Art Reducing Stigma


Charmaine took part in a documentary project directed by award-winning filmmaker Don Casper, producing two short documentaries exploring her project at UR. 

Portraits of Life (7 min)

This short documentary was created in 2017 and focused on Mental Health portraits. View the whole film below. 

Don't Define Me (13 min)

The second short documentary from 2018 followed Charmaine and some of her HIV-related portrait sitters. View a trailer below.

Kids Help Kids With Art

A little while ago, Emma and Addison, twins, 7 years old, began sending University of Rochester’s Artist-In-Residence Charmaine Wheatley artworks, showing their passion for creativity and expression. As the conversation turns to Susan B Anthony for the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment (Women’s right to vote), Charmaine provided the girls with art supplies so they could pay their own respects to this powerful women – plus a few Buffalo Bills tributes 🙂

After talking to a professor at RIT, this small project expanded to include a local Girl Scout troop, who created paintings of their own, each unique and hand made.

ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT the Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester, NY.

“Our research helps improve the health of children. A century ago, children routinely died of infections and nutritional deficiencies. A little over a decade ago there were very few treatment options for childhood cancer, premature birth, and congenital heart or brain diseases. Although our research has made significant strides in these areas, our work is far from finished. Now our challenge is to help young patients live healthier lives as they move into adulthood. Our goals for the future are to prevent childhood diseases, limit complications from treatment, and effectively manage chronic illnesses.”

#1 by Amber

#2 by Ellie

#3 by Ellie

#4 by Addison

#5 by Bella

#6 by Laura Shackelford

#7 by Addison

#8 by Emma

#9 by Jade

#10 by Marissa

#11 by Timmy

#12 by Ani

#13 by Miriam

#14 by Emma

#15 by Emma

#16 by Kennedy

#17 by Jade

Previously, these portraits were for sale on our Etsy shop. However, Etsy has changed some of its policies and we no longer agree with their practices, so we are offering these for sale privately. Each portrait is $35.

Please fill out the contact form below and we will be in touch with you shortly to coordinate payment (cash, check, money order, Paypal, Venmo) and pick up or shipping. Be sure to indicate which painting you’d like! 

Sheela na gig


From Charmaine: 
“Sheela na Gigs are relief sculptures of a figure exposing her vulva. She came into being as early as the 6th or 7th century (but definitely by the 11th or 12th centuries), so no one can definitively state what she’s really about. Everyone can make her what they want her to be ultimately. Some have said she’s an older woman because you can see her ribs in some carvings and the deeply etched lines around her eyes suggest aging and that suits me fine. For me, she’s from a time when women had agency and power, and the older generations come with the wisdom of experience.
To this end, I’ve re-thought the University of Rochester logo, a logo that has remained unchanged since the University was founded in 1850 (and did not admit female students), from the eyes of Sheela.  My goal is to question the current logo, which to me, speaks of white men with books that are lovely (but becoming a thing of the past), and a lyre that isn’t played anymore – although the snake (caduceus) still works!  With Sheela na Gig, we go way back in time to update the UR logo to reflect the inclusive values of today.  And in doing so, we explicitly invoke the conjunction of women and power, which were not always two separate thoughts. 
I’m not saying the Sheela logo is the answer but my motives are to incite a critique and come together to develop a logo that visually makes everyone feel like they could belong at this university.”

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

These logos are now on tote bags! $22 per bag plus Shipping + Handling (standard delivery, within US). 

If you’d like to purchase one, please send us an email at!