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woa 2013 cat

"Friend", India Ink on Paper, artist Keri Dodds

Photo courtesy of: Women of Appalachia Project

woa 2013 quilt

"Kissing Buddha", Fiber, artist Andrea Stern

Photo courtesy of: Women of Appalachia Project

woa 2013 mannequin

"Must You Always Find My Flaws", Photography by Kari Gunter-Seymour

Photo courtesy of: Women of Appalachia Project

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Women of Appalachia Events show the true face of the woman


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

The Women of Appalachia Project (WOA) will celebrate five years of outstanding visual and performance art beginning Oct. 22, with the opening of the 5th annual Women of Appalachia Exhibit.

The exhibit will be open through Dec. 10 in the Multicultural Art Gallery in Baker University Center.

There will be an opening reception for the exhibit from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1. During the reception, poet Sherri Saines and singer-songwriter Colleen Carow will present a special presentation of music and spoken art at 7 p.m.

The exhibit's sister event, "Women Speak, Encore and More," is a gala celebration of five years of collective work — original story, poetry and song. It will be presented from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 in the Baker University Center Theater Lounge. This is a unique opportunity to hear work previously performed throughout the past five years, along with many new pieces.

"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," says founder/curator Kari Gunter-Seymour. "As a result, this confluence of ideas and inspirations becomes an empowering experience for artists and community alike."

When asked what serves as inspiration for her work, poet Trisha Lachman says, "When I walk outside at night, I hear the rustling pine woods behind my house, hear the screech owl calls warbling through the silence of the night, see the glittering stars of heaven peep through the waving tree branches."

Singer and songwriter Megan Wormz Bihn says, "Just as the water flows over the rocks, songs are drawn out of me."

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 titled "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. 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," says Evelyn Nagy, director of the rural women's recovery program.

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

For a complete list of participating artist's and biographies, visit
www.womenofappalachiaevents.com.

The Office of Multicultural Programs, Black Student Cultural Programming Board (BSCPB) and the Senate Appropriations Commission (SAC) sponsor this event. It is free and open to the public.

The Office of Multicultural Programs focuses all its programs and activities on intercultural teaching and learning. It provides a place where members of the university community, representing a variety of backgrounds, can participate in programs and activities. All programming is designed to increase human understanding through the study and expression of culture.