News-Herald editors, artists contribute to "Menopause: The Art show"

When Paula Neuman had her first “hot flash” it was followed by some 20 hot flashes per day.

“A lot of them are at night, which left me plenty of time to think," said Paula, who edits the Life and Leisure section of The News-Herald Newspapers. "I found myself wishing for a rite of passage. At the very least, I wanted a freakin’ greeting card to welcome me into this next phase of my life!”

It has led to more than that. “Menopause: The Art Show” will open at River’s Edge Gallery in downtown Wyandotte on October 2 at 6 p.m. A menopause calendar will be available as well as the art work used to produce it.

“Decadent chocolates and champagne will be served, of course.” according to gallery owner Patt Slack.

The project got legs when Paula presented the idea to her friend and fellow News-Herald editor Mavis McKinney Farrand. They then connected with photographer Marianne Letasi, who had “the drive, passion and the right sort of expertise to make crazy projects into reality.” Paula said. They began meeting with women artists and early on, Martine MacDonald suggested a calendar.

“We asked our artists to use their talents as they saw fit to depict the passage of menopause, and the sisterhood and worth of older women, who too often are marginalized and undervalued in our society," Paula said. "The result is our 'Welcome to Menopause' calendar, a project by women and for women that has been inspiring and uplifting for me, as well. And next, we will do cards. Somebody had better send me one!”

Not to forget the men of menopause, the husbands of both publishers, Lee Neuman and Craig Farrand, will host a little soire themselves next door at Belicoso Café, a cigar and martini bar.