On Thursday, Feb. 1, the Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN) launched their new art exhibit Seen and Heard at Tapp’s Arts Center in Columbia, S.C.

The exhibit boasts 80 pieces by local female artists, capturing the highs and lows of being a woman in the Midlands community. On Thursday night, it also boasted a large crowd as people came to see the artwork, meet the artists themselves, and get to hear select artists answer questions during a panel.

“I think it’s wonderful to see the works of my friends and colleagues here. It’s amazing that so many people have come here tonight to see this,” Jyothi Hedge, an artist for the event, said.

One of Hedge’s pieces was a photo of her daughter with her collection of bangle bracelets. “I tried to capture what it’s like for my daughters to be born and raised here in America, but still try to embrace their Indian heritage and culture,” Hedge said.

The panel that was held during the event gave some of the artists the chance to open up a dialogue on the challenges women face every day and how they hope “Seen and Heard” will help raise awareness of these issues. The artists that spoke were of varying ages and races, and all were grateful for the opportunity this exhibit presents to address the issues all women face in their everyday lives.

It was clear that this exhibit struck a chord with many of those who attended the opening night. The gallery was packed with people from various walks of life that wanted to see the artwork as well as see the artists speak.

“I appreciate anyone and anything that can bring people together from all races and walks of life. Especially when they’re gathering to celebrate women and girls of color,” Kara Anderson, a visitor to the exhibit, said.

To learn more about where you can see the Seen and Heard exhibit follow the in-story links. The exhibit will travel throughout the Midlands area.