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Pop-up Positivity

Photo by Joe O'Neill

Photo by Joe O'Neill

Wheel and Chain wows campus with one-day photo exhibit

by Grace Fisher '15

Dickinson's academic quad recently was teeming with more energy than your typical Wednesday. Lining the pathways were black-and-white photos of 511 Dickinson women—representing students, faculty, staff and alumnae—holding a sign that had a word they felt described them. The range was wide: listener, dynamic, adventurous, caring, sassy, determined, silly, complicated, incorrigible. No matter what the descriptor, though, every woman was beaming with a powerful sense of pride.

It was all a product of Wheel and Chain’s pop-up photo exhibition, "More Than Meets the Eye." For the past several months, members of the women's honorary society have been set up in the Holland Union Building, asking every woman who walked by to participate. The project gained traction when women who were not members of Wheel and Chain took notice, felt empowered by the message and began spreading the word across campus.

The goal was, as Kayla Muirhead ’15 put it, “to bring to light ideas of body image, race, ethnicity, freedom, individuality, community, religion—everything that’s important in a nutshell. It highlighted individual beauty and the collective power of all women on campus ... If women go home tonight and talk to their friends about it, our mission was successful. Inspiration and connection promote conversation, and conversation opens doors.”

Susan Rose '77, Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology and director of the Community Studies Center, agreed. “This is breaking down stereotypes in such a positive and creative way," she said.

The photo exhibit originally was scheduled to be a one-day-only event, but campus response has been so welcoming that the exhibit is now in the Waidner-Spahr Library through April 17.

"We want to see women on campus succeed, prosper and live up to their amazing potential," said Muirhead. "Everyone deserves their moment to shine and feel a part of something bigger than themselves, and we want to give the women of Dickinson a chance to sparkle and connect.”

Check out the print feature on the “More than Meets the Eye” exhibit in the summer 2015 issue of Dickinson Magazine (Page 5).

2015 Wheel & Chain members: Brittany Barker, Kimberly Drexler, Alison Wittner, Sarah Rose, Joan Smedinghoff, Nikki Price, Makalea Branch, Wendy Gomez, Kayla Muirhead and Jamie Leidwinger.

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Published April 6, 2015