August 2013

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play in your free time Artists' Corner The womb of inspiration By Karin Wolf The uterus—it's a part of every woman's life but you've probably never seen it quite like this. With the goal of bringing more attention to female reproductive health, two well-known artists, Helen Klebesadel and Alison Gates, have launched their creatively conceived "Exquisite Uterus Project," which showcases visual art and ornamentation of this hidden area of the body that's often at the forefront of political and personal discussion. Klebesadel, a painter and director of the UW Women's Studies Consortium, and fiber artist Alison Gates, who chairs the UW-Green Bay art program and is faculty in the university's Women's and Gender Studies Program, invited professional and amateur artists to embellish a medical illustration of the female reproductive system that was printed on a square of plain cotton cloth. The results were impressive—almost 200 artists responded. An exhibition of the project has travelled all over Wisconsin, was shown at Women Made Gallery in Chicago, and this fall will be exhibited at UW-Milwaukee. A catalog of the work submitted for the project is also in the works. What inspired you to highlight the uterus? We thought we would ask women what they wanted to do with their own exquisite uteri since it seemed to be the topic of conversation and legislation everywhere we looked. What are some of your favorite reactions? Laughter, tears and a sense of empowerment. Once the artists were convinced they could do anything—anything at all—with that Helen Klebesadel (left) and Alison Gates By Susan Messer (above); Lorraine Torrence (right); Kathleen Buchanan (opposite top); Susan Li O'Connor (opposite below) uterus, they addressed a vast array of topics, from bluntly political to highly personal. Also, the reaction we get from men who see the show is priceless. Men are surprised (somehow) at how passionate and emotional women get about their uteri! Book Club: Boost your health by way of these body-conscious reads The Female Brain By Louann Brizendine Take the first step toward mindfulness by understanding how the female mind works in this science-y but readable exploration of the female brain's power, and how it affects our body and behavior. Published by Three Rivers Press, $15 58 BRAVA Magazine Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History By Florence Williams A journalistic odyssey across scientific fields reveals how the environment is harming breast health and what we can do to fix it. Published by W.W. Norton & Company, $26 August 2013 Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition By T. Colin Campbell Forget about trying another fad diet. Campbell's revealing book illustrates the science behind the research of why real, whole foods will revolutionize your health. Published by BenBella Books, $27

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