evolves from my desire to bring awareness through painted portraits of influential women from around the world. The blog is intended to share their contribution to humankind and inspire or motivate society
towards an improved quality of life. To view the project's progress: globalwomenproject.com
Held in the Dolomites of northern Italy, Biennale Arte Dolomiti is the first biennale situated at such an astounding height, 2116 meters above sea level. Through the wide array of art-media employed including painting, photography, prints, installation, video projection, dance, performance, music and architecture, Biennale Arte Dolomiti is a celebration of artistic and creative ideas, where 39 internationally renowned artists from 19 countries explore the themes of freedom, love and compassion juxtaposed against violence, annihilation and conflict. The various art-media used gives texture and dimension to this dynamic exchange.
The choice of the Ex Caserma Monte Rite as the event site was a conscious choice made by the cultural association Biennale Arte Dolomiti. Promptly situated in the Dolomites, an official UNESCO Heritage site, the Ex Caserma has gone from being a military barrack in both world wars to the site for cultural gatherings. Its serene appearance does not give away its yesteryears of bloodshed and turmoil during the war in the Dolomites; rather, what remains is a peaceful emblem of humanity and overcoming of hostilities.
For Biennale Arte Dolomiti, the Ex Caserma is symbolic. Set against the great Dolomites, it urges us to move away from hostility and conflicts stemming from the artificiality of a global society and instead, to consider the sanctity of nature reflected by this breathtaking location.
In this sequestered location away from the bustling cosmopolitan cities of the world, where peoples have once diverged in culture and ideology resulting in pandemonium, Biennale Arte Dolomiti demonstrates how art today can serve to unite a diverse range of perspectives and ideas from all over the world.
Featuring a foreword and statement by art historian Gabriella Daris and Curator Peter Frank. This book is the culmination of the 10-year “Global Women Project” debuting at Biennale Arte Dolomiti May 29-Oct.2,2016
The book is a series of portraits of women around the world who are influential in their respective areas of the globe, all who have worked to improve their social, political and physical environments across all borders as well as to the deep sea and out into the stratosphere. Metaphorically, the book of the project on exhibit in the Dolomites represents reaching great heights at this juncture.The purpose in doing this as an art project is to offer inspiration and hope to multitudes of women throughout the world, through an array of art mediums including this published work and ACCOMPANYING VIDEO:
Global Women Project: Nadine, Saudi Arabia 82 x 82 inches Multimedia
On December 12th of this year a landmark event occurred in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Elections were held and for the first time in the country’s history, women not only voted, they were on the ballot, and 18 women won! This remarkable moment in history results from the very brave efforts of those who have spoken up for women’s equality. The highly spirited and passionate journalist, Nadine Al-Bedair, has been such an advocate throughout her journalistic career, despite hate mail and the like. Her portrait for the Global Women Project is now complete and in celebration of this earth rocking change in her native land we proudly present the portrait here. The image of Nadine, beautifully dressed in black lace stimulates conversation about women being covered, and lace is used as a metaphor in the portrait to open those questions.
Nadine grew up in the conservative Arab kingdom. She had one father, two mothers, and 15 siblings. Why two mothers? Well, in Islam men can have as many as four spouses at a time. Nadine’s tireless effort for women’s right to drive and other equality issues has stimulated debate that focuses on women’s rights. In an interview she said, “Muslim women have tried before to point out the inequalities in the polygamous marriage system, but nobody listened. I had to scream to start a debate.” Her scream took the form of an article in an Egyptian newspaper that challenged the issue of polygamy. In reality, Al-Bedair, who for years hosted a women’s-rights TV show called “Equality”, doesn’t think multiple spouses are such a great idea. For daring to question the supposedly God-given status quo, she has been subject to much adversity and fury from traditional quarters. Noting that she has also received hundreds of letters of support she said, “I’ve got people talking, and I’m proud of that.”
And so, congratulations to you Nadine, to the others fighting this good fight, to the women and to the men of Saudi Arabia. This first step towards equality was hard won, but it signals major progress for the region.
It’s been a busy and exciting year following the exhibition last summer of our project in progress at ICASTICA: the first European International Women’s Art Biennale in Arezzo, Italy. ICASTICA was held simultaneously with the 2013 Venice Biennale. Two pieces from the Global Women Project are now part of the civic collection of the City of Arezzo shown at their Museum of Contemporary Art.
The Global Women Project is an evolving cycle of multi‑media portraits chronicling influential women from around the world and their commitment to social, political, and environmental change. I recently completed one more painting in my Global Women Project Series: Rossana that joins Soula Saad’s completed portrait.
Rossana Castrellon is Panama’s former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, an international trade and market management attorney (ex: Harvard Law), and an advocate for free K-12 private education throughout her country. She embodies femininity with her sensual, vibrant, and compassionate heart and exudes strength and determination having raised a special needs child as a single mother. She remains a positive force in her county as an innovative leader on education and an example of the grace and balance required to maintain harmony between home and work.
Soula Saad is a Beirut-based independent documentary filmmaker and recipient of the 2010 Women’s International Film & Television Showcase Foundation Best Documentary Film Award. She is currently working on a film about female artists, writers, and musicians around the world called Femininetude.
My portrait of Nadine Al Bedair, media personality and human rights activist in the Middle East is nearing completion and the portrait of Sylvia Earle, oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, is currently in progress. An upcoming interview with Sally Ride Science will soon take place on our sixth portrait subject, American astronaut Sally Ride.
I would like to thank our numerous collaborators and sponsors for their contributions and support. For a complete list of our collaborators see our link at the top of the page.
LIMITED EDITION PRINTS at Saatchi Art
To sustain continued efforts in bringing this project to fruition and garnering further exposure for our subjects find Global Women Project limited edition prints at Saatchi Art. Please visit, share, pin it, like, favorite, and follow us at: http://www.saatchiart.com/Globalwomenproject
** F R E E S H I P P I N G..for a limited time only **
ICASTICA, the film, is now available for viewing on IMDB. No password is necessary.
The video screen has the standard controls so the viewer can select full screen mode. There is also a quality tab that comes in view (upper right of video screen) when placing the cursor over the video screen. There are 3 choices: Standard, 480P, and 720P HD. With our connection speed with wireless the 480P setting delivers a nice full screen image without any issues.
Global Women Project featured in Installation Magazine, Part 1 and Part 2
ICASTICA 1, THE 2013 PROJECT
PART ONE. Peter Frank’s insight into ICASTICA’s inaugural exhibition, Glocal Women. A cultural resurgence of the old Tuscan city (“local”) and the multicultural amalgam of women in art from around the world (“global”). Next week Peter explores the works of Jennifer White Kuri the artist behind Global Women Project, a work in progress of painted portraitures of influential women. Read More…
GLOBAL WOMEN PROJECT: PORTRAITS OF CHANGE, WOMEN MAKING A DIFFERENCE
PART TWO. Peter Frank, curator of the Global Women Project, shares his insight with Installation on the project and its founding artist, California-based Jennifer White Kuri. The Global Women Project is a work in progress of painted portraitures of influential women. Once complete it will be shown in its entirety, paintings and related materials, in coordination with the Biennale de Venezia. Read More…
Here we are to share what’s happened over summer 2012 and the current status of our portrait subjects and GWP team members.
1. Nadine’s portrait is well underway. 2. A continuation of the artist’s process of thinking in relation to world events and the project’s progression. 3. Rossana’s preliminary digital sketch has been finalized between Rossana and Jennifer; work on her painting has begun. 4. Off the coast of Key Largo, FL 60 feet beneath the ocean surface Sylvia sits with Fabien Cousteau in an underwater cafe in the Aquarius Reef Base discussing the need for ongoing funding for this underwater sea floor habitat. 5. A beautiful, hand designed, bejeweled bouquet from the recent wedding of one our GWP collaborating artists, Maece.
Nivia Rossana Castrellon is the 3rd portrait subject in the Global Women Project. She is the former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama, the President of Union Nacional de Centros Educativos Particulares (National Association of Private Schools), and an international trade and market management attorney (ex: Harvard Law). Read more… Portrait Subject – Panama: Rossana Castrellon
Photographs from the Global Women Project: The Story So Far exhibit held in Los Angeles September 10, 2011.
This is the second multi-media exhibit in an evolving cycle of portraits chronicling thirteen influential women from around the globe who are working to change their social, political and physical environments for the better. Artwork featuring Global Women Project’s (GWP) recent subjects, Nadine Al Bedair and Dr. Sylvia Earle, were introduced. The final digital sketch of Rossana Castrellon will be realized this winter. Read more… The Story So Far
Jennifer first became fascinated with oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, our next portrait subject in the Global Women Project, when she heard about her work in the Sargasso Sea (a sea without shores). Sylvia is trying to save the oceans and is focusing on one simple idea: protecting them. She has established a global network of marine-protected areas called ‘Hope Spots,’ “to save and restore…the blue heart of the planet.” The Sargasso Sea is much more than a starter kit for new coral reefs; “it could provide a road map for creating more protection elsewhere.” Read more… Her Deepness
Celia Tejada has been a friend for many years and advisor to the Global Women Project. Her Spanish flair is captured here by Pottery Barn and again in Sunset Magazine (on the right) celebrating her joy for life influenced by her native Spain.
Jennifer is attending the 2010 Women’s Conference hosted and created by First Lady of California, Maria Shriver. Shriver has announced “A Women’s Nation,” as a new project that will look at “the status of America women.” She also produced “American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver,” about her father who has Alzheimer’s Disease.
Jennifer will be attending two more intimate sessions with former First Lady Laura Bush and Deepak Chopra. Laura Bush has made advancement in the areas of education and literacy by establishing the semi-annual National Book Festival in 2001 and encouraged education on a worldwide scale. She also has advanced women’s causes with The Heart Truth campaign and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Chopra is a renowned author for mind and body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, peace, and leadership. He founded the Chopra Center for well being. First Lady Michele Obama due to her recently scheduled trip to California will now be attending as a guest speaker as well.
The five outstanding women that will be winning the Minerva Award this year are Oprah Winfrey, Sandra Day O’Connor, Carolyn Blashek, Oral Lee Brown, and Sister Terry Dodge. The guest performer will be Mary J. Blige and Sarah McLaughlin. The word Minerva’s root meaning is taken from a roman goddess of “poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic and music.” The goddess’s powerful figure makes her an appropriate representative award for these women who have had a profound global influence.
Oprah Winfrey’s lifelong dedication to the education of women, programs for women afflicted with AIDS in Africa and economic prosperity has put her at the forefront of a global outcry for change. Information about Oprah can be found on her website. Sandra Day O’Connor is an advocate for research on Alzheimer’s, independent judiciary and a robust constitutional democracy. Her website icivics.org is dedicated to educating students about civics and “inspire them to be active participants in our democracy.”
Carolyn Blashek’s, Operation Gratitude, is the largest support organization for US soldiers to receive care packages overseas. Oral Lee Brown adopted an entire first grade class at Brookfield Elementary in a struggling area of Mississippi Delta. Brown adopts 20 to 25 children in the Oakland school system to help them succeed educationally every year. The Oral Lee Brown Foundation provides educational assistance and scholarships for children. Sister Terry Dodge is the executive director of Crossroads Inc. an organization that gives women released from prison housing, education, career and counseling so that they can transition back into the world.
Each of these women have had a powerful hand in repairing families, and making a success of youths whose environments put them at a disadvantage. We look forward to honoring them at the Women’s Conference with a global voice.
You will be able to link directly to the conference to watch live on Tuesday Oct. 26 8AM-7AM at www.womensconference.org
Jennifer White Kuri is currently working on an evolving cycle of portraits of thirteen women, collectively titled the “Global Women” project. The subjects of the paintings are influential in their respective regions and professions. “Global Women” is a social as well as aesthetic undertaking that will portray these women with the objects and images that define their personalities and their professional and spiritual purposes while including references to the cultures that have nurtured them and in which they now operate.
Jennifer has designed “Global Women” as a ten-year project. The first display of her work on the sequence since she began her research three years ago will take place at the end of this month, October 2010, in the new arts neighborhood that has sprung up in the industrial area where the east side of Culver City abuts central Los Angeles. Jennifer’s friend, actor-sculptor Daniel Stern, is lending his space to help launch the public face of the project. On view will be the first of Jennifer’s large kraft-paper notations, painted studies and partially completed paintings, and, festooned with pertinent material, the stepladder that allows the 5′ 3″ artist access to the upper reaches of her expansive paintings and drawings.
As well, the exhibition, “The Global Women Project: First Portrayals,” will feature videotaped interviews with the three women documented here, Soula Saad of Lebanon, Rossana Castrellon of Panama, and Nadine al Bedair of Saudi Arabia. Also screening will be footage from Soula Saad’s Beirut Rising, her documentary about Lebanon’s youth peace movement, and footage from work in progress (including Women World Vision and Voices). During the exhibit a Skype connection to Soula will allow Jennifer to conduct a live interview.
The “Global Women” project will culminate in an exhibition of all Jennifer’s work — research material, studies, and finished paintings — in Venice, Italy, in the summer of 2017, in cooperation with the Biennale de Venezia.
Women from the city of West Hollywood recently celebrated “We’ve come a long way…maybe” Women’s Equality Day commemorating the the 90th anniversary of the US Women winning the right to vote in 1920. Betsy Johnson, member of the National Women’s Political Caucus, recently sent us this reminder…
Photographs from the Records of the National Woman’s Party
“This is a story of our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers. Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote. The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote. Woodrow Wilson and his cronies tried to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. The doctor refused. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn’t make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: ‘Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.’ ”
And so the Global Women Project looks at how things stand with the issue around the world…we are still waiting for full voting rights in several countries.
Nadine is one of the first subjects of the Global Women Project painting series. She is the host of a popular TV show in the Middle East titled “Musawat” (“Equality”). She also works on women’s issues with journalists and politicians throughout the Middle East, Europe and the USA. These women are actively trying to change conditions around the world.
Nadine is passionate about her cultural heritage in many aspects. One that she shared during our interview was a cup of Arab coffee. Its unique Arabian flavor was paired with dates, cardamom, saffron, and clove. She labored over the coffee ritual in a process that was both artistic and beautiful. It was the best coffee I had ever tasted.
A few years back Nadine talked publicly about the need for change and that we don’t have the time to change slowly. In a world with the internet and technology moving at such a fast pace, those thoughts of rapid change remain ever present today.
The modern world has been tough on these deep tribal roots and women have evolved. Regarding the Saudi culture Rashi Hifzi points out, “Women aren’t allowed to be in a room alone with a man who isn’t their father, husband, or brother. Women are not allowed to drive…Still, only about one in twenty Saudi women work outside the home.”
On a positive note she continued, “Saudi women own nearly 70 percent of bank accounts and 20 percent of private companies in the kingdom. We’re working to lobby for women to participate in the elections…to have more seats in the municipality, to present women issues, to present family issues.”
Happy Mother’s Day! The above painting came about after a Mother’s Day champagne brunch with my family. Returning to our home everyone retired for a nap. Still dressed up and nowhere else to go I began this self-portrait. Read more… For Our Mothers
Celia has been an art collector and fan supporting the Global Women Project from inception. She is a woman with international roots and travels globally. Her heart is in everything she does and she is always sharing her joy of life. Read more… Salutation for Spring
The traditional heart symbol is somewhat of a mystery and it’s precise origin is a topic of controversy. We are collecting naturally occurring heart observations around the world in an effort to see and feel deeper. Read more… I SEE HEARTS
I’m in Miami for Art Basel this week taking in as Karen Rosenberg from the New York Times put “the cornucopia of art, hedonism…” and just be a sponge. Feel like I have seen 1/1000th or 1/1Mth. Every sense is triggered and having soo much fun. I love Miami and have lived in Miami Beach a few times before in my life. When I was little and again later with my daughter. Read more… Art Basel Miami Beach
Having started the Global Women Project in 2007 I became aware of what Maria Shriver was doing in Long Beach California with The Women’s Conferencethat she founded. I was stunned last night when I attended the awards to see the exponential and magnificent growth.