March 3rd, Laramie, WY: Opening Reception & Documentary Preview Screening

­Press Release:

The public is invited to attend the world premier of The Bearded Lady Project: Challenging the Face of Science on Friday, March 3rd. This film and photographic project celebrates the work of female paleontologists and highlights the challenges and obstacles they face. A preview screening of the documentary film, followed by Q&A with cast and crew members, will be held from 6:30-7:20 PM in Classroom Building, Room 133. The opening reception for the portrait exhibition will be from 7:30-9:00 PM in the University of Wyoming Geological Museum.

The Bearded Lady Project was co-founded by UW paleontologist Ellen Currano, film director and producer Lexi Jamieson Marsh, and fine art photographer Kelsey Vance. It started as a joke between Currano and Marsh, two women trying to succeed in male-dominated fields. Some days, both women agreed, professional life would just be so much easier with facial hair. Paleontology in particular has long celebrated large, grizzled or bearded men going out in the field, facing the elements, having a large pickax, and moving boulders. Upon further reflection, the joke turned serious, and The Bearded Lady Project was born.

Supported by Currano’s NSF CAREER grant, Marsh, Vance, and director of photography Draper White traveled across the US and UK interviewing female paleontologists and, of course, taking bearded portraits of scientists in their field, laboratory, museum, and classroom settings. The exhibition will feature 40 of these black and white photographs that seek to recreate historical portraits of the female adventurers that are absent from science books and documentaries.

Admission is free, but donations are encouraged to support a scholarship fund for future female scientists. The portrait exhibition will remain on display until May 16.