Plano West Teacher’s Art Show Explores Identity and Unity In Modern Age

Douglas Darracott, fine arts teacher, debuted two of his recent painting series at the Eiseman center this past Friday, Sept. 23. His beautiful acrylic artworks showcased the essence of American unity among modern citizens. 

Influenced by the increasingly complex question of what it means to be an “American,” Darracott’s art series American Dream delicately portrays a variety of contemporary housing from every state, each having their own size, style, and color. Yet all of them display the same American flag and are arranged next to each other in a grid like fashion, presenting a pattern of unity.

“When I’m painting these houses I don’t know the details of the [home owners] and I don’t want to know,” said Darracott, “but the important thing is on the outside, with their American flags, they’re all seen as one common identity to me.”

Besides taking on the role of teaching the course AP comparative govrnment, Darracott also reflects his love for politics through creativity and hopes to bring strength to Americans in a time of complex social and political challenges.

“I want people to feel united,” said Darracott, “when the paintings are all arranged together marginal differences among [the houses] are not as significant, and instead viewers focus on the commonality [of the houses], which is the American union.”

Darracott reflects his love for painting serene landscapes through colorful geometric and patterned lines in his Zoological series. Yet his message is beyond only portraying the beauty of nature and forestry. 

“The beauty of the greenery really fascinates me; zoos have this special attraction,” Darracott states, “but if you pay attention, there is a mentioning of the fences and gates separating the nature and its audience”

The zoos heavily reemphasize humans as the natural guardians and portray the “idealized” reconstruction of the natural world. As society continues to progress towards a tech-oriented society, one can’t help but question the hypocrisy of preserving vast beauties of nature mainly through separating it into an artificial space for show and entertainment. 

Darracott stresses the importance of pursuing passion even with a full time occupation. He also reflects his love for art by fostering young creative minds everyday as an art teacher.  

I love the thought that students have gone off to do wonderful things because they were exposed to art in high school,” said Darracott, “Creativity is a skill that is not only useful and profitable; it is also healing; it fosters unity and connection.”