Wednesday, February 09, 2005

“Superwomen” - NCAA Hall of Champions – Feb. 9, 2005 – 3 1/2 stars

Images of obvious female sports superstars like Jackie Joyner-Kersee, sit next to some obscure, though equally as exceptional, female sports figures in this empowering exhibit. Jodi Buren, the photographer behind this work, has had her images grace Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, and Time magazines. The collection of images in this traveling exhibition are all 30 by 40-inches and depict these athletes in such a way that their personalities hit you before the depiction of sport. Most striking is sprinter Aimee Mullins, a Paralympian and the first double below-the-knee amputee to compete on a Division I track team. What gets your attention first is that Aimee is a knockout blonde. She’s posing on her back leaning up on her elbows with her ponytail going down the length of her back –she’s tough, provocative, and she’s sexy. Her prosthetic lower limbs, a vocal point of her portrait, hardly seem unnatural. Boxer Kathy Collins’ portrait is of her face and a glove. Kathy’s survivor vulnerability and strength are the essence of the image. In every piece, colors pop with rich vividness. Women seen here, from US National Team Biathlon member Denise Whitton, who’s portrait consists of her face covered by her poised rifle with only her eyes visible, to the fluid and feminine image of six-time world record holder free diver Tanya Streeter, define beauty, perseverance and triumph in a way that makes you want to get to know their personal stories. This exhibit, like all NCAA exhibitions, is pristinely presented, approachable, and thorough. for more information about women in sports and about the accompanying book for this show. Through May 28, 2005; 317-916-HALL. - Mary Lee Pappas

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