BOARDMAN Photo exhibit honors women

The exhibit reveals 'how women see themselves, and how they wish the world would see them.'
BOARDMAN -- A picture says a thousand words.
Photographer Cynthia Zordich hopes her photos do more than that.
The wife and mother of two is displaying her exhibit, "Under My Skin," at The Design Warehouse in Boardman, 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday. The collection features edgy, nontraditional portraits of women. The display honors local breast cancer survivor Elaine D'Alesio and benefits the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
"This is about celebrating women," Zordich said. "You have a chance to see other women open up and you feel like you can be open too."
What began as a small group of friends extended to a network of women determined to show the world what they're made of. Although the subjects pictured are not survivors themselves, Zordich said each woman had a special connection to the disease.
"As women get older, the circle gets smaller and closer to home," Zordich said. "Pretty soon you hear sisters and mothers being diagnosed."
Zordich's exhibit honors D'Alesio, mother of Erica, 13, and Donald, 11; and wife of newly appointed head basketball coach at Chaney High School, Donald "Bam" D'Alesio.
"Under My Skin" gives participants the opportunity to break down barriers and experience the freedom of self-expression. The 33 subjects are not models, but real women looking to share visions of themselves. The No. 1 factor that binds all women is the risk of breast cancer, and the exhibit capitalizes on the idea that no woman is safe.
"I wanted to capture how women see themselves, and how they wish the world would see them," said Zordich, who stopped at 33 subjects because of time constraints.
The art focuses on women ages 30 to 60, but also includes a photograph of Zordich's 9-year-old daughter, Aidan, in the arms of her father, former NFL player Michael Zordich.
"The image of Aidan with her father illustrates a sense of security, and every woman can relate to that at any age," Zordich said. "That's what I looked for -- women who had something unique to offer."
The photographer's work is also featured in Women in Photography International's 20th Anniversary exhibition, "Tea-Time: Images of Women -- Images of Tea," which will travel across the United States and internationally for the next two years. She is one of 63 artists whose work is displayed.
"Under My Skin" has already made its debut for more than 300 participants at the Moser Gallery and Studio in Sewickley, Pa., in May honoring Pittsburgh cancer survivor Candy Eazor. Next stop on the tour is Philadelphia in October.
Open to public
The Boardman exhibit is open to the public. A $20 admission fee includes cookies, truffles and other refreshments. Informational pamphlets, provided by Humility of Mary Health Partners, educate women on breast self-exams, early detection, and how to seek help. Posters and T-shirts for $20 are also available. Local contributors have donated services and merchandise for a silent auction. All proceeds from the event go directly to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Zordich chose the foundation because of its local popularity. Best known for "Race for the Cure" -- held in more than 100 cities and three foreign countries in 2002 -- the foundation was established in 1982 and has raised more than $240 million for breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment. It is credited as the nation's leading catalyst in the fight against breast cancer.
Sponsors of the event are Christina Weiss Lurie of the Philadelphia Eagles, JP Industrial Productions, Rudinecs and Associates, Simon Roofing, Ten United, Triumph Books, Wright Industries, WSB Rehab and Denise DeBartolo York.

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