About the Artist: 

Marissa Southards is one half of the creative team behind Southards Art Studio.  As the primary photographer with Southards Art Studio, Marissa has photographed weddings, portraits, and events, with a large focus on working with non-profit organizations.  In 2016, Marissa began to explore creative artistic projects, with the most visible result being The Awakenings Project STL, aka TAP/Awakened.AF. 

The Awakenings Project began in St. Louis, MO in 2016 and includes over 400 participants photographed over the course of 24+ months and 7 cities.  The goal of the project is the empowerment and visibility of women, girls, non-binary folx, and women identifying individuals through body positivity and self-actualization.  More recently, what had started as a moment, became a movement and a journey of actualization among participants, viewers, and creator alike.  TAP brings still images, the written word, and visual media from incredible artists into one place.  In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, TAP has remained resilient and is now forward focused on actualization after years in a global pandemic.

The artist behind the moment turned movement has since visited multiple states, speaking and photographing and reaching supporters around the country.  In the time since the project began, Marissa has been featured on podcasts, blogs, and is currently available for speaking engagements and workshops focused on empowerment, body positivity, transformation and actualization.  

Marissa resides in Glendale, MO with her husband, two daughters, and two tiny revolutionary dogs.  She can usually be found rapidly ingesting caffeine, and is currently experiencing life at multiple WTF's per hour while actively fighting imposter syndrome.   


Image by:  Donna Burch  


About the Project: 

The Awakenings Project / Awakened.AF welcomes women, girls, non-binary, and woman or female identifying folx to participate in this empowering experience.  

Participants of The Awakenings Project come from all walks of life.  We graciously welcome those who feel the call to participate and stand in their truth as they define themselves  - instead of allowing society to tell us they are. 

While based in St. Louis, MO, The Awakenings Project travels often and is adding new locations on a regular basis. 

To participate, simply find us on Facebook or Instagram and check events to sign up for an upcoming session if we are in your city.   No events near you - let us know your city and let's see what we can make happen.  

Not on Facebook?  Email me at: info@awakened-af.com

Want to help, but not participate?  Share our posts, subscribe to the blog and shop our product page!  All proceeds go directly back to the project and assist in ensuring we can keep this project going.  

Want to host TAP/Awakened.AF in your city? Contact me!  

Marissa Southards
Southards Art Studio


Already participated? 

Like and follow The Awakenings Project STL/Awakened.AF on Facebook/Instagram.

Make sure to join Awakenings—Participant Group on Facebook when you receive the invitation from the artist.  Your image will be posted there.  This group is for participants only as all images are released to participants only first.  This is done to ensure your image is shown to you in a loving and supportive environment.  

Subscribe to the blog as upcoming events, product releases, showings, and news will be sent to subscribers first! 

Let us know how you want to receive your print!  Prints are released via the participant group for sharing in a digital format.  A high-resolution digital download will be made available to you for viewing and download.  For printing options, please contact the artist or media coordinator.   

Talk about The Awakenings Project/Awakened.AF!  As we grow, our participants are inspiring others around the world.  Share our posts, engage with our socials, and let's keep this pushing!