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Transactions with Beauty.
Thanks for being here.
I hope that this is a space that inspires you to add something beautiful to the world. I truly believe that 
you are required to make something beautiful.

– Shawna



Five Women Artists

Five Women Artists

I’m late to be posting about the #5WomenArtists campaign, but then again, it’s never too late to bring awareness to something you love.

I came across a quotation by John Berger this weekend, and it reminded me how important it is to support and encourage women’s art. It’s the aesthetic moment that gives me hope, and in art we feel less alone. He says:

“We live in a world of suffering in which evil is rampant, a world whose events do not confirm our Being, a world that has to be resisted. Is is in this situation that the aesthetic moment offers hope, that we find a crystal or a poppy beautiful means that we are less alone, that we are more deeply inserted into existence than the course of a single life would lead us to believe…The energy of one’s perception become inseparable from the energy of creation.”

– John Berger

So the question is, can you name #5WomenArtists? You know, I’m sure you can. Who are your favourites? What contemporary women artists do you love? What about women artists in your hometown or community? Canadian Artists? Indigenous women artists?

women artists books

There is a lot of great shareable content at the National Museum of Women in the Arts site. Including these next two posters:

blue hydrangea and books

It’s still surprising to me that most people can’t name five women artists. There are other surprising and not surprising facts in an article on Forbes that begins:

Sometime in the 1970s an art collector and patron by the name of Wilhelmina Cole Holladay began asking people in her circles: "Where are all all the women artists?" Some thirty years later she would indirectly get the answer most weren't willing to say out loud from a man who spoke to a reporter at Art Basel in 2014:  “I just curate what I like, and I like art by men better.”

and goes on:

According to the National Endowment for the Arts, 51% of living visual artists in the US today are women and, on average, those women earn 81 cents for every dollar made by their male contemporaries. A recent study by the Public Library of Science found that of the permanent collections of 18 prominent art museums in the US, 87% of the represented works were completed by men. Most recently, a joint study conducted in 2017, by artnet Analytics and Maastricht University in 2017 found that just 13.7% of living artists represented in galleries in Europe and North America are women.

blue hydrangea

Still, the aesthetic moment offers me hope. Women artists continue to offer me hope.

Women’s history month is over, but there’s still time to talk about your favourite #5WomenArtists. I’d love to know who they are.

Lastly, this is just shameless self-promotion, but in my first book, All the God-Sized Fruit which I wrote a billion years ago, I wrote about :

Artemisia Gentileschi
Rosa Bonheur
Paula Modersohn-Becker
Rachel Ruysch
and an anonymous woman art forger

No Hope of a Lunch

No Hope of a Lunch

The Most Valuable Thing We Can Do

The Most Valuable Thing We Can Do