Joan has been creating and sharing her art work throughout her life. Even while employed in a variety of social work positions, she made and sold paintings and jewelry as well as rugs and wall hangings using primitive rug hooking techniques. She has an impressive resume of magazine features and commissioned works. Her art is on display at the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, St. Philips Episcopal Cathedral Children’s Chapel in Atlanta, and St. Giles Chapel at Deerfield Retirement Community in Asheville, NC.
Ann spent her career at Presbyterian College in South Carolina, where the majority of the time she was Director of Freshman English, ending her tenure as Co-Chair of the English Department. During the last decade, she was also Director of Women’s Studies, a program which she helped found. Before moving to Asheville, she had never shared her own writing,
Joan set out to use her rug hooking skills to create faces of women of different backgrounds, hoping that these women could be used to raise money and awareness for women’s causes. Because these faces needed voices to make them come alive, Ann wrote a medley of women’s voices, voices that attached not to any specific woman but to any women anywhere. They hoped that the faces and voices would convey a sense of the sisterhood of all women and would inspire support for efforts to empower women no matter who or where they are.
Come Walk With Me became an art installment at Deerfield for ten days early in 2021 thanks to the efforts of the staff and fellow artists who used their own gifts to enrich what Joan and Ann had created. The event received a resoundingly positive response from local attendees and inspired considerable donations to the YWCA of Asheville.
The continued interest following the art event and art video led Ann and Joan to create a book that would expand the project's reach to champion women's organizations and communities on a larger scale. The book honors the original events by paying a moving tribute to women everywhere in an elegant rendering of the written voices along with photographs of the fiber art portraits.
Our sisterhood is one of sharing - be it our natural gifts, our time and valued resources, or simply our stories - and remains open to all of our sisters, wherever they are on life's great journey. Joan and Ann continue to nurture Come Walk With Me as it blossoms from a project into a sisterhood of individuals who share the task of bettering the world for women by listening, acting, and serving with kindness.