Consciousness created with “Silence of Women”
THE SANTA CLARA
October 31, 2013
Without speaking a word, Carol Turner delivers her impression of the historical suppression of women over 98 times through visual aids.
The “Silence of Women” art exhibit, sponsored by the Catala Club, is currently on display in the Archives and Special Collection Gallery on the third floor of the Harrington Learning Commons. Turner’s exhibit consists of 98 women’s faces of all nationalities and ages.
The faces are partially covered, symbolizing the loss of women’s voices, according to Jen Stirling, Associate Director of Development.
In addition, there are letters written by memorable women from the past voicing their own stories and giving advice to women of coming generations.
One notable piece in the exhibit is a plaster cast of a woman hiding under a cloak.
“It is striking when you first walk in because the sculpture is only of the cover and the model of the woman has been removed,” said Stirling. “It makes you think of how many women do not get to participate in society or public view and how many stories have been lost to the ages because women were not allowed to speak up.”
When the de Saisset Museum looked into bringing this exhibit to campus, there was a two-year waiting list for the booking. The Development Office coordinated with a friend of the university, Colleen Wilcox, and the Catala Club to provide the appropriate funding for the display of this exhibit.
The Catala Club is a women’s organization dedicated to “Service, Support and Spirituality.” Their main activities are directed toward providing financial scholarship aid to qualified undergraduate students.
The club supports educational programs and functions centered around academic goals and particularly welcomes women of all faiths — alumni, mothers and relatives of students or Jesuits, benefactors, faculty and any friends of the university.
The Catala Club hopes Turner’s art exhibit will promote arts at the university and engage others.
“I believe this exhibit is a great conversation starter and I hope it gets the Santa Clara community talking,” said Stirling. “It is well done and beautifully displayed in the library space.”
The exhibit encourages women to not only discover their voices, but be assertive. There is an interactive part of the exhibit that asks viewers to respond to the following question: “If you had a voice, what would you say?”
The exhibit is, thus, intended not only to bring visibility to the Catala Club and to share Turner’s artistic work, but also to engage the community.
It encourages students, faculty and staff to voice their opinions during the panel discussion, “The Silence of Women,” hosted by Women’s and Gender Studies on Jan. 22 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Contact Naushaba Khan at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.