The tranformative power of art

In my forties my work was very intertwined with the women’s community in Summit County where I live.  I was on several committees and boards, produced annual awards events for local women’s organizations and presented Queen Bee Productions performances.

One of the projects I was involved with, in fact was part creator of, was The Women Central Project.  It was a unique approach to collaborating among organizations that served women and children and had limited resources and access to funding to do so. Nonprofits were excited about it.  There was quite a buzz.  I was passionate about it.  I had big plans. Could see its bright future and how it would change our community and be a model for others. So many dreams. Through forces not entirely clear to me, that project was abruptly ended.  It broke my heart. Truly.  And to my surprise it has taken me many years to recover.

Also as time passed and the economy changed, one by one the organizations that hired QBP’s event planning services started using their own in house volunteers to save money.

As an event planner I collected many things that could be used for centerpieces, decoration, programming, etc.  One of my best finds was a couple dozen hourglass shaped clear glass vases.  How perfect!  Hourglass shape for women’s events and the clear glass meant I could completely change its look by what I put in it.  They were a successful addition to my event services.

With the passing of Women Central and the lack of event planning gigs, those super cool vases have sat in a closet for years.

Now in my 50’s, this New Year’s I was looking for something to transform the beginning of my year.  I had just lost my younger brother to pancreatic cancer the August prior and that deep ache, the continual realization that he is gone that overwhelms and panics you, haunted me.  Still does.  I expect it will for a while.

So something to transform in a positive way since my reality has transformed in a painful direction.  I thought of those vases.  I knew it was unlikely I would be back in the loop of event planning for women’s organizations, so they were perfect.

glass vase, decoupage, D. Lemire, APPETITE FOR LOVE

APPETITE FOR LOVE, glass, decoupage

I pull those 24 vases out of the closet.  With a symbol of a dream that had been callously tossed aside and a spirit in desperate need of distraction,for the entire month of January, every day, I worked on transforming those vases into self expression.  And some of them came out really really cool! (If I do say so myself).


What do I do now with a dining room full of dramatic, whimsical, fun and spirited vases?  So glad you asked.  Aside from a couple folks getting really unique birthday presents, several of the pieces will be in an upcoming Spring Art Show in April and after that off to Etsy to sell.

I hope you come out to the Art Show and see my work and that of the amazing other artists. (press release below).  And I will certainly post when the vases go up on Etsy.

Glass vase, stone, D. Lemire, HER UNIVERSE

HER UNIVERSE, glass, stone, polymer, misc findings

But for me their purpose has been fulfilled.  My spirit was reminded that, whether or not we can see it when we are up close, the Universe will always adjust to remain in balance.  Sometimes we are able to fully participate in that calibration and sometimes it is completely out of our hands.

art sign inside

Welcome Spring with the UUWA’s Inaugural Spring Art Show
Meet the artists at the opening reception April 10

The UU Women in Action are pleased to present a group exhibition of Unitarian Universalist artists. The UUWA’s Inaugural Spring Art Show exhibit will run April 10 through April 27 with an opening reception and silent auction on Thursday April 10 at 7 pm.

Seventeen local artists will be featured in the show: Mary Ann Ballinger, Rebekah Benner, Jane Bond, Joan Brasaemle, Mary Caesar, Carol Dobbins, Patty Harding, Deb Johnson, Barbara Kemper, Deb Lemire, Gail Lindsay, Kim Mosyjowski, Barbara Pearce, Emory Smith, Julie Whitmore, Laurel Winters and Susan Wynn. Through a wide range of mediums, each artists brings Spring to life with color and texture. The pieces include glass, textile, photography, jewelry, ceramic, metal work and more.

“I am thrilled to help bring this collection of artwork to our community,” says curator Carol Dobbins of Hawksview Pottery and Gallery, “The timing couldn’t be better. We’ve waited for Spring long enough!”

The artists will be present at the opening reception on Thursday April 10 at 7 pm. The reception will include hors d’oueveres, music and a silent auction of pieces donated by participating artists. Auction proceeds will benefit the programs of The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Association working to serve the social and spiritual needs of people through fellowship, group expression, educational programs, service and action.

The UUWA’s Inaugrual Spring Art Show will run April 10 through April 27 at The UU Church of Akron, 3300 Morewood Rd., Akron (across from Summit Mall). Visit during church office hours Tuesday through Friday 9 am – 2 pm or Sundays 9:30 am -1 pm.

For additional information contact Carol Dobbins at 330-836-2206 or email


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