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    “There are dick drawings everywhere,” says 34-year-old artist Chelsea Mae. “They’re all over the place, so I thought it was time to have some cute little vulvas around, too.” Mae’s pink crocheted vulvas, which hang from telephone poles in front of local businesses (such as Nachbar and the Post in Germantown), are not a response to the average penis doodle at a bus stop. “The vulvas became this cute and soft way to acknowledge something that is hard to talk about,” says Mae, who was inspired by her own experience with domestic violence. She also mentions the play The Vagina Monologues and its author Eve Ensler’s V-Day movement to end violence against women.

    She has made nearly 100 vulvas since learning to crochet last fall and has hung them in front of businesses near where she lives in the Meriwether neighborhood, as well as in NuLu, the Highlands, downtown and Middletown. “I tried to make sure they weren’t obscene,” Mae says. “Like, they have a little button for the clitoris. I didn’t want to offend people. That was not the point.”

    Each vulva has a laminated tag with #VulvasOverLouisville written on it, so that onlookers can follow her project on Instagram, where she shares information about violence against women. “It’s been awesome to create art, put it up and hear from people who are moved by it,” she says. “That gives me fulfillment.”

    This originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of Louisville Magazine as the We Love bit. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

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    Loretta Lynn is the best country music singer of all time and if you don't like pickled foods, you can leave.

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