Cynthia Tom A Place of her own
Cynthia Tom is bringing a place of her own to AlteredBarbie. If Barbie had a place that was her own what would it look like?
A PLACE OF HER OWN is a multi-phase, multi-venue arts project. The project poses the question, “If you had a place of your own, what would it be?” and invites artists and the public to respond in a variety of ways.
Women, through necessity and parental or cultural training, learn to compromise themselves. Women often set aside their own needs to support others to the point of losing them. Rarely have women learned to reclaim a place of their own, metaphorically or physically. What happens when we expand the parameters beyond the concept of a room and discover a place, in which the limitations are bound by the imagination and nothing more?
The conceptual frame work and long term goal of this project is to generate a creative place for women to reconnect with themselves and make their aspirations visible. This is not just a curatorial vision of Cynthia Tom's, but a lifelong passion.
Our vision is not limited to staging an exhibition. Just as important, is the community outreach that this project demands of AAWAA. Whether it’s workshops, artistic endeavors, lectures, panel discussions, online or one on one, we have seen A PLACE of HER OWN inspire critical thinking. It provides tools to research and grow confidence, while developing community in a safe and secure environment.
This project offers a growing, thoughtful community for discussion and query, and acts as a vehicle for the participants to focus solely on themselves. The artists’ work is profound in process and realization. There are both declarations and revelations of discovery for both artists and visitors alike.
Future Prospects of the Project
AAWAA is developing an ongoing series of exhibitions, publications and performance opportunities at multiple venues and online, where artists and members of the community can explore their responses and engage in the growing discussion. A PLACE OF HER OWN grants women the permission to think about themselves. As it travels different avenues, the project will become a means to cultivate a dialogue that raises consciousness about women’s issues and builds stronger interactive communities.
One of my driving forces as an artist and curator is my passion for women’s advocacy and social justice. From the beginning of this project, I wanted AAWAA to partner with local women’s social service organizations and providers to figure out how A PLACE can provide art, healing and community building in addition to artistic discussions with non- artists. A PLACE OF HER OWN strengthens the foundation of camaraderie, mentoring and sharing, building community and adding dialogue to the larger conversation about women’s issues.
— Cynthia Tom