also an advocate

Steve Phillips, Record contributing writer
Park City artist Virginia (Gincy) Carrington Plummer is putting the finishing touches on her public art project this week at the Park City Transit Center, the bus turnaround just off Main Street.
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Park City artist Virginia (Gincy) Carrington Plummer is putting the finishing touches on her public art project this week at the Park City Transit Center, the bus turnaround just off Main Street.

She is painting a grand piano donated by the Park City Elks Lodge to the "Art Pianos for All" program, a local non-profit group seeking to "bring back the piano as a centerpiece of music, community, art and fun in Park City and Summit County." The project, established by Alison Butz and Mark Maziarz, places donated pianos in public areas for anyone to play and for local artists to paint.

Several local artists submitted bid proposals to "Art Pianos For All" last year for the prestigious painting opportunity. Carrington-Plummer proposed a sprawling mural across one piano celebrating the "Fibonacci Sequence." a math construct found throughout nature and also in the structure of harmonies in music. She was thrilled when her design was selected. "I was happy to get this," she says. "There is already a fabulous mural by local artist Maryanne Cone in the Transit Center and I think I was picked because my use of paint and bright colors is similar to hers."

Carrington-Plummer’s more traditional art work is also on display at the Park City Library and the Silver Mountain Conference Center.

She and her husband, Michael, moved to Park City from Boston in 2004. "We had been out to Park City on ski vacations many times and jumped at the opportunity to move here when my husband’s job went virtual. We had always dreamed about retiring here, but never imagined we’d be raising our family here." They have four children — Will, Bella, James and Gabi.

Art has been a passion for Carrington-Plummer since childhood. "I grew up in Houston, Texas, the oldest of six children. We were a happy family but, to get away from the hubbub, I’d draw or paint," she explains. "We spent summers at my grandmother’s farm in Virginia to get away from the Houston heat. I loved walking along the creeks, examining wildflowers and playing in the barn. We would ride horses through the Virginia countryside. I was a horse nut, so that was heaven."

Those childhood memories added fuel to her creative fire.

Carrington-Plummer holds two degrees, one in art from the University of Virginia and another in law from the University of Richmond. "I wanted to be an artist but I also needed a backup plan. I come from a long line of lawyers and law school was intellectually challenging."

She married Michael in 1998. "We met in an art class our freshman year of college, but we were just friends for eight years," she says. "After graduation we both went our separate ways. We kept in touch loosely with postcards and Christmas cards. We ran into each other after I had finished law school and went out to catch up. The sparks started flying soon after that." The newlyweds moved to Boston for Michael’s job, where their first two children were born.

Since arriving here nine years ago, Carrington-Plummer has immersed herself in the community. "This town is unique in that almost everyone has chosen to move here and is happy living here. It has enough local color to feel like a small town at times, yet the swells of seasonal tourists bring a cosmopolitan, even international feeling at other times. That makes for a very upbeat community."

Carrington-Plummer has served several terms as vice-president and president of the Park City Professional Artists Association (PCPAA), a diverse group of about 75 Summit and Wasatch county artists who promote and encourage professionalism, exhibition and growth of its members for the benefit of the community. She remains on the board and is a tireless advocate for visual arts and artists in the area.

"We hold regular meetings, most often at the Kimball Art Center, and put on several professional development seminars and group shows every year," he says. "We will be showing at the Westgate this summer and at the Kimball next winter in the ‘Park City Collects’ show. We also do several other things as a group to reach out to our community. We’ve helped fundraise for local nonprofits, especially Recycle Utah, and we create and sell Christmas ornaments to raise money for a memorial scholarship, which is awarded every spring to a graduating Park City High School artist.

"I enjoy my work on the board of the PCPAA because creating art can be a bit lonely. I’ve found working with the association is a great way to balance that. I also love how our artists range from the ‘old guard’ who have been here forever to much newer transplants. Everyone loves living here and often our art is in response to this wonderful environment we share."

Carrington-Plummer says she’s really enjoyed painting her very own piano in the Transit Center. "I had never been in the building before. Almost every time I’ve come in to work on the project, someone has been playing the piano. It’s been great," she grins.

Pianos have also been placed at the Kimball Art Center and Silver Star Cafe in Park City and at the South Summit Aquatic Center in Kamas.

Learn more about the Park City Professional Artists Association at http://www.parkcityart.com


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