Celebrating the story of the human spirit



Sema Canaan Jonsson

Sema Canaan Eide Jonsson 

Sema is Norwegian and was born in Izmir Turkey. She grew up in a female environment with a single mother and two sisters. Cosmopolitan, she speaks +5 languages and spent her childhood in Norway & Turkey and her youth in the USA.  Additionally, she has lived and worked in Denmark, Sweden, USA, Spain, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the islands of Canary, Balearic & Madeira and in France since 1991.  

Inspired by her artist mother she studied commercial art and  humanitarian law. She lately earned her certificate as a coach/therapist in "healing with the arts" (Traumas, self-love deficiency etc), 

She is an avid student of Neurosciences and physiology. 

Sema traveled the world working within the travel industry among other fields for years and then followed her husband’s career and raised a family. She is the mother of two boys, Sebastien and Axel. She returned to her love of painting 

In 1998, and eventually became a recognized artist/painter/sculptor in southern France. 

As a visual artist, she is going  beyond homage, in order to address subject matter outside the range or interests with the intention to spread the message of compassion, hope & peace through diversity. 

Just like a medical Doctor who must save a life even if it is complicated, we have no choice but to make this planet a kinder place for us all"...  

-Sema Canaan Jonsson

contact the artist






It all started with the determination to radically change my life around after along period of hardship.  I needed someone to look up-to to overcome several personal challenges. At that time, I started to read about women and discovered their incredible stories.  I was in awe while learning about them and started painting one portrait, it led to another and then another. 

 Many ideas arouse as I painted the portraits and reading their stories. 

I realized that I was not only healing and inspiring my self but also people around me. 

As often when we do what we are meant to do, miraculously we meet people that will open doors for us. This is exactly what happened.

I was invited to an event in Geneva  where I was fortunate to meet the first female Director of Webster University-Geneva, Dr.Clementina Acedo who  offered to exhibit the Women Who Inspire portraits at Webster's 40th anniversary celebration in September 2018.  

Thus, the seed of this project  "The Pantheon of Women who inspire" was born and is growing steadily into a major art installation.

 I feel this is my calling and I am now working full time with this project. My wish is to empower and offer hope to people, specially to the younger generation while planting seeds of compassion and tolerance as well as spreading knowledge of women's contribution to the world. 

This is one of the reasons I am painting women of all nations, all walks, race, age and fields. Showing that it is the diversity of women and men from all Nations that contribute to humanity and makes the world a great place to live.

I've been very fortunate to meet some of the women I've painted who so generously offer to support & sign an inspiring  message on their portraits.

I have had tremendous help from so many people I've met through this project and I am truly grateful.

-Sema Canaan Jonsson





Art has always been used used in telling stories and as a catalyst for change

Painting one portrait a day since a year, Sema completed her first 200 paintings that has been exhibited in several locations in Geneva . 


The first exhibition showed the first 100 of 400 portraits at Webster University Geneva 40th Anniversary kick-off event and was featured in their Meet the Artist series on 27 September 2018 curated by DR.Julianna Bark. 

"I was truly humbled and honored to be part of this important event", Sema. 

Women Who Inspire is designed to be a journey of self discovery and of self empowerment through art, human achievements and history.

This unique exhibition explores art as a medium of communication to tolerance and compassion by offering the viewer a travel through the world of talent, purpose, passion, cause and determination.

This NOT FOR SALE exhibition will be traveling worldwide to other great universities and events to inspire hope, peace and compassion while growing into 400 women.


WOMEN'S PORTRAITS and their stories




The mission of Women Who Inspire® is about using their stories to inspire and empower young people through the arts and to communicate compassion and tolerance through culture. 

 The Pantheon of Women Who Inspire® is designed to be a journey of self discovery and of self empowerment through art, human achievements and history.





Women Who Inspire® is intended to be a worldwide traveling exhibition
in a quest to explore art as a communication medium leading to self discovery and inspiration for the viewer.

“Perhaps the seeds of compassion, creativity, dreams and love will grow into the hearts of the young, so that the world may be filled with such dignified women and men who contribute to better the world.” 

Sema Jonsson


Support this mission

Our Partners




Surrender to your emotions and experience a shift!


"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and science" - Albert Einstein

Let go of your inner critic & judgment, open your heart to the experience and you will discover your magnificent inner being and transcend the reality of the contemporary world in which we live in.


Be present and allow the process to define you.


Open your heart by telling yourself that you will discover something important through the stories of these women. Remember that the spirit has no gender.

 Read their stories and imagine what she may have gone through to reach the public eye. Think of her challenges, passion, joy, pain, solitude, love and hardship. 

Answer the questions on the “Blog" page where you may find their Stories and Questions to come to your own conclusion or engage in a discussion relating to the question with others 


Top of the page


Envoyez-nous un email !

Ce site est protégé par reCAPTCHA ; la Politique de confidentialité et les Conditions d'utilisation de Google s’appliquent.

The Pantheon of Women Who Inspire by Sema Jonsson