International Women’s Day falls on a Friday this year, which for some feels like a free pass from the universe to dedicate the weekend to the celebration of the woman.
As March 8 approaches, female-led movie marathons commence in living rooms around the world, issues facing women will be discussed and daughters extend extra embraces to their sisters and mothers.
Chapel Hill residents, however, have an extra opportunity to make this IWD special: a three-day celebration of the feminine experience through art and poetry at the FRANK.
Smith’s paintings and the accompanying poems will be published in a book called "Women Speak: Portraits, Poetry, and Prose from the Feminine Experience," which will be released at the FRANK with the launch of the gallery.
The gallery, "Women Speak," opens Friday and showcases 27 art works by visual artist Nancy Smith, each depicting a different aspect of the female experience. Throughout the past year, Smith has invited women to respond to her works, and 15 women will read their responses in a poetry reading on Sunday, March 10. Their poems will also be displayed alongside the art pieces they responded to.
The project originally began in February of 2018 when Smith realized that her emotions were translating into her paintings. As she hung up the female figures she painted, she saw angst, excitement, love, peace —whatever she was feeling on that day — hanging on her wall. She began inviting female writers on social media in May of that year to write about their experiences being a woman in response to her paintings.