Best Practices: adDRESSING women’s lives
The interview process, as well as the beautiful exhibition opening, was so meaningful. It was so interesting to see ladies just being honored for who they were. It seemed so unnatural to them to be put in the spotlight for THEIR OWN achievements instead of as being accessories of men, and it really gave them a chance to shine. -Michael, student at The Weber School
In 2002 humanities and Bible teacher Barbara Rosenblit and conceptual artist Sheila Miller, both members of the faculty at The Weber School in Atlanta, conceived of an innovative interdisciplinary project for high school juniors and seniors taking a seminar on the history of Jewish women in America.
Every year since then, each student in the class has interviewed a Jewish woman 75 or older, sometimes a family member, sometimes a total stranger. Rosenblit uses In Our Own Voices: A Guide to Conducting Life History Interviews with American Jewish Women, developed by the Jewish Women’s Archive, to help the students become oral historians.
Each student then works with Miller over a two month period to create a mixed-media work that reveals something important that they have learned about each woman’s character and life experiences.
This year’s adDRESSING women’s lives project is displayed in a public exhibition at The Weber School’s gallery. Each work is paired with a short biography of the woman and an artist’s statement. A slide show of 2009's exhibit is available on flickr.com. Read about one student's experience in a guest blog post by Ethan Grossman.
Read more about adDRESSING women's lives and watch a video of the 2008 project.