Showing during the mornings on the Cabell Screen,  VCUarts Communication Arts alumna Emily Herr’s female-focused mural work of “Girls! Girls! Girls!”

Alumna Emily Herr (Arts, 2013) is widely known in Richmond for her large murals. 

Inspired by the Women’s March, Herr started the series with a mural on a Richmond garage door. She had been thinking about the “Girls! Girls! Girls!” signs commonly seen at strip clubs ever since encountering one during a family trip years before. While passing through South Carolina, her family pulled off the highway to check out the South of the Border attraction. When returning to the highway, they passed a strip club with the customary “Girls!” sign. Still caught up in South of the Border’s over-the-top, celebratory spirit, Herr found herself overlooking the sign’s purpose — to advertise women as objects — and instead viewing it as something with a more inspirational message, as though it was saying, “Hey, aren’t girls great?”

“Women in ads and art are more often than not simplified into a single type of person representing ‘women,’ or into something that’s more object than human,” she wrote about the project. “We want to normalize and celebrate images of women in a broad spectrum of bodies and lifestyles. We also want to reduce the general female shame in simply taking up space.”

When the piece was completed, it became an instant hit, drawing visitors to the garage for photos and social media posts. You can find her Girls! Girls! Girls! Garage painting at the cross section of Broad and Sheppard streets.

This blog posting is adapted with permission from a longer feature story about Herr’s murals in Richmond by Tom Gresham, University Public Affairs. 

Categories Alumni Work