Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Woman Made Gallery: AMY

This is PART II of a series of blog entries devoted to
I recently sat down for a conversation with Amy (above), gallery coordinator for Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, the midwest regional coordinator for the Feminist Art Project, and adjunct Art History prof at DePaul University.

On having a women only gallery: “Woman Made couldn’t be called a feminist gallery because we have shows that are abstract and geometric. Feminism has a connotation that is more political. Its really important to have that kind of show because women artists are underrepresented in the art world and just because an artist does abstraction or geometric forms doesn’t mean we can’t be an advocate for them. Being an advocate for all women artists is where the name Woman Made comes from. For our audiences the idea of a feminist made gallery would mean political art. Would more people come to the gallery if it was called WM gallery, would more collectors buy from us? What connotations are we promoting with our name? Ultimately it's not about identity, its about women being underrepresented in the art world.”

On younger artists aversion to being labeled feminist: “We had an emerging art show called ‘Feminist Interrogations,’ all about how feminism can be used as a tool of social activism. I encouraged younger artists associated with our gallery to apply, and a lot of them didn’t. Their idea of feminism was about images of women and this way we think about feminism traditionally. It seems there is a gap there in terms of how younger artists are getting involved with feminism and making it relevant to their lives… There are young artists who don’t want to show here. They don’t want to make that distinction, that their work is only supposed to be shown at a Woman’s Gallery, they don’t want to put that on their record. They don’t want the issue of personal identity associated with their work, and I can understand that, but I would still advocate for them.”


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