Friday, October 06, 2006

Rude and Bold Women

Years ago when I was a Director of Christian Education I joined together with folks from our local Jewish and Islamic communities to study and share. It was around the time of the Bill Moyers series on Genesis, and we used his wonderful book as the foundation of our gatherings. After working our way through Genesis, we decided we wanted to share some of the fruits of our time together with the larger communities we represented, and so we decided to offer a lecture/discussion series. It was at that point that I came up with what is still my favorite title for an educational program: "Daughters of Abraham: Matriarchs Harlots and Queens."

I am thinking of that series as I run around this week in preparation for a local art show I am proud to be associated with: Rude and Bold Women. This show, born in 1996 (around the same time as the series above), was reincarnated in 2000 in the hands and under the inspiration of two women of my community who are artists/ supporters of the arts /business women. (The image above is of an installation of breast castings of local women from that 2000 show.) I am now on the Rude and Bold committee, and we have been meeting weekly for months, reviewing the applications and art, recruiting sponsors, nailing down every last detail of publicity, and finally, hanging the show itself. Here is a link to our website, and here is a link to our local press coverage, from yesterday's paper.

Why "Rude and Bold?" Well, it's a tongue in cheek response to the fact that women who are simply confident, assertive, and visionary are often perceived as being rude and bold; it is also the definition in a turn of the (last) century dictionary of a "hoyden."

I wish I could convey how the women who enter their art into the show respond to interpreting that phrase, "rude and bold women." Sometimes, it is a phrase they wear tentatively, gently, even with some hesitation. And sometimes they charge in as if their picture is next to those words in the dictionary. In either case, what I think they experience-- what they thank us for over and over-- is the opportunity to share their vision, without censorship, in an environment that celebrates them. It's a beautiful thing.

No comments: