"The Art of Being: Woman" — a temporary art exhibit from the Richland Library — is currently displaying works from female artists about the different personal experiences of being a woman.
The exhibition includes 11 local visual artists and seven local poets. The works are meant to show the feeling of being a woman, including love, struggle, pain and hope, according to the Richland Library website.
"As you walk through the exhibit, you'll see, we're gonna have different racial backgrounds, you'll see women of different abilities, you'll see different lived experiences," said Anika Thomas, community relations manager of the Richland Library.
The art is displayed in the lobby of the Richland Library. The collection features a range of mediums, including oil and acrylic paintings, ceramic sculpture, storytelling and poetry.
The exhibition is different because it's not only purely visual pieces of art, according to Thomas. She also said it is more like an experience because featured poems are printed on the boards, but portions of poems are also displayed on the walls.
The poems featured on the walls are the main ideas of the poems, according to Ashley Warthen, the arts coordinator of the Richland Library. One of the walls has a phrase about women in their different roles like daughter, mother or lover.
"I decided to do the vinyl lettering that kind of stood out," Warthen said. "I wanted you to be able to walk through, look at the pieces, read and then just keep going — just go back and forth between reading and observing the visual art too."
The exhibition highlights all 18 contributors' personal life experiences. It has local artists and poets from Columbia, as well as features artists from different places around the world, such as Spain, France and Colombia.
One of the contributors, Nakisa Abdollahbeigi, a graduate student at USC earning her M.F.A. in studio art, is presenting her work at the event.
Abdollahbeigi said she decided to be a part of this exhibition because she would like the people here can know more about Iranian or Iran society.
"I think this kind of exhibition is good because opens the conversation for the people," she said.
Her work in the exhibition features 19 pieces of round frames that form to become a complete work. Each frame contains different elements. Some are portraits and have rich colors, and others are architectural and geometric graphics.
Though the work looks colorful when people see it farther away, when the visitors get closer, different figures can be seen. The meaning of the work ties into the struggle of peoplefacing issues in society.
Abdollahbeigi said she used Iranian elements in her work. However, she said she believes women's issues are universal things, which she expects people of different races and religions to understand.
Labels by the art introduce the artists. The labels contain the thoughts of the artists, contact information and stories about the works. This allows visitors to learn more about the contributors through those labels, according to Thomas.
Warthen said she expects people who don't identify as female to learn about females through this exhibition. She also hopes females will walk away with a deeper understanding of themselves.
Richland Library is holding the event until April 15, 2022, and will have the closing reception for the event on April 8 at 6:30 pm.