Dallas philanthropist and entrepreneur Lyda Hill, through Lyda Hill Philanthropies, has unveiled If/Then She Can – The Exhibit, at Dallas’ NorthPark Center. The exhibition, located both inside and outside the shopping center, is billed as “the most women statues ever assembled in one location, at one time,” and consists of more than 120 3-D printed sculptures featuring the likeness of women working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
NorthPark Center, founded by the late developer and collector Raymond Nasher (of the Nasher Sculpture Center), owns and displays an acclaimed 20th- and 21st-century art collection, including works by Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Joel Shapiro, Jim Dine, Jonathan Borofsky, James Rosenquist, Antony Gormley, Barry Flanagan and Beverly Pepper, among others. NorthPark also occasionally hosts temporary art initiatives.
According to the Lyda Hill Philanthropies, the exhibition, originally scheduled for Spring, 2020, is the largest 3D-printed project of its kind. These are portraits of professionals — from shark taggers to fashion designers to trainers of Olympic athletes. Subjects were scanned in a 3-D image capture booth equipped with 89 cameras and 25 projectors. Files from the scanner were then used to print the life-scaled figures.
The premise of the show is based on the lack of physical statues dedicated to women, especially women in STEM professions: “…seeing is believing. When a girl sees a woman successfully pursuing a STEM career (and having fun!), she is more likely to imagine a STEM career for herself … and perhaps even change the world,” reads a statement on Lyda Hill Philanthropies’ website.
The organization also cites a 2016 study led by former Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios which reveals, among other facts, that in recent years the 10 largest U.S. cities publicly displayed fewer than a half-dozen statues of women.
Because of the postponement of the exhibition due to the coronavirus pandemic, the exhibition was previewed twice over the past year, first at New York’s Central Park Zoo (through January of this year), and then at Dallas Love Field airport between December 10 and May 9. The exhibition will remain on view at NorthPark through October 24.
For images and biographies of the featured women, please go here.