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JOURNAL beyond borders



The Frist Center

Nashville, Tennessee
March 6 – July 20, 2003

Chase Rynd, Executive Director
Mark Scala, Curator
Katie Welborn, Associate Curator
Dr. Pedro and Dr. Priscilla Garcia, Coordinators




“The works are extraordinary and provocative,” Frist Museum curator Marka Scala said. “Some art is a little bit difficult to connect with, but in this case, the connections are going to be so immediate. This exhibit gives us the opportunity to think about women and girls in Nashville and in a way broader international context.”


Dr. Priscilla Garcia and Dr. Pedro Garcia


The WBB exhibit was introduced to the Frist Museum by Dr. Priscilla Partridge Garcia, a psychologist and professor married to Metro schools Director Pedro Garcia. Dr. Pedro Garcia later introduced the Metro Schools to WBB. The exhibition drew a record 52,000 viewers, the largest turnout to an exhibition in the museum’s history. When asked about the exhibition, its founder Lorraine Serena said that “The collection has sparked the growth of a new community of artists and has become a virtual launchpad from which artists and viewers can progress together with a greater understanding of each other’s struggles and achievements. This community is invaluable because it provides a place in which their voices can be heard. Also, the women feel empowered by the worldwide reception of the art and by the local communities they form. The boxes not only evoke personal, emotional and thoughtful responses from their audiences, but they also convey the beliefs of the individual artists.”


WBB Artists with Lorraine Serena




The Frist Center for Visual Arts encouraged adjunct projects, including 1,000 teachers and students from the Nashville School District and other various groups. Workshops were held at the Renewal House and Magdalen House, recovery communities for women and their children who are suffering from alcohol, drug abuse, and prostitution. In addition, Nashville’s Rites of Passage, Hermanitas and Girls Scouts expressed their ideas and visions through personal boxes. Watkins College of Art and Design students joined in with their own creations and displaying them at the college gallery.


Metro Art coordinator Carol Crittenden said, “It’s the concept that is so great, having students be honorary women for the day. As much as anything, the thing I like for the young men, is the viewpoint for them to see it from the women’s perspectives. I’m very interested in all of our children seeing literally outside the box of what our lives and lives around the world are like.”


Elizabeth Mask – Ripened Fruit – Tennessee, 2003


Elizabeth Mask – Ripened Fruit – Tennessee, USA
“This world is a tree to which we cling– we, the half-ripe fruit upon it. The immature fruit clings tight to the branch because, not yet ripe, it’s unfit for the palace. When fruits become ripe, sweet, and juicy, then, biting their lips, they loosen their hold. When the mouth has been sweetened by felicity, the kingdom of the world loses its appeal. To be tightly attached to the world is immaturity; as long as you’re an embryo, blood-sipping is your interest.”

– Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi


A fascination with seeds, seed pods, fruit of both tree and vine accompanied my own struggle with fertility. What appeared to be fallow in my life gradually evolved into a period of regeneration and rebirth. At present, these familiar forms reflect the renewal of my work and symbolize the opaque and marvelous mystery of the human life. This box is lovingly dedicated to Mary Interlandi: May 20, 1983 – February 10, 2003


Lorraine Serena and WBB student participant




The Frist Center and the Girls Scouts of Cumberland Valley collaborated to extend the Women Beyond Borders exhibition to the Nashville community. Four Girl Scout troops were selected to participate in an outreach program related to the exhibition. Two of the troops, Vine Hill and Magness-Potter Community Centers, were from the Rites of Passage program that provides the Girl Scout experience to girls living in or near public housing developments. The other two troops, McMurray and Glencliff Middle Schools, were Hermanitas troops, in-school programs that match Hispanic girls with bi-lingual adult mentors.


The girls, aged 5 to 13, received identical, miniature wooden boxes (3.5” x 2” x 2”) like those given to the artists in the Women Beyond Borders exhibition. They explored issues relating to their lives, and their boxes were created as statements about themselves. Many girls used their box to tell of their family and cultural background, while others used their box to express things that they loved.


The Women Beyond Borders art project involved women artists around the world in a cross-cultural collaboration honoring creativity and building community through dialogue. The 57 girls from the Nashville Girl Scout troops continued this dialogue through the creation of their boxes.



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