When I was asked earlier this year to create an art piece for the 20th anniversary of the Vars and Area Women's Business Network (VAWBN), the group's President, Julie, wanted to honour all the current and past members since the group's start in 1998 by displaying each person's name and business. 

As the art piece would likely be on display at several events, I also needed to consider ease of storage, transportation, and set-up. It could not be hung, but would have to work on or beside a 6' table. But for the 20th anniversary open house celebration in July 2018, it had to take centre stage and reflect the dynamics of the group.

And so my "canvas" of choice to fit these requirements was settled: Clothing.

Clothes, after all, are loved by women. What we choose to wear tells a story about us, our goals and our experiences, and plays a large role in our business lives, whether it's a suit for the executive boardroom or yoga pants for the gym owner. 

As 200+ business cards would be adorning the clothing, the selections needed to drape well and have a simple background that would complement and not take away from the assortment of cards. A visit to a local thrift store yielded a black dress and a red jacket. A black hat and a scarf as accessories would complete the look.

A simple valet stand and hangers were chosen to display the clothes, symbolizing the support and tools needed for our work tasks and daily planning.

The VAWBN is about much more than just networking. It's about social interaction, support, sharing, friendships, community. And much support is provided outside the group through donations to local causes. In addition to monetary support, the group collects items such as pop can tabs (used toward wheelchair purchases), milk & bread tags (for a school project), and milk bags (crocheted into ground sheets). These items have been added to the clothing in recognition of this support. 

I'm excited about how this art piece is coming together, and am looking forward to seeing it on display at the 20th anniversary. The VAWBN Open House is open to the public on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, from 3:00 to 8:00 pm at the Bearbrook Community Centre, 8720 Russell Road Navan/Vars. There will be door prizes, refreshments, vendor tables, and more. Admission is free. 

And I will be sure to have photos of the entire piece at its unveiling July 10th. 

Hope to see you there. 


"Music is full of longing and movement.  Painting should be the same." I read this quote in Hundred and Thousands: The Journals of...