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05/21/2014 | Created by Darla Martin Tucker

Around the first week of May, an art transportation company showed up at Beatriz Mejia-Krumbein’s Riverside home, packaged up a 38-inch-by-55-inch mixed media art book she created in 1998, and headed for the World Bank headquarters in Washington D.C.

A painting from mixed media book "Ode to Women" by Beatriz Mejia-Krumbein, on display at the World Bank.
Image of a painting from "Ode to Women," a mixed media art book by art chair Beatriz Mejia-Krumbein.

The book of 28 paintings entitled “Ode to Women” will be on display May 22 – July 18 in a multi-disciplinary art exhibit on gender-based violence at the World Bank Main Complex. The show is entitled “1 in 3” in reference to statistics that show one in three women worldwide will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused during her lifetime. The World Bank Group states it is working with governments and civil society in its member countries and other development partners to ensure that all citizens may live free of violence or fear of violence. “Within civil society, the artist community plays an important role in raising awareness about key societal issues, including [gender-based violence], and in promoting behavior change,” the bank says in a statement.

Mejia-Krumbein, La Sierra University’s art department chair, was selected in April to exhibit her book whose dark and intriguing figures and images are a celebration of womanhood and a daily journal of a woman’s life. They present a woman’s strength, love, hope and endurance in the face of issues that strive to silence and enslave her.

“This book is about women’s worth, that after enduring a silenced existence, their voices are echoed in all means of everyday life,” said Mejia-Krumbein. “The selection of this book is very meaningful to me. This book addresses many issues and circumstances in women’s daily lives that cannot be addressed in a single painting.”

Mejia-Krumbein, a native of Colombia, South America, has dedicated much of her artistic career to addressing human rights issues, particularly violence against women and children, and the need for solidarity. Her work was referred to World Bank exhibit curators by long-time friend, artist and architect Felix Angel, former cultural center director of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington D.C. “Our friendship goes far to the time when as young students we were classmates in painting classes at the Art Institute in Medellin, Colombia,” said Mejia-Krumbein. “We always have kept in touch and shared our art and art related activities.”

The “1 in 3” exhibit will include visual and performing arts, films and videos by 30 artists originating from 22 countries, along with a program of seminars featuring leading experts and practitioners on gender issues. An opening ceremony with World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim will be held Thurs, May 22. Mejia-Krumbein will participate as a reader for a performance during an artists’ reception. The performance will portray stories of female victims of violence.

On Fri., May 23 a panel discussion will be held from 12:30 – 2 p.m. with artists and World Bank experts discussing gender-based violence and the role art can play in tackling the global epidemic of violence against women. The discussion will be posted on Twitter and live-streamed beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Access is available at

The World Bank Art Program and its partners organized the ‘1 in 3’ exhibit. The World Bank provides financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world through an array of products and services including low-interest loans, interest-free credits and grants to developing countries, policy advice, research and analysis, and technical assistance. The World Bank Group is comprised of five institutions managed by their member countries and serves collectively as the world’s largest funder of education, the largest international financier of water supply and sanitation projects, and the world’s largest external funder of the fight against HIV/AIDS.