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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

The Century Project exhibit on display at URI, March 5 through 9

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Photographs, statements of women span nearly 100 years


KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 21, 2007 -- The Century Project, an exhibit of photographs by Frank Cordelle, will be displayed March 5 through March 9 at the University of Rhode Island, Memorial Union, Atrium 2, 50 Lower College Road, Kingston. The exhibit, free and open to the public, is presented by URI’s Body Image Acceptance Committee, an ad hoc group of students and staff. The exhibit will be open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday; from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; and from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.

The Century Project addresses important issues, including the pressure on women to conform to a very thin and unrealistic body type, and the frequent tendency in our society to view women solely in terms of their sexuality. The Century Project addresses these issues in a somewhat unusual way – the photographer has taken pictures of nude females of a wide range of ages, races, and body types; some have disabilities and others do not. The photographs are accompanied by comments, mostly written by the women themselves, about their feelings about their bodies.

Cordelle will serve as an artist-in-residence and participate in four public discussions during the week. His newly released book, Bodies and Souls: The Century Project, will be featured in the March issue of O, the Oprah Magazine. It is the lead-in to its book section, a review of new titles of interest to its readers, and will include four photos from the Project.

The Century Project has been shown at 35 colleges across the country. This spring Cordelle will be exhibiting at Colgate, Syracuse Universities and the University of Wyoming. Descriptions of project indicate that the exhibit invites and stimulates thought and discussion.

Women’s bodies undergo radical changes over the course of their lives: from puberty, often to pregnancy, child bearing, nursing, and menopause. The artist’s website states: “Yet on the whole we fail to appreciate these immense and profound shifts in women’s biology and rather scrutinize her every body part in pursuit of an impossible ideal based purely on aesthetics.”

Discussions with the artist, all open to the public, will be held on the following dates and times:

• Tuesday, March 6 at noon in Atrium 1, Memorial Union. Lunch provided.
• Wednesday, March 7 at noon in Atrium 1, Memorial Union. Brown Bag lunch.
• Wednesday, March 7 at 7: 30 p.m., panel discussion. ** Gallery, Memorial Union.
• Thursday, March 8 at 5 p.m. in Atrium 1, Memorial Union

**The March 7 panel discussion at 7:30 p.m. will be held in the Memorial Union Gallery, located near the lounge area on the first floor. It is sponsored by URI Hillel, the R.I. Chapter of Hadassah, and the URI Chaplains Association. In addition to Cordelle, panel members are Lawrence Grebstein, recently retired URI professor of psychology; The Rev. Jennifer Phillips, rector of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church and chair of the URI Chaplains Association; and Peri Stark, pharmacy student and member of the Body Image Acceptance Committee. URI Hillel Director Amy Olson will moderate.
Some URI courses have incorporated the exhibit into their classroom work.

Event sponsors are the URI Division of Student Affairs, Student Life, Women’s Center, Counseling Center, Violence Prevention Program, Health Services, Disability Services, Multicultural Center, Housing and Residential Life, Dining Services, URI GLBT Center, President’s Commission on the Status of Women, Hillel, URI Chaplains Association, Speakeasy, Student Entertainment Committee, PAGE, R.I.Chapter of Hadassah, and URI Alumni Association. For more information: visit www.thecenturyproject.com or call 874-9478.