"Women Speak" Appalachian Art Project Celebrates Five Years

Dateline
Updated Thu, Oct 17, 2013 11:23 am
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Women of Appalachia
"Stardust," Beth Nash

The Ohio University Multicultural Center and Women's Center is sponsoring the 2013 Women of Appalachia Project's art exhibit and "Women Speak" events, featuring the work of 18 visual and 22 spoken word artists from Appalachian counties throughout Ohio and West Virginia.

The Women of Appalachia Project will begin celebrating five years of visual and performance art on Oct. 22 in the Multicultural Art Gallery, second floor, Baker Center.

Events kick off with an opening reception on Friday, Nov. 1 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a special presentation of music and spoken art by poet Sherri Saines and singer-songwriter Colleen Carow.

On Nov. 7 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. the sister event, "Women Speak, Encore and More," a gala celebration of five years of collective work – original story, poetry and song – will be presented in the Baker Center Lounge, second floor, adjacent to the Multicultural Center Art Gallery.

This is a unique opportunity for those who have missed past performances to hear work previously performed throughout the past five years, along with many new pieces. All activities and events are free and open to the public.

"The WOA events showcase the way in which female artists respond to this region as a source of inspiration. Visual and verbal themes begin to emerge through the intertwining of the artwork and language," said founder/curator, Kari Gunter-Seymour. "As a result, this confluence of ideas and inspirations becomes an empowering experience for artists and community alike."

"Rocks with Holes," Danette Pratt

Gunter-Seymour points out that many people have an image of an Appalachian woman, and they look down on her. The Women of Appalachia Project encourages participation from women of diverse backgrounds, ages and experiences to come together, to embrace the stereotype, to show the whole woman beyond the superficial factors that people use to judge her.

Sharing the spotlight is the work of regional women from the Sisters in Recovery Collective entitled "The Story of Us," a spoken word project designed to assist with the healing process for victims of domestic violence and rape.

"Living in Appalachia is misunderstood and unappreciated by many," said Evelyn Nagy, director of the Rural Women’s Recovery Program. "For us, the hills and valleys that surround us are a gift, they aid us as we hurt, heal and grow. As women in this place known as Appalachia, we share with you a piece of our lives from a place of love and hope. It is our trust that you hear us not with judgment in your mind but with compassion in your heart."

A reception will follow both events, giving attendees an opportunity to meet and speak with the artists directly about their work.


Events will continue through Dec. 10. For a complete list of participating artist's and biographies visit www.womenofappalachiaevents.com.

"Your Children Want to Know Why," Angela Locke

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