Date of Award
“Art can be fundamental to our collective understanding of who we are, what we believe, and how we relate to each other and our surroundings. Artists can weave the cultural fabric necessary for a sustainable, vibrant society.” (Surdna Foundation, 2016).
With this in mind, I’ve sought to create a project aimed at generating insight, compassion and critical dialogue around the common threads of body diversity. Through a practice of relationship building with individuals from diverse and marginalized intersections of society, I’ve begun adapting stories, shared by participants, about how they live and thrive (or not) in their bodies. Adaptations are in both visual art format (2D and 3D) and digital catching of the creative process. The stories are then released in video format on the project website www.beneathourskin.org. The catch and release format of this process is aimed at broadening audience impact to create change in how culturally we view and treat our own bodies and the bodies of others. I’ve also engaged in a reflective process around personal impact and assessment with participants to gauge impact and change over time. My intent is to continue this work, growing it to a sustainable program with the potential to impact change for participants within themselves, their relationships and their community. Through participation, contribution and reflections upon seeing their own stories through a new publicly shared lens participants will experience personal change, while their stories help lift perceptions of body diversity into a new light exposing where ongoing societal change is needed.
Matthew Kolan, Ph.D.
Kelly Clark/Keefe, Ph.D.
Miller, Jeanette, "Truth and Lives: Beneath Our Skin" (2017). Rubenstein School Leadership for Sustainability Project Publications. 2.