In this 21st Century digital age of social media and handheld photo editors, we are inundated with images of our friends, family and cultural icons. One would think this proliferation of photographs would generate a greater acceptance of varying body types. But more than ever, images are projected in the gaze of societal norms and conventions of what is beautiful and ideal. The differences and imperfections that make a human body unique reveal much about one's personal narrative and rarely align with the common standard of young, slim, white, able and whole.
As part of the Oak Park Art League's Art for Social Change initiative, We are Enough calls for art that explores the many facets of body image and its relationship to self-acceptance and love. How is one's body image affected by inherent differences such as race, gender, sexuality, form and disability; or by changes due to aging, illness, or major surgery? We are looking for art of any media that explores issues of body image and self-worth.
Related Programs & Exhibits
Exhibit: Solidarity & Survivorship
In partnership with Keep-a-Breast Foundation, Solidarity & Survivorship presents an exhibit of artist-customized plaster torso casts that express the strength and beauty of survivorship and the esprit de corps of loyal supporters.
Founded in 2000, Keep-a-Breast Foundation (KABF) located in Los Angeles, California, is a leading youth-focused, global, nonprofit organization that uses art and education programs to raise awareness of methods of prevention and early detection of breast cancer. To reach their target audience of young women, KABF partners with influencers that include celebrities, rock stars, and athletes, who stand in solidarity with breast cancer survivors by lending their torsos to plaster-casting projects. The plaster casts transform the traditional canvas to participatory sculpture, which is then customized by artists and used as conversation starters, awareness builders and fundraising tools for Keep-a-Breast Foundation. KABF castees for Solidarity & Survivorship, include sixOlympic snowboard athletes. Participants from OPAL’s casting workshop include five women from the local community, who boldly come forth to share their stories about survivorship in support of breast cancer awareness.
Exhibit: Blessings for All
Artist, educator and printmaker, Teresa Parker’s interactive installation of a traditional Madonna figure invites viewers to write a note of healing or leave a blessing for a loved one braving the challenges of cancer.
Workshop: Knitted Knockers
Monday, October 23, 6:30-9:00pm in the OPAL gallery
Knitted Knockers are soft, light weight breast prosthetics that are comfortable for women who have undergone breast cancer surgeries. Knitters are invited to join this workshop to learn the pattern and create Knitted Knockers for breast cancer survivors. $5 material fee.
Courtyard Exhibition: Resistance Architecture
Resistance Architecture is an adaptable structure intended for political encampments, built by Project Fielding; an organization that empowers women and gender variant individuals of all ages through workshops that teach how to competently and confidently use power tools to create large-scale social justice projects.
Founded by Sara Black, Billy Dee, Amber Ginsburg, Miriam Stevens and Donesha Thompson and expanded to involve Caroline Robe and Lia Rousset,Project Fielding leads workshops for female identified and gender variant individuals to learn to design and build structures and use woodworking tools competently and confidently. Created from the desire to break gender-pejorative attitudes and society judgement about gender roles and capabilities in the building trades, Project Fielding creates large-scale projects motivated by social justice concerns, while deflecting unwelcome assumptions and defining new directions in the field of building.
Art for Social Change exhibits and programs are made possible through grant funding from the Oak Park/River Forest Community Foundation, 19th Century Charitable Foundation, Oak Park Area Arts Council, Illinois Arts Council, and generous support from local businesses, including: Bliss Fashion Lounge, Lively Running, Matter of Style, Olive & Well, Team Blonde, Todd & Holland, and Winberie’s Restaurant