Girl Noticed is a Nationwide charcoal mural project aimed at bringing attention and awareness to the important role “the female” plays in our society.
My name is Lori Pratico and along with photographer Elizabeth Sanjuan I will be traveling 50 states in 3 years to erect a series of large exterior murals. Each mural will depict a female that has been nominated from their community to be noticed. Some murals will be crafted in charcoal, weather conditions and time will naturally and quickly fade away these images. Others will be painted, and over time these will be erased or replaced, again to be forgotten. There is a window of time to “Notice” the artwork, to “Notice” the girl. All of the murals represent the message: “when an individuals talents, intelligence, and character are left unnoticed, they may fade away, disappear, or be replaced and never be seen or developed into their full potential.” Photographs will be taken during the creation of the mural and will comprise a book to be published at the completion of the project.
I started my artistic career over 25 years ago painting billboards in Philadelphia and have decided to return to climbing walls. I painted billboards out of high school because I thought it would be the easiest way to get my work seen and recognized. Over 25 years later I’m back to painting walls for the same reason, but with a different goal. To bring attention to important issues surrounding the demoralization of women and to recognize the strength, courage, talents and tenacity of females throughout the United States. I’m creating something you have no choice but to notice. The first mural was done in Hollywood, Florida in January 2015. Art has always been where I have found my voice, and I aim to be heard.
Elizabeth Sanjuan began her travel and photography adventures while at American Airlines, where she worked for 25 years. Now a recognized philanthropist and gallery owner in Hollywood, Florida, she has traveled to over 73 countries and plans to see at least 100 by the time she reaches age sixty. She and her husband, Ken Brown, founded the Sanjuan-Brown Hollywood Arts Foundation in 2012, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the arts and arts education. I want to convey the world’s incredible variety and to create an awareness, understanding and respect for humankind through photographic images. I am constantly reminded that even though people live worlds apart, we are truly all the same. Our hopes, dreams, loves and losses are all captured in our faces. The camera, provides objective proof of our commonality.”
WHY? (The inspiration that drives Girl Noticed)
This is me, age 7. Fearless, jump from the highest step, climb the biggest tree, scraped knees, no one messes with me, 7 year old me.
I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but looking back I can understand why. Why this wide eyed hopeful, full of spirit and guts kid all of a sudden was afraid of everything. I suppose it was because the steps I used to jump from also led to the house where I never quite felt good enough. My accomplishments seemed insignificant and my dreams were dismissed. It happened when suddenly my changing body brought attention that was neither asked for nor wanted and left me feeling ashamed and small.
I was a lucky one, because although these things had held me back, making me doubt myself, finding myself in situations where I was influenced too easily in an attempt to find the acceptance I was so desperately seeking, my spirit never completely died. I was a lucky one because a handful of special people in my life recognized my thoughts and dreams and validated my ideas, and believed in me, so my hope stayed alive.
Not all girls are so lucky. Some will have their spirit and hope ripped from them at an early age, never to realize their full potential. Others it will happen later in life, maybe when they’ve reached an age where their bodies begin to change again and their value and self worth is dismissed now by a society and its demands on being young and perfect. A society that demands you look and act a specific way all at an attempt to fit into an impossible mold. They may never have the people in their life that took the time to notice, or they may not have the spirit and hope left to celebrate their 7 year old self.
I notice. I notice it in the eyes of every woman and girl I meet. I notice it in the lines that have formed around their mouths, or how high they hold their head. This is what I wish to express in my portraits. The strength, courage and tenacity in every woman.
Because everyday a girl or woman is left unnoticed, is a day too long.