Lynn Coleman was an illustrator for Thrasher Comics of the height of the valley girl pop cultural phenomenon in the 1980s. Being born and raised in Bell Canyon, that meant she was indeed a real valley girl.

But until recently, she did not appreciate being associated with that phrase.

  • Contemporary art exhibit seeks to redefine stereotype of 'valley girl'
  • Exhibit features works from female artists from across the San Fernando Valley
  • Running through March 22 at Brand Library in Glendale

“Originally being a valley girl was considered really negative," says Coleman. "Now there is there sort of a renaissance of rebirth, and we get a chance to kind of come out of the closet so to speak and be valley girls with pride.”

Coleman is now embracing her roots and is proud to be a part of the Valley Girl Redefined exhibit at the Brand Library and Art Center in Glendale.  This compilation of contemporary artwork from over 20 women is meant to delve into the true identities and diversity of women in the valley.  

“We've done a lot of work in the San Fernando Valley wanting to redefine the valley and in turn, redefine the valley girl,” said Erin Stone, who is the curator of the exhibit.

Stone says that while the artwork is all very different, all the artists have one thing in common. 

“If the San Fernando Valley is part of you, and part of your heart and what raised you and nurtured you, you are a valley girl,” said Stone.

She believes the valley girl, like the Valley itself, cannot be contained in a stereotype.

This exhibition endeavors to look past the myopic lens of popular culture that created the “Valley Girl,” and delve into the true identities and diversity of women in the valley through the contemporary artwork they produce.

There's some artwork that is iconic and other pieces where what they're made of is easily identifiable. And then there are other pieces that are made of material that might make your hair stand on end, literally. 

Stone walks up to a piece that's hanging from the ceiling all the way down to the floor made of what initially looks like some kind of fine thread.

“This sculpture is made of human hair. A lot of the hair was collected from the San Fernando Valley salons, so then in turn it is a collection of other valley girls,” she explains.

Coleman says having her work in such a prominent exhibit has been a bit of a throwback.

“A friend called me and said I’m big time now, so I should have my own one-woman show. And I replied, 'Yeah, gag me with a spoon!'”

The exhibit goes through March 22 at the Brand Library and Art Center. Bring your love for everything valley, but you’ll have to check your cliched valley girl speak at the door.

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