Courtesy of The Art Department
A collection of 48 portraits of women in the Ohio State Department of Art are on display in Hopkins Hall this week as part of the “Image – Self” project to bring more awareness and recognition to female art majors.
“This is one of the most fun projects I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with,” said Devyn Pechnick, an art major featured in the display.
Ardine Nelson, an art professor at OSU, noticed that female photography majors were not getting recognized nearly as much as the males. To bring more attention to the women in art she created the “Image – Self” project.
The participants began with a photo of themselves with a white background. Then the artists altered the print in any way they felt appropriate to express their lives.
The project forced some of the artists to really consider who they are as women at this point in their lives, said Elizabeth Wilson, an artist featured in the exhibition.
“Working on this project was difficult, somewhat frustrating, but incredibly rewarding,” Wilson said. “I call my piece ‘Madonna and Generic Happy Family.’ I think it has something to do with ideals, desires, expectations, wishes and roles that I don’t know if I will ever be able to live up to or fulfill.”
Guisela LaTorre, an associate professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, said this project allowed these women the opportunity to express the way they see themselves, rather than how others perceive them.
“Given the abundance of sexist, objectifying and even violent images of women in the mass media, this project allowed students to take control of their own representation,” LaTorre said.
LaTorre views this project as both an artistic venture and a feminist project.
“All the images put great emphasis on the lives of women with all their complexities, contradictions and diversities,” she said.
The exhibition is supported by the Coca-Cola Critical Difference for Women Faculty Grant through the Department of Women’s Studies, the College of Arts and Humanities Grant-In-Aid Program and the Department of Art.
“We are pleased to have been a partner in supporting this work through the Critical Difference for Women research fund,” said Hazel Morrow-Jones, the director of the Women’s Place at OSU.
The portraits appear in an online exhibition and will be on display at the Upper Arlington Concourse Gallery from March 2010 through April 2011.