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Artist Hopes Her Work Brings Awareness to Body Image Misconceptions

March 5, 2022

By Devin Smith (republished from CSUN Today)


Artist and CSUN Arts Alumni Chapter President Kristine Schomaker. Photo by Tony Pinto.

Multidisciplinary artist and CSUN alumna Kristine Schomaker ’03 (Art History), M.A. ’10 (Art Studio) has confronted her body image fears and self-worth head-on in the name of art.

As a self-described plus-sized woman, Schomaker was always self-conscious about her body and weight. At a young age, she witnessed her family members struggle with these same insecurities; although, in her eyes, they didn’t appear to be overweight. Although it hurt her own perception of her body, Schomaker says this helped her realize that the way we see ourselves is not always accurate or healthy. All of this propelled her career in art and a recent exhibition.

“Perceive Me” — Schomaker’s multidisciplinary art exhibition was held Oct. 9 to Dec. 12 at the MOAH:CEDAR (an experimental art gallery that is part of the Museum of Art & History in Lancaster).

In the exhibition, Schomaker invited 60 artists to paint, draw, photograph, sculpt and videotape her nude. She wanted to be able to view herself through the eyes of society. For someone who has always struggled with their body image, Schomaker said, it took a lot of courage and she hopes this project inspired others to feel more comfortable in their own skin. Video and images of this exhibition can still be viewed online.

“People of all body sizes struggle with insecurities, and it comes from the media, how we grew up, how we socialized, hearing comments, other people judging other people, and so on,” Schomaker said. “This project is about having these important conversations about the root of our problems in order to build awareness and challenge these ideas about our bodies. We need to learn to love our bodies as they are, and we should also learn to love other people’s bodies as well.”

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