Tall Girl

Tall Girl

October 20 - January 16, 2018

In this exhibit, Carol Larson tells the story of what it was like to have her growth intentionally stunted when she was an adolescent because it was thought at the time that tall girls could have fewer opportunities in life.


Listen to WKMS interview with Carol Larson

Carol Larson: Artist Statement

When I was 17 years old and 78.5 inches long, I was surgically shortened six inches with the intention of giving me a “normal” life. By age 35 I had begun to question this choice when my father told me if I continued the discussion, he would disown me. I repressed my feelings further by building a rich and full life as a mother, wife, and workaholic. In my mid-50’s I began to suffer from joint debilitation as the result of these (3) surgeries. Finally with the loss of my mobility and independence I began to truly grieve my broken body.

Still fearful of angering my father, I found my voice through my art. Initially I expressed my outrage at being silenced by typing stories, changing fonts, and creating an image which I screen-printed to cloth. As I continued to write and the healing began I envisioned a small book with a collection of ‘tallgirl’ stories illustrated with my artwork which became the Tall Girl Series: A Body of Work.

This is a story of body image, mixed messages, healing, personal courage, stamina, and acceptance. Through manipulation of cloth and stitch, I healed my heart and body.

At first when I went public with my story I felt tremendous validation of my hidden secret. Now that several years have passed and the exhibit has traveled to five venues, my greatest reward has come from others seeing themselves in my work. Each one of us has some “crazy story.”