Pane Discussion


Carol Fischer
Carol Fischer gave a great biography of the galleries and artists she participated with in the past. She used a lot of humor in order to maintain the audience's interest. When she began to speak about the Arts Core Program, it became more interesting though. Fischer explained how this program changed the entire dynamic of these female artists' work by the way she discussed the structure, curriculum, and methodology of the program. The ACP talk was a great example on how a community of artists can work together today (the open discussion method, grass-roots organizing, etc.)

Elizabeth Erickson
Erickson's opening quote was wonderful to listen to: "This moment is the perfect teacher." I feel as if that set the stage for her talk quite beautifully. She spoke very poetically about learning as women and I found it very inspirational. The way she discussed the purpose of the Women's Art Institue was also very inspirational. She spoke of it as a way to enter into the present with your ideas, heart, soul, and skills. What I also found helpful in Erickson's talk was how she reflected upon the contemporary artists that were her students. This gave me a way to connect to the discussion of feminism in the 1970s.

Third Speaker
This speaker spoke a lot about the history of WARM and how it has changed in recent years. I found that with her lecture, she lacked a lot of the inspiration (for lack of a better word) that the the other two speakers had.

When the panel began discussing the questions that arose during the lectures, I felt like some great topics were touched on. Lately, I have been dealing a lot with the word feminist. In my own personal experience, I have felt that when a woman stands up for herself or for another woman--many times she is derogatorily called a feminist. I appreciated that they brought up that word and talked about how it has been twisted and degraded. I enjoyed that several of the audience members spoke up, but I wish that there was more younger women that spoke with the panel as well so that issues of our generation were brought up.


I too enjoyed listening to Carol Fischer speak, she was humorous and I liked how engaged she was with talking about the work created by these female artists in the Arts Core Program. You mentioned that you felt that the third speaker, Bethany Whitehead, lacked inspiration. I feel that there was possibly a lack of inspiration because she is new to the program and she is a lot younger than the other members. The others have had years of experience and grew up in a time where there wasn’t as much female equality. Possibly, this makes Carol and Elizabeth more passionate and inspired. I do feel that Bethany is good for the group because she is part of a younger generation and she is there to continue the group legacy.

In all organizations there are pioneers and there are people who carry the work forward over the long term. This latter work is often referred to as the administrative phase of an organization. Both tasks are important and both take different talents, skills and personalities. I think Bethany seems to be in the latter group, she helps carry the continuing task of WARM's long-term viability and stability. I agree she seemed to not have the fire of Carole Fisher, but her position might also be such that she is privy to information that shows her such idealism is financially unrealistic right now.

Also, while I understand the desire for WARM to again have its own exhibition space, the moving around and taking over different spaces is not all bad. There is a collaborative quality in this way of working that can be a plus for the local art scene as a whole. It can introduce WARM to a new audience and bring exposure to spaces that might now be as well known. For example, I regularly go to gallery openings and art events in the cities, but had never heard of the Robbin Gallery, and seldom venture out to events and spaces in the suburban areas. WARM exhibiting there brings in people that might not otherwise not think to check out what is going on there, and this interest and connection is likely to carry on into the future.
- Allison Ruby

Regarding the OP's remark about wishing more representation of younger women:

It did appear to me too that WARM's audience is middle-aged and up. I am in my 40s and felt like a younger member of the audience at this event and other of their events. If this is representative of its membership base (and I don't know if it is) then it might be incumbent upon them to put energy into drawing a younger generation into the organization as well. I wonder if its mission speaks to young people as much as it does those who came of age in the 60s and 70s, when the feminist ethos was at its peak. I also noticed there was even less racial diversity. It is hard to see a predominantly middle-aged white organization to be particularly progressive.
- Allison

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This page contains a single entry by spenc397 published on February 2, 2013 3:16 PM.

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