The venerable organization, Our Bodies Ourselves (OBOS), and Artists Equity Philadelphia/Tri-State invite you to highlight some of today’s most urgent women’s issues by participating in the new traveling art show “Undeniable” at Montgomery County Community College. We are thrilled to start our journey at MCCC, joining with our community in the heart of Artists Equitys' service region.
The Travel Ten winners of the show will go on to exhibit their work in Undeniable's next location in Boston in the fall of 2022. A slideshow of the winners' work is to come soon.
The Winners are as follows:
Cheryl Patton Wu for "Joy Interrupted” Fiber 26x48x1 $1500
Colleen Hammond for "Influx" Collage
Dina Lincoln for "My Choice" enamel 15x30 $400
Jamie Hardges for "Deflower Me". 16 x 20. $400
JC Chernak for "Out in Nature I Am Whole" Acrylic 26x40 $350
Karin Crossley for "Caitlyn's California" Acrylic 16x20 nfs
Libbie Soffer for "Womens' Work Is Never Done" Silk, Linen Thread, Wood
Liz Silbaugh for "Coming of Age" Acrylic on Windowshade 86X34 $1200
Nina Yocom for "Womb"
Robyn H. Stone for "Emergence" oil on canvas 36x50 $1750
Undeniable: Claiming the Legacy
of Our Bodies, Ourselves
Artists Equity and the Our Bodies Ourselves organization have partnered to curate “Undeniable: Claiming the Legacy of Our Bodies, Ourselves.” The art work reflects the artists’ various viewpoints and experiences, focusing on hot button women’s rights with the hope to bring awareness to cultural attitudes which influence change.
Along with bringing women’s issues front and center to communities and young people around the country, the intention is to share stories through visual arts, and open and generate dialog among all genders in each university where the show is exhibited.
To engender dialogue and share stories through visual arts, emulating the grass roots manner in which OBOS was founded. The ongoing need for such public conversations is UNDENIABLE, especially as our country experiences significant upheaval in so many arenas.
Issues we are exploring: who we are, what we stand for, how we can gain true equity and what that equity will look like. What rights do we view as UNDENIABLE and how do we secure them? What models for collective action can we share more widely?
Cataclysmic shifts are occurring in a divided America. A devastating pandemic has exacerbated persistent social, racial, and economic inequalities. We have lost one of the greatest advocates of women in recent history — Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Reproductive rights are under assault, and the call for greater reproductive justice is more important than ever.
The women who established Our Bodies Ourselves (originally called the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective) in the early 1970s were part of a growing global Women’s Health Movement that sought to challenge the sexism, racism, and classism that permeated the male-dominated medical care system. They also wanted more emphasis on prevention and greater opportunities for women in both the public and private sectors.
Our Bodies, Ourselves, which first appeared in 1970 as a newsprint booklet (titled Women and Their Bodies),
then as a commercial edition in 1973 (on the New York Times Best Seller list), was followed by periodic revisions until 2011. The book has launched many difficult discussions and educated women about their bodies.
OBOS' 50th Anniversary
Greater awareness of women’s needs started with shared personal stories regarding health, reproduction, and sexuality. Though there was no original intention to “write a book,” the collective efforts of so many led to what some have called the “Bible of women’s health.” As subsequent editions included the voices of more women of color, older women, women with disabilities, and people with different sexual orientations and gender identities, the book became a mainstay in the larger feminist movement and supported activism and advocacy at many levels.
2023 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Simon & Schuster edition of "Our Bodies, Ourselves."
While Our Bodies Ourselves has played an expansive advocacy role in so many areas locally and globally, this show will focus on five crucial issues in this country today and will explore OBOS’s ongoing legacy and relevance for fighting sexism and advancing feminist values and women’s lived experience to a wider audience:
Health and Medical
Gender-based Violence and Abuse
Why this show?
Educational and advocacy efforts on behalf of women and girls must continue, even as we expand perspectives on social, racial and economic justice for all. Efforts like Our Bodies Ourselves Today take advantage of new digital technologies and social media to reach a widening audience about the changes we still seek. This show fosters the kind of democratic wellspring so critically needed at this time.
Artists Equity seeks to provide education and advocacy for all artists. This show provides an opportunity for artists to provide a voice of a social justice nature, part of our mission to provide broader and more inclusive opportunities to our community as well as to increase our relevance as artists in today's highly charged world.
“I remember reading Our Bodies, Ourselves at a friend’s house. I was around ten years old and wondered why women needed to talk about their bodies. … Slowly, over many readings, the layers of shame and discomfort peeled away. And I knew.“
“As a professional nurse in the military since 2001, working in the contemporary battlefield has forced me to examine the …embodied tension in women experiencing violence … (in) the institutions, communities and environments in which they work and live. Our Bodies, Ourselves has long influenced (my) work with its empowering tone and deep, revealing content."
Stories of Artists
"Long before I thought about babies, or even boys, I had begun realizing I was a girl. I didn’t want to be a girl. It really sucked to be a girl.
This was very clear in 1975.
I can’t tell you how dismayed I am that my daughter just came to me and said exactly the same thing.
“I bought Our Bodies, Ourselves when I was a fourteen and hid it in my room. I spent countless hours absorbing every page until I knew every aspect of the book intimately.
I went through personal trauma as a young girl. I knew I didn’t have the right to have my own thoughts. But then I read the book.
Never before had I understood that being a woman did not convict me to a life of shame.”