Last night was the opening reception of the special collaboration between SMFA and the Women’s Lunch Place. Barbara Bickart unveiled the seven video portraits, which were the focus of attention and conversation all evening. The women themselves were there to celebrate, to elaborate on their portraits and to share their stories.
Mai, a 64-year old who has been a member of the Women’s Lunch Place for seven years, worked with BFA student Valeska Freire Marulanda to develop a video portrait that focuses on two essential elements of how she defines herself: Wompanoag rituals and knitting. Mai sells Native American goods–beads, jewelry and sweaters–in Downtown Crossing and at craft fairs, and spends a significant amount of time passing on her skills in beading, knitting and dancing to her 10 grandchildren. She’s especially proud of this project because “…we don’t talk about our backgrounds here, where we come from or what we’ve done. No one wants to pry, but everyone has a story.”
Darcy, a 77-year old Brazilian who has been at the Women’s Lunch Place for 18 months, is “…always dancing, dancing is like love, how life moves with movement and music.” Her pride in the project is based on working with Dual Degree student Danica Arimany to “translate her ideas visually so that she can give her message to everyone: the world can’t be unified without love.”
Addy is 59, and moved to Boston a few years ago. The Women’s Lunch Place was one of her first stops, and she’s been a member ever since. Addy worked with Studio Diploma student Arianna Quinn to develop her self-portrait, a series of black and white photographs. “I’m interested in photography myself, so I like seeing what Ariana has done. I spend a lot of time at the Boston Public Library and in Harvard Square; I like seeing myself there in these photos–they show who I am.”
These are a tiny snapshot of only a few of these remarkable women. They’re really best viewed in their entirety and with a visit to this extraordinary organization. Contact them to set up a visit–it’s worth the trip.