Visiting Artists Lecture #2

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Visiting Artist Lecture Response #2 - Panel Discussion
Bailey Haack
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.

2 Comments

I agree with you, Bailey, on the idea that "women's art" versus just being an artist that happens to be a woman, is my way of thinking too. It is hard to grasp the lasting effects of the sexism that the women of the previous generation(s) experienced. I do not feel "a need to count," as these women do, nor do I feel all that disturbed by the male-female ratio of artists showing in major museums, for to me it makes sense that parity in those venues would be one generation behind equality of opportunity and exposure on the education and gallery-showing level. I do see in our local community, that women artists are given a lot of exposure at both the Walker and MIA. But it could be that my awareness does not match up to the numbers. It is thanks to these women that we have the attitudes we do, though it is important to not forget all they did to make that happen, nor the blatant sexism what women faced not that long ago. It's also that much more important that on those occasions when we do see it today, or become aware of or experience ourselves its subtle effects, that we take a stand and call them on it. (whomever "they" may be.) I appreciate that there are people out there who are making sure that this trajectory forward continues. I am glad that I do not feel the need to have that level of vigilance, though appreciate that there are those out there who are doing it for me, and will support them in their efforts.
- Allison Ruby

I couldn’t agree more with what you are saying here. I do appreciate what the women of W.A.R.M worked for and their strength in being able to get women’s art more out in the open but I feel like now we are past trying to make a stand for women’s rights. I believe women and men to be treated fairly equally in today’s world and we should really be focusing on art as a whole and not if a man or woman created a certain piece. I think we’re in a time now where we should be celebrating each other for our work, not our gender. Our art community has grown to involve not only both sexes but all kinds of races and cultures. We have come so far in eliminating discrimination that we should be celebrating artwork as it is rather than who it came from. I’m not saying that there isn’t still some gender/race discrimination but compared to what it was like in the past, we are doing pretty darn good.

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This page contains a single entry by haack049 published on February 13, 2013 9:40 PM.

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