Weaving Women's Words Baltimore Stories
Agents of Change Innovation: Challenging Norms

Agents of Change
Carol Hamoy

56" x 5' x 5'
Photograph: Peter Goldberg

At the forefront of social change, this pivotal generation of Jewish women helped to transform the region and the nation by courageously confronting social inequity based on gender, race and class. They grew up in a world in which covenants restricted where Jews and African Americans could live, laws and practices discriminated against them, and social expectations limited women's roles and behavior. Through personal and communal advocacy, philanthropy, and professional work, these women have succeeded in challenging and changing the status quo. Whether on behalf of racial equality, health care, reproductive rights, or equal opportunity, these women paved the way toward a more just and equal society.

Artist's Statement
Carol Hamoy
New York, New York

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The thirteen women whose oral histories I read for this project made me think of Jacob's children, the leaders of the tribes of Israel—(I always include Dina in my count)—who number thirteen. That simple fact was the inspiration for my piece. The "dresses" are metaphors for woman. Each of the garments differs from the one at either side as each woman differs from her twelve colleagues. They are displayed in a circle, as it is one of the primary feminine symbols, and is often associated with a consecrated space. Each piece of clothing carries the woman's name, her birth date and a quote from the transcript of her oral history. Although each woman is distinguished from her "neighbor" by her singular accomplishments, the material used to create the work is all the same and its translucence gives the work an ethereal glow. The work has been suspended from above to represent the power and presence of these women so important to the Jewish community in Baltimore.

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