Artist to give gallery talk about 'Destigmatizing Menstruation through Art'

Jen Lewis, creator of the 'Beauty in Blood' project, will speak at Grinnell College on April 19

Jen Lewis, artist of "Beauty in Blood" will give a talk titled "Destigmatizing Menstruation through Art" in the Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College on Wednesday, April 19.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 4 p.m. in the gallery in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell.

Lewis’ project, "Beauty in Blood," is a conceptual feminist art project aimed at reducing the stigma of menstruation. She works with her partner, photographer Rob Lewis, to capture and select photographs of her menstrual blood being poured over various clear vessels. By using menstrual blood as her medium, Lewis hopes to normalize menstruation and show that it is a healthy part of life.

"Frankly, I do not think there is any place in modern society for taboo subjects, especially in as far as women are concerned," she says. "Pacifying social taboos only serves to give more power to society than to the self, and as women we have done that for far too long. The time is now to shut down the long-held shame and squeamishness surrounding menstruation.

"My work," she adds, "quashes this taboo, reclaims feminine power, and puts this subject on the pedestal it so rightly deserves. The images I capture force the viewer to think about menstruation in an entirely new way. Capturing the artful quality of this natural occurrence is my way of progressing society's view and conversation around menstruation as well as redefining some traditional fine arts aesthetic notions."

The Faulconer Gallery Artists@Grinnell series and Grinnell College's Sexual Health and Information Center are sponsoring the exhibition.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week and admission is free. The Faulconer Gallery is in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Information about parking and accessibility is available on the college's website: Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or calendar[at]grinnell[dot]edu.

The college also welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases, the college expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of college personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

About Grinnell College

Since its founding in 1846, Grinnell has become one of the nation's premier liberal arts colleges, enrolling 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many countries. Grinnell's rigorous academic program emphasizes excellence in education for students in the liberal arts; the college offers the B.A. degree in a range of departments across the humanities, arts and sciences. Grinnell has a strong tradition of social responsibility and action, and self-governance and personal responsibility are key components of campus life. More information about Grinnell College is available at
A photograph from the Beauty in Blood project

Cutline for attached photo:

A photograph from the "Beauty in Blood" project

© Jen Lewis and Rob Lewis