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Women in the Arts Symposium to feature students, faculty, best-selling author

Kaitlyn Anderson, a junior 3D studio art major, will be one of many students presenting their research at the Women in the Arts Symposium, presented by the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art at Georgia Southern University. The interdisciplinary symposium is on April 1 from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on Zoom and will feature presentations from students and faculty, as well as a panel discussion with academic, author and comedian Bertice Berry, Ph.D.

Kaitlyn Anderson

Anderson will present on the symbolism of pomegranates in art and how the fruit is used to portray women in various works.

“I am extremely excited and honored to be given the opportunity through the University to present on a topic that I am passionate and excited about,” Anderson said. “It’s not every day you get to stand up in front of your peers and speak about something that you truly care about. It is a wonderful group of speakers, and I’m equally as excited to hear and learn from them.”

Anderson said the diversity of the presentations provides an opportunity to learn from a lot of different perspectives.

“The group of presenters is diverse and unique and to be able to take in their thoughts and words is such a chance for growth,” she said. “Beyond that, it’s an important subject. Women in the arts have been overlooked, and especially women of color, so I believe everyone should take the time to listen to these presentations and the issues and highlights they bring up. We are also in a unique situation from COVID-19 of being able to attend from the comfort of your home, so it’s easier than ever to log on and join in on the conversations.”

This year’s symposium is inspired by the essay “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens” by Alice Walker.

“There’s always a need to bring attention to the role of women in the arts; they’re undervalued,” said symposium co-chair and senior lecturer Mia Merlin. “We wanted to pick a theme that pointed to the intersectional and the inequalities in gender.”

Berry has been named Comedian of the Year from 1991 to 1994, and she also hosted her own talk show from 1993 to 1994. She has also made appearances on several television shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” ABC’s “20/20” and NPR’s “Tell Me More” with Michel Martin.

“Berry’s ability to identify and put words to the most important and true thing from any event or discussion, as well as her experience as a sociologist and her scholarship on racism, colorism and women’s rights made her an exceptional person for our panel,” Merlin said.  “We are so grateful and honored that she has agreed to participate.”

To register to attend the symposium, visit


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