Academic journal article Frontiers - A Journal of Women's Studies

Image-Self Women in Art: A Portrait Project

Academic journal article Frontiers - A Journal of Women's Studies

Image-Self Women in Art: A Portrait Project

Article excerpt

Image--Self Women in Art: A Portrait Project began with the idea of providing women art students an opportunity to explore their image of self. I invited all women art students from freshmen through graduate students and recent graduates to participate in this collaborative project. Sixty-one women agreed to sit for a portrait. My intent was to provide a safe and neutral environment in which they would be photographed--a plain white background with the only props being what they chose to wear and things they brought with them. Some women offered personal information that influenced my photographic ideas, while others were very specific about a particular pose or mood they wanted to portray. I forwarded to each sitter a selection of the portraits for them to decide which single image they wanted to work with. I then made the larger-than-life (40 x 56 inches) print for their personalization of the image.

All participants were told they were free to alter the print in any manner they wished. This could include making it into something 3D or anything else they felt appropriate for what they wanted to express at this point in their life.

All work returned to the gallery was photographed, and an online exhibition of the entire body of work and a print-on-demand book version were created (available at Blurb under the title Image--Self).

I am grateful for the support provided for this project by the following: Coca-Cola Critical Difference for Women Faculty Grant through the Department of Women's Studies, with additional support from the College of Arts and Humanities Grant-In-Aid Program and the Department of Art, The Ohio State University. …

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