A community-based art project that seeks to connect communities through pulling up a chair and sharing stories of positivity about Strong Women of Toledo.

Artwork by Sarah Byer

Story from Mary-Margaret Boda

Mary-Margaret Boda tells a story about her collage softball coach, coach Donna Newberry. Listening to this story I learned about a coach who not only inspired and impacted the lives of her team but also helped redefine what a female can do. Donna Newberry was more than just a coach, instead of focusing on her softball team colors I chose a bright sunny color that reflects the strong, uplifting, personality that came through her story. It was very clear what an inspiring impact she had with her team and everyone she surrounded herself with. For this design I used 2 softballs mirroring each other along with the stitching to create a larger pattern of it’s own. This pattern creates a ribbon to symbolize her battle with cancer but also creates an infinity symbol. Her mark has been made on women’s sports forever. One thing that stood out to me was that she led by example. I show this by creating stitching that moves upwards in the same direction, similar to the people she inspired and touched from being a leader. Someone who leads by example creates more leaders who follow in their footsteps. 

The pattern in the background uses shapes that symbolize home plates as well as houses. She broke the typical homemaker stereotype and boundaries. Circles in the pattern symbolize softballs and the inclusiveness of a team. Last but not least looping stitching symbolizes the connection and strong bond that was created between the two women as coach and athlete.

- Sarah Byer, Artist

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