Looking to celebrate Women’s History month? Get inspired by local artist Suzette Ruys’ portraits of 15 “Persistent Women,” opening Friday, March 2 from 6-9 pm at the Bainbridge Public Library.

The paintings feature fifteen tenacious women, each of whom took a stand against injustice. Their work falls into a variety of arenas, including politics, environmental defense, womens rights, labor organizing, civil rights, and more.

There were so many great women to pick from that I could have painted for years, says Ruys, a local artist and designer who studied at the Rhode Island School of Design. Researching these paintings was fascinating. Some of the women are well-known, others less so, but each story about their lives made them very real and impressive. There is always a need for people to speak up when they see inequality,” adds Ruys. “These women did it with the grit and grace that makes them heroes.

Listen here as Ruys explains some of her decisions, talks about her intriguing process, and shares some of the stories of the women in her paintings. And be sure to stop by the library in March to see these Persistent Women!

Credits: BCB host: John Fossett; audio tech: Chris Walker; audio editor and social media publisher, Diane Walker.