A powerful exhibit of portraits and writing
celebrating the individual strength and beauty of spirit in a diverse group of women.
Resilience is defined as “the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful after something bad happens.” Our culture has become increasingly interested in why some people appear more resilient than others. The research that shows that although there are protective factors which foster resilience, we all have the ability to build more resilience in each of our lives. These stories teach us what helped these women.
This display is a 20-year follow-up to a photo and literary exhibition from the mid-1990s entitled RESILIENT SOULS: Young Women’s Portraits and Words. At that time, I had the honor of working with young women from various backgrounds who had overcome personal challenges in their lives. They were brave and generous by writing and sharing their stories as we worked together to create beautiful portraits to represent their perseverance in the hope of encouraging others. The original exhibit explored issues such as disabilities, unhealthy relationships, illness, adoption, pregnancy, immigration, eating disorders, school problems, violence and grief. Two decades later, we revisit these women’s continued journeys, including their low points, their triumphs and their growth, as they approach middle age.
This project provided participants an opportunity for personal development through writing and storytelling to reflect upon their histories. The photographs of their external selves provide concrete symbols which represent their inner power.
We are all faced with difficulties in this life. These women inspire us to consider our resilience while finding beauty and meaning in our own imperfect lives. ~ Cathy Lander-Goldberg
View the brief video: Resilient Souls video on HEC-TV
For information on bringing The Resilient Souls Project to your community, contact ResilientSoulsProject@gmail.com
When we met in 1995, she was training for the Paralympics and on a quest to break stereotypes of people with disabilities. Sandy’s leg had been amputated at age 4 due to a proximal femoral focal deficiency.
Sandy is now a two time Paralympic bronze medalist in skiing. When we met again in May 2015, she was training to hike a volcano in Ecuador with a team of amputees to raise awareness for people with disabilities.
THE RESILIENT SOULS PROJECT: 2017, Morton J. May Gallery, Maryville University RESILIENT SOULS: Young Women’s Portraits and Words: 2002, Dougherty Arts Center, Austin, Texas For more information, see:
1998, Harold Washington Library, Chicago, IL
1996, Webster University, Webster Groves, MO
1996, The Center of Contemporary Arts, University City, MO
THE RESILIENT SOULS PROJECT:
2017, Morton J. May Gallery, Maryville University
RESILIENT SOULS: Young Women’s Portraits and Words:
2002, Dougherty Arts Center, Austin, Texas
For more information, see: