Women’s History Month observed

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Through music, an exhibit featuring the work of two local female artists and student presentations, Lee College recently recognized Women’s History Month and celebrated the achievements and contributions that generations of women have made to the world.

Instructor Maria Garcia opened the Women’s History Month reception with an explanation of the month’s origins and an overview of important women’s rights issues, such as the salary gap between male and female workers. After a performance by musicians Nick and Amy Novak, who played songs written and popularized by female artists like Carole King, college students shared original poetry and research papers about the image of women and minorities in society and the fight for women’s suffrage.

Adorning the walls of the gallery as part of Women’s History Month is the work of Mari Omori and Camila Labarca Linaweaver, whose art focuses on similar themes of home, the sense of belonging that one searches for and the journey one takes to arrive at that place. The exhibit will be on display through Thursday, March 27.

Born and raised in Japan, Omori is an award-winning multimedia artist, art educator and curator. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree from UCLA and is currently a professor of art at Lone Star College-Kingwood. In addition to photos from a recent trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, and a series of paintings made with a natural red dye often used in the region, Omori’s work in the gallery includes an installation about mother-daughter relationships that features hundreds of cards written, drawn and submitted by people from around the country.

A native of Chile who immigrated to Baytown at age 7 and later graduated from Lee College, Linaweaver is a printmaker and painter. She recently earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Many of her wood-cut prints on display at the gallery reflect the power and beauty of nature. Her pieces depict a whale in the sea, crashing waves, the colors of the sunset, leaves, trees, flowers and other natural elements.