Fill in the Blank: ‘I Am a Woman Who…’

Jill Valle is hosting cathartic portrait sessions in Somerville.

jill valle i am a woman who somerville

Photo by Jill Valle

Verna is a woman who is “independently minded with a fierce need for collaboration.” Kira is a woman who “rides horses and dreams of flying.” Yana is a woman who “likes boys and girls and that’s OK.”

Now it’s your turn. Fill in the blank: “I am a woman who…”

This weekend, photographer and psychotherapist Jill Valle invites local women to meet her at the Brickbottom Artists Building in Somerville and tell her who they are.

Valle, who grew up outside of Boston, will work with participants in one-on-one sessions, during which they’ll come up with written self-descriptions. Then, Valle will paint the writing on a white backdrop and invite the subject to step in front of it and pose for a portrait.

Using photography and confessional writing, Valle’s “I Am a Woman Who” campaign seeks to “explore the threads that connect women to other women in the world, no matter what their backgrounds or experiences.”

Each one-on-one session costs $125, and each participant will take home the canvas with her self-description, as well as receive a digital download of the final portrait. Five dollars of each registration will go to a community fund to support women who can’t participate in the project due to cost or bring “I Am a Woman Who” to a local community-based organization serving women and girls.

Take a closer look at Valle’s process below.

The project will be set up on Saturday, November 21, and Sunday, November 22, noon to 6 p.m., at the Brickbottom Artists Building, 1 Fitchburg St., Somerville. To sign up, visit