Our art workshops, consisting of eight 1.5 hour-long sessions, are provided 2 to 3 times a year by utilizing various mixed media, methods (drawing, painting, collage, and fabric art), and critical feminist pedagogy. Because local shelters are transitional homes for women (and their children) from periods of a few months to years, WWBI art workshops aim to create a space for them to express and work through their feelings and memories that often engage with drug abuse, violence, incarceration while gaining a sense of agency and community. Their unique artworks reveal the hidden layers of who they are and embodied a common strength behind these workshops: a sense of self and subjectivity-in-transition.
Among minorities, women have especially been targeted by various forms of violence. For those whose emotionally, psychologically, and physically violent upbringing and/or experiences influenced their negative perception of themselves, others, and society, WWBI has provided a series of art workshops for women in multiples sites: In fall 2019, the workshop was provided to women aged 20-60 at Killingsworth, a local shelter located in Columbia. In spring 2020, several female sexual violence survivors on UofSC campus aged 20-30 participated the workshops. In fall 2020, the workshop is scheduled for residence of the Hanna House, a Columbia-based shelter for women and their children.
Hyunji Kwon is an Assistant Professor of Art Education and Women’s and Gender Studies Department Affiliate at USC. She designs and facilitates art workshops and curates the exhibition of participants' artworks with the help of WWBI graduate students.