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Worldly travels, several inspired by her great, great, great, great grandfather who began the James Finlay Tea Company in Scotland in the late 1700s, have brought Peg and her husband Gayle all across the globe from South Africa to Scotland, India, Argentina, Italy, and everywhere in between. But it’s the artists right here in Columbia that Peg has been the most drawn to throughout the years.
By hanging local artwork for the past 18 years in her Finleaf gallery and hosting a wide array of local artists, Peg has fostered a supportive community of creators and makers that allows for Columbia to experience artwork they otherwise wouldn’t have seen. Her shows have been for artists from Columbia and from out of town, and they’ve all been very successful.
Equally as successful as her shows are the children’s books that Peg has written and illustrated by hand that reflect her love for her grandchildren, her childhood, and South Carolina. Willowbel’s Wagon is her first book and is the tale of a brown rabbit that lives on Heathwood Circle in Columbia. Her most recent book, Dutch Dives In, takes place at the beach on Pawley’s Island and is based on Peg’s childhood trips to the shore. Peg illustrated the books with watercolor images painted on pieces of fine, batiste material that she found in an old textile mill that was closing down in Union, SC.
At 77 years young, Peg will continue to be an influence in Columbia for years to come. Whether it’s through her own art or the ways in which she gives back to the community through her church and a local private school, her passion for the arts will forge a path for her to follow.