Shake Up The Status Quo and Raise The Status of Women Artists

Guest blogger Renée Phillips shares her resource guide and ideas to increase awareness of women in the arts.

 

Denisa Prochazka, "Warrior’s Heart Wish", clay, 21″ x 17″ x 10″. She is one of the top award-winning exhibiting artists in the Manhattan Arts International "HERStory 2017" online exhibition.

Denisa Prochazka “Warrior’s Heart Wish”, clay, 21″ x 17″ x 10″. She is one of the top award-winning exhibiting artists in the Manhattan Arts International “HERStory 2017” online
exhibition.

 

For centuries women artists have faced discrimination. Throughout history many accomplished women artists’ contributions have been ignored and the opportunities for contemporary women artists are insufficient. You’ll find many staggering statistics from research studies revealed by such institutions as the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

On the bright side, there are many positive strides being made to balance the scales, shake up the status quo, and raise awareness about women artists. Arts activists as well as major museums and unprecedented global movements are addressing these concerns with strident steps and unbridled enthusiasm. While recently curating the “HERStory” exhibition for Manhattan Arts International I discovered many of them which I compiled in “A Resource Guide For Women Artists”. Here are a few excerpts.

Nasty Women Artists
As a reaction to threats against women’s rights the first “Nasty Women Exhibition” took place in January 2017 at the Knockdown Center in Queens, New York. The show completely sold out and raised more than $42,000 for Planned Parenthood. Furthermore, more than 30 sister shows worldwide continue to raise large sums of money for women’s rights and social services, while dozens more are being planned.  If you are interested in joining the Nasty Women Resistance and want to organize a Nasty Women Exhibition in your city, visit this site for details.

More Books About Women Artists 

Astonishingly, male artists far outweigh female artists in art books and online resources. We can find many publications that decrease the gender gap such as 50 Women Artists You Should Know, a comprehensive 176-page survey of influential women artists by Christiane Weidemann, Petra Larass, and Melanie Klier. Another publication is Women Artists, a 239-page illustrated hard cover catalogue of National Museum of Women in the Art’s collection that spans art history from the Renaissance to the present.

Increasing The Number of Women Artists On Wikipedia

The Museum of Modern Art has embarked on an important mission and held the fourth annual Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon during Women’s History Month in March 2017. It was joined by 2,500 participants. Edit-a-thon events were held at some of the world’s biggest art institutions including the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. As a result, over 6,500 women artists have new or expanded Wikipedia entries. To learn how you can add to an existing article or place your own on Wikipedia, visit this page.

Raising Awareness Through Dialogue

According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts website 51% of visual artists today are women, yet only 28% of museum solo exhibitions spotlighted women in eight selected museums throughout the 2000’s. And, an important study “The Ongoing Gender Gap in Art Museum Directorships”, cites that of museums with budgets of $15 million and higher, only 30% have female directors.  As Lisa Phillips, director of the New Museum in New York exclaims, “The first step in addressing inequality is acknowledging it… Hard data makes it plain and clear.”

 

Valerie Patterson, "Women’s March", watercolor, 27″ x 35″. This painting was selected for the "HERStory 2017" online exhibition.

Valerie Patterson, “Women’s March”, watercolor, 27″ x 35″. This painting was selected for the “HERStory 2017” online exhibition.

 

“Women, Arts, and Social Change” is a public program initiative of the National Museum of Women in the Arts that highlights the power of women as catalysts for change and what it means to be champions of women through the arts. FRESH TALK, the signature program of the initiative, expands this important dialogue with curated conversations with leading innovators and thought leaders from a range of disciplines. Watch live-streaming and recorded FRESH TALKs here.

You Can Make A Difference
You can perpetuate the movement to raise awareness in the art world and shake up the status quo. you don’t have to wait for a huge event or global movement to make a difference. Consider these ideas:

  • Become a member of a women’s arts organization
  • Post news about women artists and women artists’ events and exhibitions on social media
  • Introduce fellow women artists to friends, associates, and galleries
  • Launch a women arts support group
  • Share this article and other resources like this to raise awareness

 

Renée Phillips, The Artrepreneur Coach, helps artists attain their fullest potential in private consultations, coaching sessions, articles and e-Books found on www.renee-phillips.com. She is also founder/director/curator of Manhattan Arts International and The Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS. Follow her on Twitter @reneephillipsny and join her on Facebook ReneePhillipsArtCoach.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Excellent post, Renee! I am curious about one thing. “According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts website 51% of visual artists today are women, yet only 28% of museum solo exhibitions spotlighted women in eight selected museums throughout the 2000’s.” I wonder if this is an accurate number, especially when you take the number of women involved in the textile arts. I did find this page on the NEA site with some more stats and designers are included in that mix and I can see that some of those sectors might be dominated by men. The stats on earnings was especially interesting and depressing for women…

    But, the NEA data is from 2011, six years old and we have seen a huge shift in the art world in these last years as more people market their wares and skills online. I would be interested in seeing data that is more recent.

    Anyway, will share with my people! 🙂

  2. Thank you Rachel for reading my article and your information about considering a broader view of women artists being represented in museum shows. I will look into the statistics supported by the The National Endowment for the Arts website https://www.arts.gov/ and other resources. When I find more stats I’ll post them in a comment here. In the meantime here is a page on the NMWA’s site with more stats and resources https://nmwa.org/advocate/get-facts#sthash.Hmh4r42t.dpuf)

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