Pop culture sends a lot of mixed messages to women, but one message is overwhelming: No one wants to see stories about women or girls. Women centered stories, whether in movies, literature, comic books, or video games are not profitable, and no one goes to see them or buy them, according to common industry wisdom. Therefore, they have no value in society. The representation of women storytellers in Hollywood, in comics, and in video games is discouraging - women make up less than 20% of all writers, directors, and producers working on top grossing films in the United States, despite making up more than half of the population. Even in family films, male characters outnumber females by 3 to 1. This message can leave young girls feeling less than confident about their own opinions and experiences. One local artist decided to do something to help change all that.
Indianapolis ceramic artist Lori Leaumont launched an art project to counteract the dearth of strong, diverse, and well rounded female characters in popular media. The Girl Stories project goal was twofold: to create sculptures of non-stereotypical female characters with great stories; and to inspire other girls and women to tell stories of their own by making art. Her Kickstarter project smashed a goal of $700 in less than 24 hours, and raised more than $2500 by the end of it's 30 day run, receiving an overwhelming response from vocal supporters, many of whom were mothers and fathers of young girls. With the additional funds, she was not only able to complete her series of narrative sculptures, but also launched an 8 week clay workshop in collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana and Beech Grove Clay Works to make free art classes available to matches in their mentor program.
On Friday, February 1st, the results of her project and the girls workshop will be on display at the Wheeler Art Center. The opening is from 6p-9p, and is free and open to the public
A travel advisory put in place for Wayne County has been extended.
Concerns from residents could prompt Columbus public safety officials to keep a closer watch on parts of the city.
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