Ocean Springs family continues artist’s festival booth following death of owner
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - A busy year at the Peter Anderson Festival is nothing new for Creations by D.
“We have sold a lot of the inventory,” Keith Cook said. “We’ve had people, friends, contacting us all night who have seen things that we have put on Facebook.”
The jewelry stand has been set up in the same spot in front of the Masonic Lodge on Government Street for about a decade now, but it’s the first year the wire wrap bracelets and other pieces were sold without its creator David Cook.
“This is what he would’ve wanted us to do,” his wife Jane Cook said.
David Cook tragically passed away this past summer, but fees for the Peter Anderson festival were already paid off and jewelry was already made. So his family decided to sell all of his remaining work in his memory.
“It was hard. It was very emotional,” Jane Cook said.
It was Jane that originally got David involved in his craft. After he retired from the FDA, her husband wanted to explore his artistic side but wanted to try a new medium. Jane bought her husband a wire wrapping lesson at The Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center for Christmas one year.
“I didn’t know whether he would really like doing it or not,” Jane said. “He had been doing stained glass work and pottery work. He was really getting tired of those and looking for another medium. (Wire wrapping) just clicked for him.”
After that, he was hooked and the husband-wife duo worked together to pick out stones and gems from markets for his pieces.
“It was really a passion of his,” Keith Cook, David’s son, said. “I’m just so happy that that was one thing he found later in life that gave him a mission, that gave him something to stay active.”
Now, the family continues to remember David by celebrating his work with those who appreciate it the most.
“We’ve had a lot of friends come by who have shed tears but they are tears of joy, some sadness, but tears of joy for what we are able to do,” Keith said.
It wasn’t enough for family members to honor David by continuing his Peter Anderson tent, they are also taking all the proceeds from the remaining jewelry and donating it to a program he was heavily involved in.
“If a bracelet sells for $45, $45 goes to Backpack Buddies,” Keith said.
Loved ones said when it came to trying to feed children in need, David was hands-on with the program, making sure kids in his community had food for weekends and holidays.
“He helped to unload the trucks. He helped pack the bags for the children,” Jane said.
Family members said it’s fitting to see one of Cook’s artistic passions help one of his charitable causes.
“He gave himself in many ways to Ocean Springs,” Jane said.
Because of David Cook’s love for wire wrapping, one of his sons and his daughter-in-law are both taking classes on the art medium with the hopes of continuing his legacy for years to come.
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