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Game Face: de Saisset Museum exhibition celebrates female athletes

SANTA CLARA, Calif. Oct. 9, 2006. The famous photo of SCU alumna and soccer star Brandi Chastain ’91 taken immediately after her team’s 1999 Women’s World Cup victory is one of almost   140 photographs included in a new exhibit at the de Saisset Museum at SCU. The exhibit, “Game Face: What Does a Female Athlete Look Like?” will be on display Oct. 12 through Dec. 9 and documents the tremendous impact that sports have on the lives of millions of girls and women. The de Saisset is the only Bay Area venue and the final stop for “Game Face”—the exhibit has been on national tour since opening at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. in June 2001.

Most of the other photographs may not be as familiar. “The diversity of images is very dramatic,” said Karen Kienzle, curator of exhibits and collections at the de Saisset Museum. “My hope is that visitors will discover that female athletes look like everything you can imagine. They come in all shapes and sizes, ethnicities, and ages. They perform all types of sports, on amateur and professional levels.”

Featuring images by photographers such as Mary Ellen Mark, Dorothea Lange, Annie Leibovitz, and Bill Owens, the exhibit captures the images and stories of top athletes and Little League players alike.

The exhibit opens with a lecture by curators Jane Gottesman, former staff writer at the
San FranciscoChronicle, and photographer and editor Geoffrey Biddle at 7 p.m.Oct. 11, followed by a book signing and reception with guest Chastain. The museum will host a Family Day with activities, events, and refreshments from noonto 5 p.m.Oct. 29.

The photographs and personal stories span all aspects of athletic competition and are grouped in five thematic areas, reflecting the athlete’s stages of competition: getting ready, start, action, finish, and aftermath. Kienzle hopes the photographs of professional and amateur athletes will challenge some preconceptions viewers might have, and encourage others to participate in sports themselves.

It began with Gottesman’s observation that women’s sports were somewhat neglected in the media. From that frustration, she posed the question, “What does a female athlete look like?” to colleagues and photographers. The images in the exhibition reflect some of the responses she collected.

The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color book published by Random House. This exhibition has been organized by Game Face Productions and sponsored by MassMutual Financial Group, including OppenheimerFunds Inc. The San Jose Mercury News is the media sponsor of the exhibit. “Game Face” is presented in conjunction with the SCU Athletics Department, the SCU Alumni Relations Department, SCU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program, SCU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Team-Up for Youth, and the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative. “Game Face” has been endorsed by The Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Inc., the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport, the Women’s Sports Foundation, and the YMCA of the USA.

About the de Saisset Museum
The de Saisset Museum at
Santa Clara University is the South Bay’s free museum of art and history. The museum is one of only two museums in the South Bay accredited by the American Association of Museums. The de Saisset Museum supports SCU’s goal of educating the whole person through diverse exhibitions, collections, and educational programs.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in
California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,397 students’ rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the
second-highest graduation rate among all
U.S. masters’ universities, California’s oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice -


<p>Pasadena, California<br />
© Anacleto Rapping,<br />
Los Angeles Times, 1999</p>

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