Annette Walkerden from Elmwood Pharmacy in Wodonga is one of 40 small business owners from across Australia to be immortalised in a major artwork by Australian artist, Jenny McCracken.
The artwork, titled: “Faces of Shop Small” will be displayed in Parliament House, Canberra, as a tribute to the nation’s hard-working small business owners.
The artwork has been unveiled to commemorate the start of Shop Small, a movement founded by American Express that aims to reconnect consumers with small business.
Shop Small began in Australia in 2013 and runs throughout November. It has the support of the government and business community and provides this sector with a boost in the lead-up to Christmas.
Walkerden has been painted standing alongside 39 other small business owners, each holding a tool of their trade. The artwork will be displayed in the office of Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer.
The business owners depicted were selected from thousands across the country to reflect the diversity of small business in Australia.
The artist, Jenny McCracken, is Australia’s most awarded street artist, and has won accolades on the international stage.
To create Faces of Shop Small, McCracken turned her skills to canvas, using a combination of chalk and paint to bring each face to life. The work took approximately 300 hours to complete.
“This piece is a really wonderful opportunity to celebrate small business owners in Australia. I’m proud to be creating this tribute to the hardworking men and women behind each small business who work so hard to bring their passion to life,” she says.
“I hope it stands as a reminder of the diversity, resilience and other great benefits small businesses bring to our communities.”
Walkerden, who has been in the pharmacy business for more than 30 years, says, “It’s challenging owning a small business and it’s vital we get the support and recognition we deserve.
“Small businesses play a central role in any local community and I’m proud to be part of a campaign like the American Express Shop Small campaign that supports our longevity.”