Visiting Artist Lecture Response #2 - Panel Discussion
31 January 2013
I really enjoyed this lecture, mostly because each of the speakers gave a rich history of their involvement with WARM, but they also brought it up to the present and related it to the current art world. It is interesting to see how far women artists have come in gaining acceptance and recognition in an art world that is still dominated by men. However, I noticed with this discussion and the Harmony Hammond talk that often female artists become lumped together in a group simply for the reason that they are women, regardless of their art style or medium. It seems like at this point, having come so far, that women artists would simply be able to create their art and not have to claim it and defend it - we don't often see male artists making art about their male-ness.
As exciting as it is that female artists are getting their chance to shine, I was surprised that none of the women on the panel discussed the idea that women artists could just be recognized as artists, judged simply for their work and its impact, rather than the fact that it was them who created it. I think by this point in society, we need to move past the shock value of creating tampon art and simply accept art and artists as people, rather than genders.
Of course, I don't want to devalue or put down the art that women artists have and are creating that is relevant to gender and sex, but I don't believe that all art needs to necessarily be defined by those parameters. I felt like the panel discussion was very focused on the community of women and empowering women to create art, but I would have liked to see the discussion move past the ideas of simply creating "women's art" and towards creating art in general, because that's what is really important.