Out and About: Whimsical Women – Celebrating and Supporting Women and Their Art

Some 26 years ago, two sisters, Luli Sanderford and Linda Palladino, decided to honor their mother’s memory with an event to gather women together to support each other to create and sell their artwork. Luli and Linda grew up with their mother, Ellen Brown, an amazing and creative seamstress. Upon her passing, they took comfort in making art. It wasn’t long before Whimsical Women was founded to encourage women to not only create art, but give them a place to sell it, as well. Since the first Whimsical Women in 1996, the event has grown in participants and in attendees.

“You’ve Come a Long Way!”

The first Whimsical Women event in 1996 was in the front yard of the house of a local artist with a dozen or so artists, and now it has grown to almost 100 artists with more than 1,500 in attendance in five hours!

“Whimsical Women took place on November 19, 2022 at Bailey Park in downtown Winston-Salem, and it did not disappoint with the variety of artwork presented or in attendees. We had more than 1,500 in attendance for a free art festival like no other! Live music from The Brown Mountain Lightning Bugs greeted shoppers as they arrived at the show’s main entrance by the Bailey Park Fountain. After walking through the giant balloon heart, shoppers saw almost 100 artists selling everything you can imagine from pottery to jewelry to gourd art and glass…all one-of-a-kind pieces handcrafted by women! In addition to shopping from the artists, attendees could grab a bite from Sur Chilean, the female-owned food truck that was onsite or from the The Popcorn Ladies who were making kettle corn onsite,” said Tabatha Renegar, Whimsical Women committee chairwoman.

Another Woman to Honor

While Whimsical Women was founded to honor Luli and Linda’s mother, this year the event shifted gears to honor a cherished friend.

“The 2022 show was called Whimsical Women: Love and Light, to honor Linda Palladino, one of the beloved founding sisters of the event, who lost her battle with cancer in July 2022. An amazing art raffle at the show raised money in Linda’s honor that was donated to the Kay Yow fund,” Tabatha commented.

For more information about Whimsical Women, visit whimsicalwomen.org, or find them on Facebook and Instagram!

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