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Provided courtesy of the 2014 - 2015 Women of Appalachia project

‘Women of Appalachia’ art exhibit in Athens for second stop in tour

The Multicultural Center features art inspired from women in the Appalachian region. 

Starting Thursday, the art exhibit “Women of Appalachia” will make its second visit to Ohio University on its tour through Southeast Ohio and West Virginia.

This is the sixth year the exhibit has been housed by the Multicultural Center Art Gallery in Baker Center, and it will remain there through April 30.

“Many people have an image of an Appalachian woman, and they look down on her,” said Kari Gunter-Seymour, the founder and curator of the event. “They think she’s undereducated – underrepresented. We embody the stereotype and showcase the way in which female artists respond to the region.”

Gunter-Seymour said she is the only full-time employee involved with the exhibit, but many individuals volunteer their time to help, like Marilyn Krupa, a designer of the exhibit.

“We like to do this in the spring because it runs through March – which is Women’s History month,” said Winsome Chunnu-Brayda, associate director of the Multicultural Center. “It is a focus on women from this region, as many of these women have never been showcased in an official gallery before.”

Gunter-Seymour said people imagine the artwork women submit for the exhibit would be crafts, but in reality the pieces span various mediums of creative art.

Carol McDonough, a former Ohio University student in 1972, is one of the artists featured in the exhibit.

“I have five pieces in the show – we had to submit anything from four to six pieces.” McDonough said. “I was surprised when Kari said my pieces were going to be in the show.”

McDonough has been making pottery for about 40 years. For the art pieces in the exhibit, she used recycled glass bottles using the method of “slumped glass.”

“Slumped glass is glass that’s been melted into a shape and kiln,” McDonough said. “Glass art is pretty new to me, so sometimes the pieces came out different than I imagined.”

“The Women of Appalachia” art exhibit is a wonderful way for female artists to put out their work and is a great community outreach program, Chunnu-Brayda said.

“Even women from Appalachia are not only creative but have courage,” Gunter-Seymour said. “You are offering yourself up to be judged by jurors and the public.”

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There will be an opening reception March 13 with all the featured artists attending the exhibit.


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