Noticing Kandy G Lopez

Born In New Jersey Kandy G Lopez moved with her family to Miami where she received her BFA and BS from the University of South Florida concentrating in Painting and in Marketing and Management. She received her MFA with a concentration in Painting from Florida Atlantic University

She is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Performing and Visual Arts at the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) at NOVA Southeastern University, and has also taught at Florida Atlantic University and Daytona State College.

As a visual artist, Lopez explores constructed identities, celebrating the strength, power, confidence and swag of individuals who live in urban and often economically disadvantaged environments. With a variety of mediums, her images develop a personal and socially compelling visual vocabulary that investigates race, the human defense mechanism, visibility and armor through fashion, and gentrification. Lopez wants her artwork to help educate, communicate, and foster uncomfortable topics that we seem to look past or avoid in our multi- cultural society. Representing individuals within poor communities in the U.S., these portraits help her, as a female Afro-Dominican American, come to terms with the way she too has to adopt and perform identities of survival.

Kandy G Lopez’s work has been exhibited in several galleries and museums. Recent exhibitions include: The ARC – Arts and Recreation Center, the Girls’ Club, Broward College Rosemary Duffy Gallery, Yeiser Art Center, The Catalina Hotel for Art Basel, Cape Cod Museum of Art, Verum Ultimum Art Gallery, Santa Fe’s Gallery 901, Stephen F. Austin University, and Umpqua Valley Art Center.

Click here to check out more of her work.




I remember being 15 and so does Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

four women in front of green bushes
Photo by Hannah Nelson on

Fifteen years old is an age that will forever be engraved in my psyche. It was awkward, uncomfortable and scary. And absolutely NO ONE understood. I questioned my changing body, I questioned my thoughts, my beliefs, my very existence. The authentic me had been chipped away at from a very young age. Sit like a lady, you’re too loud, be quiet, stand up straight, you can’t do this, and you shouldn’t do that… Comments that were at times well intentioned to slowly mold me into a proper human being but which often felt like a sledgehammer attempting to take out huge chunks of who I actually was. It left me feeling small and unworthy. By the age of fifteen my body no longer belonged to me. It had been stolen from me. The words I love you would roll off their tongues like it meant they deserved and had earned my body in return to do whatever they please. The sickness I felt in the pit of my stomach every day, the shame I carried with me, all made me want to peel my skin off and be anything but myself.


Fifteen, which was the age Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was when she recalls Judge Brett Kavenaugh forced himself on her at a party. I remember those parties. So many of us remember those parties.


What would be different if at fifteen we valued ourselves? What if we had thought our voice mattered? What if being me was good enough? What if we looked in the mirror and liked ourselves? How would that have changed the course of our lives? Would Dr. Blasey Ford be sitting in front of a Senate Judiciary Committee right now if she had been outspoken about her attack when it happened? Why have we created a world where it isn’t safe for a young girl to do that? If she had valued herself enough to know what happened was wrong and in no way was it her fault or something she should be ashamed of, would she have spoken then? I imagine many things would have been different in her life. I know they would have been different in mine.


I strongly believe we can only experience change if we change our thinking. Girl Noticed’s mission is to ensure every girl, no matter what, is noticed for her unique strengths, talents and abilities. The importance of this lies in every girl seeing herself as enough. We must recognize our value as women, and it is my sincere hope we raise our young girls to do the same.


Advocate • Activist • Feminist • Artist


Advocate • Activist • Feminist • Artist

You could argue I am all of these. The first and the final being the words I would typically use to describe myself, but I’ve heard many others describe my work as a feminist movement, or call me an artist activist. I’m fine with all of the above words, except the fact that somehow especially with the word feminist, people seem to like to attach the meaning… “against men”.

A woman stood beside me at a mural event this past Saturday night, and said with a scowl, “Is this only for women?” Her arms were folded and her face was all scrunched up like she just smelled something bad. I thought, wow, she’s very disapproving of something that is intended to send a positive message.

It’s not the first time I’ve been met with questions like, “Is this needed?” and at almost every mural creation there is at least one person who stops and says, “When are you going to notice boys?”

I created the concept for Girl Noticed one week before my father suddenly passed of a heart attack. I spent the two weeks after his passing at my parents home helping my mom, and attempting to be some comfort and support to her. Late at night, when all was quiet, I worked on the Girl Noticed logo and webpage. I hadn’t created a Girl Noticed mural yet, but I had a firm grasp on the message I intended on spreading. “No matter what every girl has something about her worth noticing”. I decided to share with my mom what I was doing, and she said, “Well Lori, that’s very nice you want to help girls, but won’t the boys get mad?” Yes, even mom, couldn’t understand why I would only do murals of girls and women, and it was a true concern that I might upset the men. At the time I didn’t really know how to answer my mom’s question. I was accustomed to her worrying about upsetting people, so I shrugged it off as her just being her usual self.

“It is not my intention to quiet the voices of men… but to raise the voices of women.” That was my answer to the woman standing beside me with folded arms and scowl Saturday night, and if my mom were to ask me again, I’d tell her the same. *

After hours of drawing, 15 feet up on a ladder, I tell those who ask me when will I notice the boys, “As soon as I’m done with the girls.” And I smirk thinking, god I hope there comes a day men and women feel exactly the same about their body image, their self-confidence, sexuality, and intellectual worth. Wouldn’t that be something?

Men, I love you. I especially love the amazing fathers I meet supporting their daughters hopes and dreams. I love the amazing husbands I meet supporting their wives ambitions and desires, and I love the amazing open minded boys and men I meet who smile, support and cheer on Girl Noticed. You do so with a confidence that says me noticing girls and women, will not take one ounce of who you are or what you are worth away from you. You’re my guys. I do notice you.


*It was an assumption that the mural was only for women. We had many men get involved, and it was a beautiful event. 





Everything and anything to make sure THIS keeps happening.

Donate Today!

Please consider donating to our Summer fundraiser. Just $10. will ensure someone can participate in a Girl Noticed workshop. We create a safe and fun environment for young girls and women to discuss:

• positive body image

• being aware of negative self talk

• comparing ourselves to others

• setting positive goals

• recognizing our worth

• embracing who we are

• declaring our futures

Chante Coleman, Mylah Matheson, and Lilliana Smith are noticed by Councilman Curtis Smith, Phenomenal Young Women, Cage Free Voices, Real Women, their community and Girl Noticed in Indian Head, Maryland.

Donate Today!

Seasons of Change

“ Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive”. – Howard Thurman

This morning I awoke reflecting on the Pulse tragedy that occurred two years ago. The immediate thoughts I had were of anger and frustration. What has changed? What have we learned from the tragedy that took 49 lives?

Memorial Day weekend I danced shoulder to shoulder alongside friends and strangers on a crowded dance floor in a busy Wilton Manors nightclub. I wasn’t thinking about Pulse, nor was I thinking about any other mass shootings, yet I found myself suddenly consumed with anxiety. I could right in that moment be in the next place, be the next victim. It was the perfect formula. It was a holiday, in a gay bar, with loud pounding music and limited security. As I continued dancing, growing more and more anxious, I found myself planning my escape route. How I’d protect the people I was with. Where we would all find cover. I almost had to leave, and I thought, my friends would think I am being so dramatic right now if I told them this, only to find out later they were having the same thoughts, experiencing the same anxiety. The reality is there will be a next time, it will happen again and again. What do we do?

There are countless Parkland students “doing” as I’m writing this. They will be criticized, they will be told what they do won’t make a difference, but they’ll keep doing. They’ll keep doing because it’s what moves them forward, gives them hope. As I watched the Tony Awards and the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas drama club perform “Seasons of Change”, you could see each and every one of them come alive. If you saw the performance, if you spent time with the kids who are speaking out, marching, rallying, you’d feel the aliveness. Unlike myself who can make a choice to go dancing at a crowded nightclub or not, these kids have to walk back into the very place their nightmares occurred and are expected to learn and thrive. They must find what makes them come alive, without it they have no hope.

My art has always made me feel hope. It fills me with a sense of aliveness. That aliveness has led me to make a positive impact on girls and women across the nation. Who’d a thunk a Philly kid with little education becoming a single mom of twins, who didn’t even drive a car till she was 33 could make a difference? Don’t underestimate yourself. Find what makes you come alive. Share it.

The world needs you, and each one of us holds within ourselves the possibility of change.

Working Together (and the difference it makes.)

In a world where we constantly compete and compare, how beautiful it is when we come together, work together and really make a difference. Next week Girl Noticed will be noticing 3 young women in Indian Head, Maryland. Working together with the leaders of Phenomenal Young Women, Cage Free Voices, Real Women and the Town of Indian Head we are creating an event to impact the whole community. People ask me all the time, how can I help?  “What could I do?” There are many ways people are helping.

People like Jayson Priest. He approached his company jetBlue and facilitated a sponsorship for our upcoming trip to Maryland.

People like Ken Fernandez. He enrolled and registered his friend Kim to donate 6 hours of her marketing genius to Girl Noticed.

People like Shelly Loos. She reached out to key people in many states because she believes in the difference Girl Noticed can make. Shelly connected us with the right people in Lincoln, Nebraska and before we knew it we were creating a powerful mural that the whole community rallied around.

People like Diane Fennekohl. She approached her company, Moss & Associates, who generously sponsored our January Fundraiser, and also donated silent auction items. Her help organizing the fundraiser, general support of myself and of Girl Noticed, has been invaluable.

People like Laura Scrivanich. All the way from New York she enlisted the help of her company Downstream Outfitters to print shirts at a great price and donate bags to give away at events. We love our new shirts!

You make your difference in your own unique, extraordinary way. It’s beautiful, its appreciated and its necessary. For Girl Noticed to inspire, encourage and empower I need you. We all need each other.

Artist Mary Pohlmann created the beautiful bag pictured above and is allowing me to use her art to represent Girl Noticed. More of her work here.
Anchorage, Alaska welcomed me and the Girl Noticed project with open arms and came together to celebrate the women of their community. That same weekend, I witnessed volunteers planting a community garden, and a Farmers Market supporting local artists and small businesses. Over the next three weeks they have 200 volunteers and many sponsors painting 9 homes, as Mayor Ethan Berkowitz declared June “Paint The Town Month”.
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In Camp Washington, Ohio the Wave Pool Gallery and Heartfelt Tidbits continues to tirelessly embrace, encourage, and inspire their community. Despite financial and emotional challenges, despite obstacles that sometimes feel unsurmountable, they work together and continue to make a difference. They just care that much about where they live and the people who live there.

Girl Noticed thanks everyone who has worked together making Girl Noticed what it is today. You have my word I’ll make it the best it can be.

All donations are welcome, and greatly appreciated. Girl Noticed is a 501C3 listed under Sanjuan Brown Hollywood Arts Foundation







I am not a statistic.

In a given year, bipolar disorder affects about 5.7 million American adults, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population 18 and older, according to the National Institute of  Mental Health. The disorder, which is characterized by intense highs and lows of manic and depressive episodes, is unfortunately shrouded in stigma. Bipolar disorder is often something people dismiss, trivialize and misunderstand.

While in Alaska last week, it was easy to see these stigmas laid heavily on the shoulders of a participant in my “I AM” Girl Noticed workshop.  In the workshop participants were asked to create signs declaring their future. Taking notice of their strengths, and declaring the future they would stand in.

Adriel expressed to me that she struggled with Bipolar disorder, and although the struggle is real and often challenging, there is a lot more of her to be noticed. She is not just a statistic. Adriel is also a mother, a wife, a friend, an advocate, a writer, a volunteer…her list goes on.

“The mentally ill frighten and embarrass us. And so we marginalize the people who most need our acceptance. What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, more unashamed conversation.” Glenn Close

It was clear to see in the short time I spent with Ariel, all she had to offer. Her loving heart, generous spirit and kind demeanor lit up the room. I have no doubt she will be unstoppable in her determination to tear down the walls of mental illness. I wish her well. I wish her compassion and understanding from a world quick to judge.



Body Image

53% of American girls age 13 are “unhappy with their bodies.”

This grows to…

78% by the time girls reach seventeen.

(National Institute on Media and the Family)


one in four girls

1 in 4 girls today fall into a clinical diagnosis.

– depression, eating disorders, cutting, and other mental/emotional disorders.

On top of these, many more report being constantly anxious, sleep deprived, and under significant pressure.

(The Triple Bind, Steven Hinshaw)