We’re smack dab in the middle of Women’s History Month, which makes this the perfect time to spotlight some more awesome women artists, plus events and exhibits you can experience.
Pay a visit
Here in the DC area, we’re lucky to have the National Museum of Women in the Arts, open 362 days a year. Go ahead and pay them a visit now; we’ll be here when you get back.
… Pretty cool, right? The NMWA addresses a huge gap in museum collections all over the globe, which vastly under represent women.
- 51% of U.S. visual artists are women. They earn 81 cents for every $1 by a male artist.
- In the book Basic History of Western Art, 8% of the artists are women. Less than 1% are women of color.
- 5% of artworks on major museum walls are by women.
Women are less likely to have gallery representation, to get solo shows, and to get the big bucks at auction. See our source, and more statistics, in this infographic.
Last year, we wrote about the hugely successful #5WomenArtists campaign, started by NMWA, which challenges people to share the names of five women artists they know.
Whether you already know 5, 50, or 100 women artists, this month’s full of opportunities to find women artists who are new to you. Here are some exhibits to see and events to attend:
Exhibits to see
Drone Zone (open through March 31, 2018 at The Art League): Beverly Ryan’s multi-media exhibit of inflatable and metal sculptures, paintings on aluminum, and installation explores the implications of widespread drone use.
Women House (open through May 28, 2018 at NMWA): 36 women artists are part of this exhibit on domestic spaces. Humor is an important part of the artist’s toolkit here, as Sadie Dingfelder writes in her review.
The Torpedo Factory Art Center (open 7 days a week), including The Art League gallery, is full of working women artists in every medium you can imagine. This blog post by Visit Alexandria has some suggestions on studios to visit. Our recommendation? Take the time to wander all three floors and find someone whose work connects with you. The great thing about the Torpedo Factory is you can chat with the artists and ask questions, too.
At the National Portrait Gallery, the portrait of Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald is on view indefinitely.
Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings (open through May 28, 2018 at the National Gallery of Art) presents the photographer’s famously affecting photographs of the American South.
In the Tower: Anne Truitt (open through July 8, 2018 at the National Gallery of Art) is totally worth a visit if you haven’t yet seen this artist’s minimalist sculptures.
Local Women in Abstraction (open through April 27, 2018 at Publick Playhouse) is exactly what it says: a celebration of local female artists with different approaches to abstract artwork.
Events to attend
March 17: For the Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon at NMWA, bring your own laptop and help work to address the underrepresentation of women artists in the world’s most popular encyclopedia. Reservations required, no experience necessary.
March 21: Arts and Drafts at the Textile Museum invites you to embroider a small patch — no experience necessary — while enjoying talks and beer. Register online.
March 22: In conjunction with their exhibit “The Message: New Media Works,” the Hirshhorn is hosting an artist talk with Camille Henrot. This artist’s practice combines film, drawing, and sculpture. Reservations required.
March 28: NMWA Nights: Welcome to Our House is a happy hour-style event that also includes “subversive crafts” inspired by the Women House exhibit. $25 to attend; reservations recommended.
Articles to read
Why wait until the museums are open? You can read about women artists right now:
- Here are 11 Female Abstract Expressionists Who Are Not Helen Frankenthaler (Artsy)
- What the Data Tell Us About the Challenges Facing Female Artists of Color (Hyperallergic)
- And of course, browse the #5WomenArtists hashtag on Twitter for more inspiration
Closer to home, in the past year, this blog has interviewed nine women artists who won awards in our gallery:
- Tess Olson
- Wen LePore
- Sally Davies
- M.M. Panas
- Elaine Qiu
- Octavia Frazier
- Amy Sabrin
- Sarah Dax Solano
- Kathleen Best Gillmann
We hope you have an enlightening Women’s History Month! If you learn about any new women artists whose work you want to share, won’t you leave us a comment below?