By: Emily Vigil, Contributing Writer
Featured artwork by Hakema Ndanu
As part of the sweeping movement of feminism, WeArt is an organization on campus dedicated to helping women find their voices through art. It encourages its members to create, speak and share. The organization held an introductory meeting on Towson’s campus Feb. 27, to share how it empowers women who have experienced and seen modern inequality, giving them a platform to share their stories through poetry, paintings and pieces that testify for women everywhere.
Even though feminism is becoming a more widely-accepted movement, many women still feel powerless to speak out. WeArt’s mission, as described by treasurer Grayson Holmes, is all about providing a podium for people to comfortably use their voices.
“WeArt provides students here on campus, as well as people in the nearby community, with an outlet to express themselves in whatever form they choose,” Holmes said. “WeArt is so important, not only to empower women, but also to provide an outlet for those who don’t feel comfortable speaking out on their own.”
Jharana Chalise, WeArt’s president and founder, said the organization’s ongoing message is one of hope.
“Hope is something that everyone has,” Chalise said. “It is like a bright candle in darkness. We walk through the darkness to reach that light. The darkness is obstacles in our life and the light is hope that you need in order to survive in the darkness.”
Whether women feel comfortable speaking out, the members of WeArt believe that all women have at least a spark of hope. The organization is dedicated to bringing this spark into the open, where it can shine for all to see.
Twice a month, the group meets to share the art they have created and to brainstorm for ways they can better reach the women in the community.
The art featured in this organization ranges from poetry and spoken word pieces to photography, paintings and sketches. They have even written scripts for actors and created performances.
WeArt promotes art as a powerful way to express ideas, beliefs, pain and hope so that others can understand the artist’s emotion. It also serves as a positive form of escape.
Chalise emphasizes the importance of focusing on the present.
“Everyone has bad days and through this [meeting] I want people to reflect on all the stuff they have done in the past but to see where they are now. WeArt sends the message of not giving up and being hopeful for today.”