By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A local non-profit will celebrate Women’s History Month with a new exhibit that opens tonight, showcasing the self portraits of young women from Girls’ High.

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Titled, “The Intangible Spirit: Works by Girls’ High Students and Alumnae” exhibition compiles four assignments given to Girls’ High students by Humanities Department Chair Joseph Marchetti over the past two years. In response, each girl created a self-portrait– some in water colors that incorporate symbols of their genealogy and others in graphite that require deep introspection.

“He created opportunities for girls to really explore themselves, their own self image as well as tradition,” says Valerie Gay, a Girls High alum and executive director of Art Sanctuary. The non-profit’s gallery at 16th and Bainbridge will host the portraits for three weeks. Gay says the drawings are not only beautiful, but represent self transformation.

Artwork by Girls' High students on display at the Art Sanctuary. (Credit: Cherri Gregg)

Artwork by Girls’ High students on display at the Art Sanctuary. (Credit: Cherri Gregg)

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“At the end of the project students had developed a more comfortable sense of their own self with their image– which is really powerful,” she says.

Gay notes that Women’s History month is the perfect time to celebrate the art work from the ladies of Girls High.

“Often times youth that are doing well are overlooked,” she says, “we tend to only focus on things that are going extremely poorly or when they are so extraordinary that it seems anomalous.  But I think it’s important for us to celebrate achievement that’s happening all around us.”

The exhibit runs through March 31st. More info on the free showcase is available at

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