Daniel Island resident Paula “Pixie” Dezzutti can add an artist’s model to her long list of accomplishments. The mother of nine children is the CEO of several corporations, including Skirt Magazine, Pixie Records and Local Choice Spirits, a Charleston-based award-winning family business specializing in boutique spirits and celebrity brands.
Dezzutti is among 40 South Carolina women whose portraits are featured in the “Like A Girl: Dare To Dream” exhibit created by international artist Fer Caggiano. The gallery exhibition is the centerpiece of Caggiano’s project that focuses on empowering girls and women .
The international painter, who calls Charleston home, wanted to remove the negative connotations associated with acting “like a girl.” Along with the gallery show, the project also includes an art book with the portraits and stories of the 40 local women.
There also is an online auction that will raise money for women-centered nonprofits.
Caggiano is passionate about celebrating the achievements of women who have broken down barriers. “There was a series of events that triggered me to get started. Mostly, I felt as a woman, we are often told what not to do. With that in mind, I decided I should use my art as a voice to tell the world women can and are doing amazing things. I want this project to inspire as many as possible.”
Caggiano asked Dezzutti to participate after meeting her at a Skirt event.
“I added Pixie because her vision aligns with mine,” Caggiano said. “The fact she invested in a feminist magazine is amazing! We work hard to empower girls and women in our community.”
After she was picked to be part of the project, Dezzutti immediately Facetimed her mom. “It wasn’t my win alone. It felt like hers. I know what it’s like to raise children. I had nine of my own and all you want is for them to be happy and appreciate the sacrifice it takes to keep them all safe. As women we live for our family, I was so honored to be honored in a group of women who overcame the odds. And I am so excited for my children, and children everywhere, to look at their elders and peers and know that they can do anything,” Dezzutti explained.
“I was overwhelmed and humbled to tears. Mostly because I felt that if I felt this way then other women feel the same way too. Too often strong women get overlooked — as having it made, instead of how hard it is to make it,” she added.
Several local nonprofits that serve girls and women will receive donations from the online auction, sales of the art book, and portrait sales. The online fundraiser will run from April 22-25 (32auctions.com/LGDD).