Charleston Artist Creates Project to Empower Women

Press Release

Fer Caggiano, an internationally-recognized local artist with a passion for empowering girls and women, has created striking portraits and landscapes that not only capture beauty, but her paintings also serve a higher purpose: helping girls and women reach their highest potential. Fer's Like A Girl: Dare To Dream project will showcase 40+ successful diverse women, and part of the proceeds (from the exhibition, opening event, art book, sales of artwork, and other activities) will be donated directly to area nonprofits that serve girls and women.

Project Description and Purpose

“Act Like a Girl”

Girls and women often continue to struggle to be respected in a male-dominated world. To act “like a girl” typically has meant to be passive, weak, silly, dumb, and other negative connotations. But girls and women must dare to dream - to be leaders, to be strong in mind, body, and spirit – so that “like a girl” will instead mean powerful and highly effective.

Fer Caggiano, an internationally recognized artist living in Charleston, SC, has a mission: To encourage and empower all girls and women to reach their highest potential. To help fulfill that mission, she is creating a bold project called “Like A Girl: Dare To Dream”.

Education Through Art

Fer’s primary objective is to bring awareness to this timely and critical issue in order to stimulate discussion and ultimately change attitudes and actions. Through portraits of diverse fascinating women, each with inspiring stories, girls and other women will see on canvas their potential: they can be strong, smart, and beautiful, and ready to make their mark on the world. Just as important, men and boys will be educated about girls’/women’s abilities across all fields, including technology, construction, business, and science.

The project consists of 40 to 50 portraits, each a 30"x 40” oil painting that will be exhibited at a Charleston area gallery (venue and date to be determined). It also will include an art book comprised of all the paintings along with individual biographical stories of the women.  The show’s opening event will include presentations from some of these inspiring women, and will offer the public the opportunity to meet the portrait subjects in person.

Donations to Organizations that Support Girls/Women

In addition to bringing awareness and encouraging ongoing dialogue, “Like A Girl: Dare To Dream” will directly empower girls and women. A portion of the proceeds from the project will be donated to organizations that support women/girls in reaching their maximum potential, thus greatly extending the project’s impact.

The Powerful Voice of Art

This important project honors the influential voice of art in shining a light on vitally important issues. The portraits certainly will have broad appeal as works of beauty, with original designs that highlight and bring to life the women’s extraordinary accomplishments. However, the striking portraits simultaneously will touch the minds and hearts of audiences of all ages, genders, races, socioeconomic status, and locales. “Like A Girl” will lead people to consider questions such as: Can females really be anything they want to be?  Despite positive strides in the past few decades, what hindrances does society impose on them? What obstacles might they encounter that men/boys do not? How can we ensure that future generations of women can become leaders in any field?

Through this artwork bringing attention to women who have excelled, other women and especially young girls will have dynamic role models that they can aspire to follow. The paintings, live and forever memorialized in the book, will enlighten all who view them.

The remarkable women currently included in “Like a Girl: Dare To Dream” are listed below. These women prove that women can, and will, achieve greatness … “like a girl”.

Fer Caggiano:  Artist’s Statement

I have been described as “creative and compassionate, as colorful and compelling” as my paintings, and my work has been showcased worldwide. “Like A Girl: Dare To Dream” is a project born from my passion to do more than capture beauty in my work; these portraits serve a higher purpose of bringing awareness to a vital issue, and by doing so, they help to create a more equitable world for all.

My early life in Brazil was driven by two strong desires: creating art and protecting the world. As an adult, I came to realize that my art can shine a light on matters that deserve attention. A four-year spiritual journey redirected and grounded me with a new purpose of serving humanity rather than gaining fame. I now consistently use art as a voice and vehicle for change as well as a means of bringing joy to others. I am restless with a sense of indignation at injustices in the world, and thus my work supports philanthropic efforts such as protecting the environment through reforestation. And it is how the project “Like A Girl: Dare to Dream” came to life. Thinking, feeling and acting “like a girl” should mean that one is strong and intelligent and able to achieve greatness.  My art can enlighten others to the need to empower girls and women to reach their full potential; it can inspire them to act toward positive change.

Art is all about creating a shift in someone’s mind. If a person is uneasy, art can bring peace. If someone feels stagnant, art can make him/her move. The “Like A Girl” exhibition and book will create movement in audience’s hearts and minds; it will engage men, women and children in dialogue about the present and future roles of girls and women. It also will directly support efforts to empower girls/women through donations to relevant organizations.  People’s lives will be enriched by viewing these dramatic paintings and at the same time, they will gain satisfaction from knowing that they are improving our world.

For more information, visit fercaggiano.com

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