Art exhibition focuses on improving body positivity

LIMA – “Your body is an ever-changing, never-ending work of art. And it deserves a freaking art exhibit,” said Amanda Rose, photographer at Wild Rose Photography LLC in Lima.

His studio, in conjunction with the Greater Lima Arts Council, will do just that at a downtown Lima art exhibit called “Every Body” this Saturday.

The event was Rose’s idea and stemmed from a reaction to something she encountered at work.

“Some women have contacted me asking me to photograph them even though they are tall. Other photographers have said ‘no’ to them. decided to start photographing tall women and women with scars and disabilities for free.”

After doing a lot of them, Rose wanted to organize a body positivity-themed art exhibit. His first step was to contact Bart Mills, director of the Greater Lima Arts Council.

“What drew us to this idea was how important it is – and it always has been important – but the image again challenges art… Art is for pure aesthetics only, and it’s great. But at best, it serves to stimulate a conversation about important issues facing us as a society,” Mills said.

The Every Body art exhibit is not just about normalizing bodies, but about normalizing everything that makes a person unique: body type, gender identity, skin color, scars, wrinkles or disabilities, Rose said.

Mills said he hopes the event will spark conversations about “the different images of beauty…I think we’re at a really unique time in our society where people are really expressing how important it is that people feel good about themselves… no matter what body type [in terms of] color, size or capacity. [The show is] really part of a larger conversation about inclusion… Most of the artists who participated are already working in this area [where] it’s “a priority,” and we’ve had conversations with mental health service organizations and educational groups about wanting to come to the show.

There were two judges for the three main awards: Kristin Lee, Director of Magnet Programs for the City of Lima Schools, and Sally Windle, Executive Director of ArtSpace/Lima.

A fourth award, the “Mental Health Awareness” award, was sponsored by Lima, Northwest Ohio-based Therapy Works, owned by Heather A. Koontz, who served as a judge.

Out of 200 pieces submitted, 50 pieces by around 40 artists were selected on July 3 to be exhibited.

The winners will be revealed during the opening event on Saturday.

Rose – although she is not a judge for the event – said she had her own personal favorite in the exhibit. It’s a life-size 3D body emerging from a flat canvas: “The piece is just about what the show is about,” Rose said.

Beyond what’s in a museum, Rose said, “These are some of the best works of art I’ve ever seen.”

Rose specializes in portrait photography and a portfolio of her work is available online at She shoots indoors in her studio or travels to shoot on location. Only one wall of the event, which is added to the event with jury, will present his photographs.

The opening of the show will take place on Saturday July 23rd. There will be music by Wendy Chappell-Dick and a women’s choir. The cookies will be offered by Sara’s Sweets. The Greater Lima Arts Council will provide water, sodas, and alcoholic beverages (for which tips are appreciated).

In addition to the opening, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, the place will be open to the public to discover the Every Body exhibition on other “pop-up” days, with different activities scheduled for each date:

• 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 28, In2itions will be offering tarot readings for donations only.

• From 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 4, there will be performances at the Lima Land Poetry Slam Open Mic.

• From 4:00 to 8:00 pm, Thursday, August 11, the “Joni and Jazz” evening will feature Wendy Chappell-Dick, Jeffery Yoder and Dean Edwards.

The event itself is free and open to the public. There will be a selfie wall and all artwork will be for sale. One hundred percent of the art sale will go to the artists. Many exhibiting artists are expected to be present at the opening event.

A sculpture on display at 513 N. Main St. in Lima, awaiting the opening night of the Every Body Art Show, organized by the Greater Lima Arts Council and Wild Rose Photography.

Painters, sculptors and artists from other types of media submitted pieces representing all body types to the Every Body Art Show held in downtown Lima.

Contact Shannon Bohle at 567-242-0399, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Bohle_LimaNews.