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In Celebration of Women’s Circles

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Women’s Circle Exhibit:  The Women are Back in the House.  The exhibit will be held in the historic ca. 1830 Cobb House of the Southern Cultural Heritage Center in Vicksburg, MS.  The presentation will run from March 1st-31st, Monday-Friday from 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm.  An opening reception will be held on Tuesday, March 1st from 4pm-6pm in the Cobb House.  Admission is Free and donations are encouraged.    To create this exhibition, Janet Akers invited women’s groups, both formal and informal, to participate in decorating clay figures.  Approximately 25 women’s groups have participated so far, with around 200 individuals involved.  The groups include book clubs, church groups, craft groups, work groups, Red Hatters, breast cancer survivors, lunch groups, and groups of good friends.  Most of the groups have been from the Vicksburg area, but have also come from Eagle Lake, Jackson, and Tupelo, Mississippi, as well as Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Colorado. The figures used in the exhibition are white ceramic, about 9″ tall, and are a generic representation of a woman.  They were designed and hand-made by Ms. Akers.  The participants were asked to decorate these figures to represent themselves and what the group has meant to them.  For the decoration, Ms. Akers provided paint markers, decoupage solution, and magazines to cut images out of.  Some participants have supplemented these supplies with their own in order to create figures more uniquely theirs.  Some of the completed figures are covered with images that suggest past group events, others with words that suggest the value of the group to them.  Other figures are more representative of the individual and include photos of family members, pets, images and words to illustrate their passions.  The project was funded in part by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission. This project was inspired in part by a book written by Jean Shinoda Bolen, The Millionth Circle: How to Change Ourselves and the World.   She writes that the women’s circle “appears to be just women getting together and talking, but each woman and each circle is contributing to something grander…  When a critical number of people change how they think and behave, the culture does also, and a new era begins.”   After this first exhibit in March, Ms. Akers plans to exhibit the figures at different venues throughout Mississippi, as well as out-of-state.  For each location, she will have a local women’s group decorate figures to add to the display.  At the end of the exhibition, the figures will be returned to the women who decorated them, along with a log of the exhibition’s travels.  Janet Akers is a ceramic and mixed-media sculpture.  She is a member the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi, Vicksburg Art Association, Louisiana Crafts Guild and Mississippi State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.  She has conducted numerous workshops and presentations.  Her works have been displayed in many statewide and out-of-state galleries and museums.  From 1990 to present, her works have been accepted in over 14 art shows throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama. For more information, please call the SCHF business office at 601-631-2997 or email [email protected].]]]]> ]]>

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