Whimsical, wonderful womanhood

Dual-opening art exhibitions celebrate women


Islip Arts Council (IAC) has joined forces with Women Sharing Art Inc. (WSA) to host a special dual exhibition in the IAC gallery in honor of Women’s History Month. Both the IAC “What Was She Made For?” exhibit and WSA “Clothesline of Inspiration” exhibition simultaneously held their opening receptions on March 2 from 1 to 4 p.m.—an unforgettable success overflowing with creativity, whimsy, and inclusion.

The “What Was She Made For?” exhibition, on view from March 1 through the 29, is inspired by Billie Eilish’s song “What Was I Made For?” from the iconic “Barbie” movie. Eilish evokes feelings of confusion, existential dread, and the search for an answer. There is hope in the lyrics that someday she will discover her true purpose.

The female artists featured in the exhibition used their platform to contemplate these feelings through all forms of expression, including poetry, lyrics, and visual art.

Through writer and poet Selin Senol-Akin’s displayed poems, including “Yin and Yang,” “The Pain of Free Will,” “Lioness,” and “The Mother,” she articulates her experience as a single mother and the duality of women.

“I started writing mainly to cathartically express my emotions and challenges as a woman,” explained Senol-Akin. “I grew up juxtaposed between Western and Eastern cultures and was always feeling torn, and art in verbal written form made me feel much better. At this event, seeing all these women expressing their struggles and challenges through other forms of art is definitely inspirational.”

Oluwaseyi Awoyomi was among the other women whose art is displayed in the “What Was She Made For?” exhibit. Her showcased art, including paintings and beadwork, are part of her own self-empowerment series that depicts women’s bodies in vibrant colors, artistically expressing the many different facets of women.

“As a woman, I love the beautiful bodies we have, and I love to accentuate it as much as I can. Sometimes we do not celebrate what makes us unique, our different shapes and sizes, and we are fabulous as we are,” shared Awoyomi. “We play so many roles and we are such a big part of the community, whatever community we are in, and that is worth celebrating.”

While attendees crossed the corridor of the South Shore Mall to go to the WSA exhibition across the hall, the event went beyond the visual as the talented Island Hills Chorus performed an inspiring rendition of “The Climb.”

The multimedia “Clothesline of Inspiration” exhibit, curated and held by Women Sharing Art Inc., is on view from March 1 through the 30. The all-female nonprofit organization provides the support and avenues to their members to promote their artistic passions.

Drawing inspiration from the timeless tradition of women hanging clothes out to dry on clotheslines, WSA curated an art installation that pays homage to the rich tapestry of womanhood. Fabric art and textiles are strung on clotheslines throughout the gallery, allowing viewers to view both sides of the art as they stroll through the exhibition.

From portraits expressing family and love, to hanging textiles that explore the political landscape, to sculptures expressing femininity, the multimedia exhibition featured every media and facet of womanhood imaginable.

“I love that the diversity and difference of each of these women shines through their art,” shared Sue Miller, president of the nonprofit Women Sharing Art Inc. “Our mantra is that we share energy and explore artistic passions, and that is truly what the women have done here.” 

Like all who attended the dual opening, IAC staff member Lynda Moran was elated by the success of the event.

“The nicest part about today was the collaboration of all three groups,” shared Moran. “We had 59 artists in this exhibition, and there are 36 member artists of WSA, and many of them had multiple pieces on display. Then we had the women who were singing a capella about women’s civil rights and emancipation. It was a great collaboration of all of the arts at the same time.” 


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here