Celebrating the strength of women: ‘The Power of the Feminine’ show begins today at City Center Arts in downtown Muskegon; free public reception on Friday, March 13

A self portrait by Sri Soekarmoen McCarthy. Image courtesy of Sri Soekarmoen McCarthy

UPDATE, March 13: This show has been postponed until a later date due to concerns about the coronavirus. To see more information about the decision, please click here.

City Center Arts is celebrating the strength of women at its “The Power of the Feminine” show, which begins today, March 10, and the newly renamed art gallery in downtown Muskegon will hold a free public reception for the exhibit this Friday, March 13 from 6pm to 8pm.

This exhibit is about your sister, your mother, your friend, your partner, your wife, your colleague, your coach, your grandmother,” wrote Art Director for City Center Arts Laura Miller. “This show is about the matriarch in your life.”

To honor Women’s History Month, an international event commemorated every March, the show will emphasize the way women have shaped our community and world. Ten percent of the sales from this show will be donated to Every Woman’s Place, a Muskegon-based nonprofit that provides shelter, supportive services, counseling, advocacy, and more for victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

“Women are a strong international community that has shaped the world into what it is today,” Miller said in a statement announcing the show. “Women have and continue to be pioneers, entrepreneurs, queens, revolutionists, protectors, scientists, artists, trailblazers, rulers, supporters, nurturers, steadfast, survivors, healers, warriors, harmonizers, counselors, builders, doctors, teachers and have always been a presence to behold.”

The featured artist for the show is Sri Soekarmoen McCarthy, a Michigander who grew up in West Java, Indonesia. The public will have the chance to meet McCarthy, and other artists in the show, during the opening reception on March 13.

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McCarthy was one of the top 20 artists featured in the Holland Art in Bloom Tulip Time Festival art competition in 2019, and she won first place in the Grand Valley Artist/Holland Area Arts Council juried competition that same year. Currently, many of her works are featured in the City Center Arts and the Galleria at Washington Square in Holland.

Explaining the power of women in her own life, McCarthy said in her artist statement for the show that she “grew up in a village of wise, intelligent and independent women.”

“These ‘wonder women’ still surround and embrace my life,” McCarthy continued. “With determination they pave their own path. We all hear their voices thanks to their unflagging persistence. Together, they empower me to create and pursue my dream. They taught me how to make a world that is kinder, more nurturing, and loving. Every woman in that village is every woman’s mother, daughter, aunt, sister and niece. My own mother used to say, ‘So, you have a dream; what are you waiting for? Don’t forget to help your sister.’ This I believe.”

For the show, artists were encouraged to “think about more than the biological definition of feminine” when submitting their works, Miller explained.

Every woman is more than just a mother in her day-to-day life, just like every man is more than just a father when he becomes a father,” Miller wrote. “This show is about showing everything that women are doing, have done and will do.”

City Center Arts is located at 356 W. Western Ave. in downtown Muskegon. For more information, visit the gallery’s website by clicking here.

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