Hurt Woman and Womanhood: Frances Bradley on Art, Healing and Transformation

“Broken” by Frances Bradley. Acrylic, Oil and Collage on Stretched Canvas, 2011.

For the last few years, multi-disciplinary artist Frances Bradley has been working on Womanhood or Woman’s-Hurt? The Art of Healing, a 12 piece autobiographical visual series that chronicles her traumatic experience of sexual violence to transformation and empowerment.  I spoke with Frances a few days before she left for Geneva as part of the Black Women’s BluePrint delegation to the United Nations where they are currently sharing the experiences of rape and sexual violence against black women in America.  For this episode of MsRepresent: Behind the Face, a Fierce Woman, Frances talked about Womanhood or Woman’s-Hurt? The Art of Healing, sexual violence, tap dancing and more.


new portrait 3A Flint, MI native Frances began her training under the guidance of her father, Bruce Bradley, at Creative Expressions Dance Studio. She served as an instructor and choreographer for the Flintstone Hoofers. A 2006 graduate of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts with a BFA in Illustration she worked recently for the world renowned Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia. In 2009, Frances was selected to train with world renowned performer, Savion Glover for a year at his newest dance studio, The Hooferz Club. She was the featured soloist and tap dancer for international touring company, Illstyle and Peace Productions. Other notable performances would include: “Tap Masters Honorarium” in Oklahoma City, Savion Glover’s “Footnotes” in Detroit, MI, The 2000 National Tap Dance Day “Tap Extraganza” in New York City, “Bubblin’ Brown Sugar” in Atlanta GA and the West Oak Lane Jazz and Arts Festival in Philadelphia.

As a visual artist, Bradley has been recognized through the National Conference of Artist in Philadelphia where she received the Artist Legacy Award and awarded studio space through 40th St. Artist in Residence Program in Philadelphia. Because of her strong passion for social change through the arts, she founded The Murals for Flint Project, a project based organization dedicated to teaching diverse forms of art to communities in the countries of Flint and using mural art to beautify the impoverished areas. The program was funded through the Share Art Mini Grant by The Ruth Mott Foundation. From the fall of 2008 to 2012, Frances was the Exhibition Coordinator at the African American Museum in Philadelphia and Art Instructor for the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia. Her work has also been featured in publications such as Ghubar Magazine, an online, International fashion magazine based in Paris, France, Hycide Magazine, A Subculture Magazine based in NY. Frances’ art has exhibited in galleries, and commissioned walls of homes throughout the east coast and internationally.

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