At 62 years old, John transformed a 200 square-foot community garden at Imagine Art into a 2,000 square-foot oasis. This garden boasts 120 species of fruits and vegetables which supplement over 400 meals each month for those in need.
RecognizeGood presented the 52nd RecognizeGood® Legend award to John Macpherson of Imagine Art in a ceremony at Imagine Art (2830 Real Street, Austin, TX), beginning at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, October 6, 2015. As part of the award presentation, the Texas State Alumni Association received a $1,000 pay-it-forward donation from RecognizeGood in John’s name.
The fruits of John’s labors are literally tasted by dozens of local artists with disabilities each week. At 62 years old, John transformed the 200 square-foot community garden at Imagine Art into a lush, 2,000 square-foot oasis. This not only provides a peaceful setting for the artists served, but also boasts 120 species of vegetables and fruits. As a result, this produce supplements over 400 meals each month for those in need!
John overcame his own disability on his way to becoming an incredibly talented artist. Additionally, his involvement with Imagine Art now spans over 15 years. He shares his talent with organizations like Art From the Streets and teaches local students and his fellow artists with disabilities. John also uses his unique perspective to advocate for underprivileged artists. Futhermore, then-governor Ann Richard recognized him as Volunteer of the Year as a result of his work as Freeze Shelter Coordinator with the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH).
John has accomplished many things and created many works of art. But perhaps his greatest “canvas” has been the Imagine Art community garden. This garden feeds those primarily limited to disability income and food stamps. Occasionally leading groups of volunteers in the garden, its transformation is largely a result of John’s own sweat equity. He worked tirelessly – often 50 hours per week – without pay to break calcium deposits, mulch pathways, and nurture plants with his own hand tools. Eventually, they bore the okra, squash, lettuces, onions, beets and other produce that now feed his hungry neighbors in need.
As a 2015 Legend, John is now eligible to participate in RecognizeGood’s Say Thanks Austin campaign. This annual event presents the Austin area with the opportunity to say “thank you” to a group of remarkable individuals. The participant with the most Thank You votes receives a pay-it-forward donation of $10,000 to the nonprofit of their choice.