Photo exhibits are nothing new to New York City. It seems every day a photographer or artist is showing off new work at galleries and museums across the city but with Raw Beauty NYC the focus of the work is quite different from most projects.
Formed from a partnership with mobileWOMEN.org and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Raw Beauty NYC is attempting to improve access, education and outreach to women with disabilities.
According to the Raw Beauty web site, this innovative visual arts project is designed to inspire the public to create new perceptions, transform stereotypes and breakthrough personal obstacles by expanding awareness of women with physical challenges. The project kicked off on September 20th with a special showing at Chelsea’s ACA Galleries.
The exhibit is a collaboration between photographers and twenty women living with disabilities that showcases their beauty, empowerment and sensuality. According to the exhibitors, getting the public to see women in wheelchairs as sensuous and sexy is a real challenge and photographers and models who worked on the project agreed that the subject made many viewers uncomfortable at first. But Shelly Baer and Vanessa Silberman, the pioneers behind the project, were determined to change people’s perceptions through their photographs.
Funds raised by the exhibit will support the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The first Raw Beauty exhibit actually took place in Miami in 2006 and organizers hope that they can bring the exhibit to rehab centers around the country. HDS MEDALLION® thinks it would be beneficial to also exhibit at galleries in other major cities in addition to rehab centers.