A Word From Our Board President

Twenty-three years ago, Janice Sands became the first Executive Director of Pen and Brush.  

I became associated with the organization, first as a member in the year 2000 – 21 years ago.

Through the two ensuing decades, I have been a witness to the arduous transformations- and sometimes tumultuous – tasks Janice inspired and executed. She was the catalyst in bridging the gap for 

Pen and Brush to grow from a women’s literary and art club to the acclaimed venue that it is today. 

The announcement she made on January 22, 202, of her retirement has caused me to reflect on the many challenges Pen and Brush confronted and conquered through her dedication and leadership.

For Janice this commitment was an affair of the heart. She was not only the captain and navigator, but she also imbued the soul of Pen and Brush. Shining a beacon that was always looking upward, she guided us towards the light at the end of the tunnel. Janice persevered through the travails of leaving the historic brownstone on 16 East 10th street amidst – at times- a somewhat recalcitrant following.  Possessing the foresight, she envisioned a grand exhibition environment and new home that could and would be created in a formerly lackluster space. An endeavor akin to the phoenix rising from the ashes.

Giving her all – not only through her astute leadership, but also through generous financial support- she has helped the possibility become a reality.  True to her dedication she has consented to continue this journey with us as a board member and confidant.

I would dare say that when we write the history of Pen and Brush which heralds its’ distinguished and accomplished mentors- such as First Ladies, Eleanor Roosevelt and Ellen Axson Wilson, as well as 

Pearl Buck, Clare Booth Luce and many others, our first Executive Director, Janice Sands will be in the top echelon of that list.                             

President Nettie Forné Thomas

Image Credit:  Nettie Forné Thomas and Janice Sands viewing installation work by Elizabeth Knowles at the opening of “Broad Strokes” in 2016.