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100 Women, 100 Words Exhibit Provides Historical Snapshot of West Texas Women

ABILENE, Texas –100 Women, 100 Words is a mixed media exhibit featuring the art and words of West Texas women (artists and non-artists). This exhibit in honor of Women’s History Month brought together a group of West Texas women from all backgrounds and ages that probably would never have come together any other way.

100 Women, 100 Words was on display from March 5 through March 31 in the Ryan Fine Arts Building on McMurry University’s campus. Participants in the show included some well-known community leaders like State Representative Susan King, as well as area high school students, local professors, community leaders, military leaders, ministers, moms, nonprofit executives, artists and others.

100 Women, 100 Words started as an idea for a Women’s History Month exhibit at McMurry University, however; since its inception it grew into much more. Many women in the Abilene area were jumping at the chance to tell their story through their own words and art. The interesting thing is most of the participants were NOT formally trained artists or writers.

“We thought this project would be difficult to accomplish. We thought many women would say “no” to us when they looked at the 6”X 6” canvas and set of instructions we provided. We were wrong. Women, no matter what their background or training seem to be accepting our challenge to share their experiences with us – to tell their story,” said Dr. Christina Wilson, Dean of the School of Arts and Letters at McMurry. “What we will have is a unique historical snapshot of West Texas women’s stories about women and womanhood – a testament to Women’s History Month we were celebrating. “

However, this is not the entire story. “During our journey to identify and attract women to our project we uncovered much more than we expected. Women immediately began talking about their ideas for their project to us and to each other. Fifteen minute appointments with prospective participants turned into forty-five minute appointments. Women we did not know began asking us if we needed additional participants. Immediately we began to hear about these women’s lives,” said Dr. Wilson.