Hey all. I want to let you in on a little secret. For the past year I have been brainstorming and researching for a project that, I believe, will be the most meaningful body of work I have created to date. The show will be called “Women Behaving Badly – Because Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History”. I know, it’s a mouthful.
I am doing this series because as I’ve gotten older, I have come to learn of so many achievements women have had over the ages that I never learned about in school. Some of these achievements are still stitched in the fabric of our society, yet we have no idea who these women were or what they did for us. I want to shine a light on these individuals and tell you who they are/were, what they did, and why they matter. The plan is to span the timeline and the globe to tell their stories.
The first woman I painted is Leymah Gbowee. I learned of her when I was invited to do a live painting at the Afrikmall this past weekend in Aurora. The woman who invited me asked me to paint an African leader and Ms Gbowee’s name was on her short list. After reading a short bio on her, I knew I had to find a way to tell her story.
After participating in a program in Liberia to help those traumatized by war, particularly the child soldiers, Leymah Gbowee realized that it was the mother, who would be able to heal the country ravaged by civil war. She joined an organization called Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET) which focused only on women and only on building peace. Through that organization, she led protests, sex strikes and sit-ins to convince the president to hold peace talks. She and hundreds of other women then went to those talks between warning factions and put pressure on them to end the war. Through peaceful protests, the war was ended in 2003 and Leymah Gbowee won a Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts.
I found her story absolutely inspiring and used my new collage technique to tell it as best I could.
To find out more about Women Behaving Badly and to join in the conversation check out the Facebook page I created for it. If you have any suggestions of women who should be featured, please leave a comment. The way pages work, each comment needs my approval so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t appear right away. The show will be in August at Coffee at The Point. I will let you know when I set the opening date, so stay tuned.