September 21, 2017
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Women of the World Visits Duchesne


With 174 works from 174 different locations, the Women of the World art exhibit visited Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Houston from November 2016 through January 2017. Sharon Karam, RSCJ, offered an inspirational talk at the reception celebrating the exhibit.


“This show is fantastic. It celebrates women and diversity and is a lovely expression of all of our Sacred Heart Goals,” said Fine Arts Department Chair Carol Szymanski. “I found myself reflecting on my own faith, recognizing the diversity of the world, having empathy for women who suffer daily, and a renewing an awareness that we are part of a greater community. The history behind this collection is fascinating. We are so fortunate to have this collection traveling through the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, and I am so grateful we experienced it with our community at Duchesne in Houston.”


Students at all levels, teachers, parents, and community members visited the exhibit and discussed the works, considering the question, “What image represents ‘woman?’” The art works were created in response to that question, and together depict a global image of the 21st century female.


“The educational and inspirational opportunities this exhibit offers broadens each student’s global perspective as we jointly celebrate the value of women and women artists internationally,” said Mrs. Szymanski.


“It is a powerfully moving exhibit. Some of the pieces made me cry,” said Upper School Counselor Kate Conlan.


Many of the Lower School students visited the exhibit during Art class. The collection inspired Middle School and Upper School discussions, projects, and further artwork. Eighth grade Art students, inspired by the Women of the World exhibit, created small format multimedia projects illustrating a Middle School girl in the world. Upper School Advanced French 3 students found a familiar queen they had studied in class depicted in the work from Syria. Upper School Speech students selected a piece to discuss in a speech presentation. All freshman World Geography classes visited the gallery to view, discuss, and meditate on the works.


“I took all the freshmen to see Women of the World exhibit. It was like a meditation. They viewed them all in the first round, then went back to the three that spoke to them immediately to view more closely. Their seriousness of purpose and reverence as they viewed alone and together was deeply moving for me. We came back to the classroom and shared reflections. Generated some deep thoughts and comments. A powerful experience for all,” said Elda Garcia-Ditta, Formation to Mission Director and Upper School Social Studies teacher.


"Each work of art, manifested with its own unique beauty and culture, accumulated together to form an atmosphere; it was the atmosphere that truly amazed me,” said freshman Avnika Dubey. “Surrounded by such beautiful creations, the artwork itself reflected an aura of inspiration and generated a feeling of women's power in the area. Through this experience, I have a gained a more close relationship internally with my femininity and feel extremely confident that the power of women can create extraordinary results."


Artist and world traveler Claudia DeMonte curated the Women of the World exhibit, describing the global collection of art as “…an expression of the human spirit at the beginning of the 21st century, from people whose voices have rarely been heard.”


The exhibit debuted at the International Women’s Museum in San Francisco and is currently touring the Network of Sacred Heart Schools. Prior to the visit to Duchesne in Houston, the following Network schools exhibited the collection:

Rosary, New Orleans, Louisiana (2008-10)

Stone Ridge, Bethesda, Maryland (2010-11)

Duchesne, Omaha, Nebraska (2011-13)

Stuart Country Day, Princeton, New Jersey (2013-14)

Sacred Heart, Greenwich, Connecticut (2014-15)






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The exhibit will travel back to New Orleans for an encore showing from 2017 to 2018.

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