Celebrating Unique Identities with John Y. Wind’s “The Women”

Artist John Y. Wind’s exhibit The Women honors identity through exploring eclectic-style of portraits. Unlike traditional photography or painting portraits, Wind plays with sculpture, multimedia, and mixed materials allowing him to re-define the concept of portraits. 

“This project made me think about objects and how they represent our lives and vitality. They are portraits, but they are also time capsules and stories,” Wind said in a toast to the Women.  It’s not all about the surface of the subject, like how most portraits are displayed. Rather, Wind’s portraits evoke the memories we have, the possessions we hold, and the relationships we form that truly shape the people we become. 

The Women, a project Wind has worked on for about five years, portrays larger-than-life portraits representing special women in Wind’s life. Utilizing the women’s prized possessions — such as hiking boots, photographs, perfume bottles, jackets, books, and various knick-knacks — Wind shapes the women’s identities and personality through their very own artifacts and more. In addition to creating personality through objects, Wind installed his very own “Charm Bar” with the exhibit. Here, gallery visitors can design their own necklaces with charms for purchase. 

Various portraits in John Y. Wind’s “The Women” exhibit
Photographed by Erika Shevchek
Artist John Y. Wind with Designer Joan Shepp next to her portrait at “The Women” luncheon
Photographed by Erika Shevchek
Alongside the exhibit, the “Charm Bar” features individualized chains and charms to create one-of-a-kind necklaces
Photographed by Erika Shevchek
“Portrait of Barbara E.” by John Y. Wind
Photographed by Erika Shevchek

To kick off the exhibit, Wind hosted a luncheon in the InLiquid Gallery for the women whose portraits he has created. These close female friends and colleagues of his were able to witness their portraits face-to-face, which emitted their one-of-a-kind personalities and lead to smiles all around. The gathering served as a moment where the women were able to reflect and celebrate their own identities “through John’s prism,” said Anne Leith, one of the Women.  

“There are so many changes in our personal lives, our careers, and in the world around us,” Wind said. “The celebration here is to seize the moment. Embrace it. Embrace our lives and our love of fashion and objects. Our friendships. Our families. It all means we are alive.”

Celebrating the unique Women in Wind’s collection and celebrating our own multi-dimensional personalities, Wind captures the complexities and intricacies of self in his artwork. Come celebrate and explore the exhibit from November 14th, 2019 until December 14th, 2019.

Paula Mandel

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Lonnie Graham

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Colleen Keefe

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