You could say that sisters Anna Vergos Blair and Katherine Vergos Riederer have been in business together from day one. After all, both of their maiden names are Vergos, as in the Memphis barbecue icon that is Charlie Vergos’s Rendezvous. The sisters have always worked in the family business, so it was no surprise that they just might open a venture together as adults.
Glitter was the catalyst behind The Art Project, their Overton Square walk-in creative space the sisters opened in July 2015. Glitter … as in the shiny, can’t-ever-clean-it-all-up, gets-everywhere art supply that is the bane of mothers everywhere, to which Anna can attest. Her two creative toddlers just loved the stuff but she did not love the mess it left behind. Katherine, who studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and designed children’s clothing for Ralph Lauren in New York before returning home to Memphis, would have Anna’s eldest over for art projects. “I loved painting with her and she loved glitter,” laughs Katherine.
“I thought, There’s got to be somewhere they can do art,” Anna adds. “There just wasn’t.”
So, the sisters decided to make a space where kids could create art with no fear of leaving mounds of glitter — or paint or construction paper — on the floor.