Women of Appalachia Project Returns to OU< < Back to
Once again, women from Appalachian Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky have come together at Ohio University’s Multicultural Center to participate in the 7th Annual Women of Appalachia Project (WOAP).
According to a release, the event “embraces the Appalachian stereotype – to show the whole woman, beyond the superficial factors that people use to judge her.”
“The Multicultural Center is proud to have hosted the Women of Appalachia Project every year since its inception in 2009,” said Winsome Chunnu-Brayda, strategic director for diversity and inclusion and multicultural programs and initiatives. “This project is distinctive in that it brings together a combination of seasoned and emerging artists that never fails to please. Ohio University is unique in that it serves a very large population – students, faculty and staff as well as Athens and contiguous county communities. This event serves as one of Ohio University’s outstanding town/gown events. Approximately 3,000 guests visit the WOAP exhibit in our gallery each year.”
Founder/curator Kari Gunter-Seymour said the project’s mission is to showcase the way in which female artists respond to the Appalachian region as a source of inspiration.
“By doing so, we combat cultural prejudices. We tell our stories through art,” she explained.
Kentucky poet Barbara Biggs is one of the many participating artists who feels her work has been informed by her surroundings.
“I love the complexity of the people, the feeling that I am never far from a maple tree, and that feeling in spring when the hills are pure green and everything just feels right,” she said. “I spent a lot of time trying to run away from these hills and valleys. I moved places, worked other places, but ultimately, always ended up right back here, within view of the Ohio River and the Indian mounds and the persimmon trees.”
As a gay person growing up in Wood County, West Virginia, painter Chis Sturm was an outcast in her community; a target of abuse, hateful epithets and discrimination.
“WOAP has given me an opportunity to get my art and my story out in full view,” she said.
The Muticultural Art Gallery will host the exhibit through April 22, with an opening reception on Feb. 12 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. A spoken word performance, “Women Speak,” is scheduled for mid-April.
The WOAP fine art exhibition and spoken word performances will travel to eight venues throughout Ohio and West Virginia over a six-month period. Details can be found at womenofappalachia.com or on Facebook. For questions, email email@example.com.