THE PORTRAIT PROJECT- WOMEN WHO MAKE OUR COMMUNITY WORK
Part 2, of 2 portraits and interviews by Neverne Covington
Women’s Caucus for Art, St. Petersburg Chapter
The portrait project consists of a series of 36, 10 x 12 paintings of women who are crucial to making our community thrive and function. It includes women in a broad spectrum of economic status and of a variety of occupations. The purpose of this project is to honor and celebrate 2020 women’s suffrage and to honor the women of St. Petersburg who are crucial to its operation.
This exhibit is part of the national organization of the Women’s Caucus for Art, St. Petersburg’s Chapter event. The exhibit opens on August 8th at the Morean Art Center with plans for the exhibit to travel to other venues.
I chose two women to paint. This portrait is of my ophthalmologist, Dr. Nancy Dianne Yates Bryant. She has been my ophthalmologist for over 20 years and cared for and guided me through having glaucoma, a detached retina, and cataract surgery; a challenge for anyone and a frightening experience for a visual artist. She helped me with her utmost care, expertise and compassion.
Below is my interview with her and featured is my painting of her.
Q. Who are you?
A. I am Nancy Diane Yates Bryant, MD. I am a wife, mother, grandmother and native Floridian.
Q. What do you do?
A. I am an Ophthalmologist in St. Petersburg who specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases.
Q. Words of wisdom
1. Always lead with your heart, however in the words of my dear mother, Mrs. Hattie King Yates, “Always use your head!”
2. When we do the best we can we never know what miracle is wrought in our life or in the life of another.– Helen Keller
Q. What one thing I would do to change St. Petersburg?
A. I would ask all people who enjoy the privilege to live and work in our beautiful city to treat each other with sincere kindness, love and respect; to become the best they can be by educating themselves, participating in healthy activities, helping and inspiring others so that collectively our city will continue to soar.
Q. Comments about Women’s Suffrage
A. The right for women to vote was gained in 1920. Sadly, that movement did not include all women due to discrimination and systemic racism. This unfortunately also included the highly educated, distinguished and accomplished women in my own family who were denied simply based on the color of their skin. Black women did not officially participate in the voting process until the passage of the Voters Right Act in 1965. Although the history of the Suffrage movement is wrought with a dramatically flawed and imperfect vision, we have seen the power of the women’s vote in our present American democracy.