Like A Girl: Dare To Dream



Girls and women continue to struggle to be respected in our male-dominated world. To act “like a girl” typically has meant to be passive, weak, silly, dumb, and other negative connotations. But girls and women must dare to dream – to be leaders, to be strong in mind, body, and spirit – so that “like a girl” will instead mean powerful and highly effective. The exhibition’s primary objective is to bring awareness to this timely and critical issue, in order to stimulate discussion and ultimately drive change in attitudes and actions. Through portraits of diverse fascinating women, each with unique and inspiring stories, girls and other women will see on canvas their potential: they can be strong, smart, and beautiful, and ready to make their mark on the world.

Just as important, men and boys will be educated about girls’/women’s abilities, particularly in traditionally male-dominated fields such as technology, construction, business, and science. The exhibit will lead the audience to consider questions such as: Can females really be anything they want to be? Despite positive strides in the past few decades, what hindrances does society still impose on them? What obstacles do they encounter that men/boys do not? How can we ensure that future generations of women can become leaders in any industry or field?

In addition to bringing awareness and encouraging ongoing dialogue, “Like A Girl: Dare To Dream” will directly empower girls and women. A portion of the proceeds from this project will be donated to organizations that support women/girls in reaching their maximum potential, thus extending the project’s impact well beyond its exhibition.

This exhibition will honor the influential voice of art in shining a light on vitally important issues. The portraits certainly will have broad appeal as works of beauty, with original designs that highlight and bring to life the women’s extraordinary accomplishments. However, the large and striking portraits simultaneously will touch the minds and hearts of audiences of all ages, genders, races, socioeconomic status, and locales. Through this artwork bringing attention to women who have excelled, other women and especially young girls will have dynamic role models that they can aspire to follow. The paintings will enlighten all who view them.

The exhibit will consist of 30 to 50 portraits, each a 30″x 40” oil painting. It also will include copies of an art book comprised of all the paintings with individual biographical stories of the participating women. I also plan to produce a video of selected participants discussing their challenges and accomplishments. In addition, an evening reception will include presentations from some of these inspiring women, and will offer the public the opportunity to meet the portrait subjects in person.

A few of the many remarkable women in “Like A Girl: Dare To Dream” include: Allison Arriola, Navy Pilot; Janet Bates, President, Charleston Chapter, National Association of Women in Construction; Karen Lucht, retired NASA manager; Gabrielle Forgione, Girls Who Code; Yeakia Johnson; Yvonne Gilbert; Arianne King; Beth Ann Crane; Vicky Johnson; Tia Clark; Paula Dezzutti (Pixie); Kelly Trager; Erin Mansour; Carol Wilhite; and Kenya Dunn.

These women prove that women can, and will, achieve greatness … “like a girl”. With this project we will be educating the public – men and women alike – and of empowering girls and women to “dare to dream”!

Art and Event:

  • 30 to 50 portraits: 30″x40” oil paintings
  • Art Book with the paintings and stories of all women in this project.
  • Reception evening and speech from some of these inspiring women.
  • Venue yet to be decided.
  • Launch Expected for Spring 2021.

The biggest goal on this project is awareness, however, a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to organizations that help girls and women to reach their highest potential.


I would like to share this commercial as it was a HUGE influence on the kick-off to this project:

Some of the finished portraits:

Tessa Spencer Dare To Dream Chief Ann Graham Dare To Dream Dr Donna Roberts Dare To Dream Navy Pilot Allison Ashe Dare To Dream Kenya Dunn Dare To Dream