Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Reimaging Femmage

Girls Don't Need Book Learning  will be part of  Reimaging Femmage at the Foundry Art Center in St. Charles Missouri February 20 - April 3, 2015.

Juror Lisa Melandri, the executive director of Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, selected works by women from all over the country whose art puts a contemporary face to the tradition of femmage.  

Femmage is a term invented by artists Miriam Shapiro and Melissa Meyer in the late 1970's to describe art made by women with methods historically assigned to women, such as sewing, cooking and applique.  Leader of the feminist art movement Shapiro, along with Judy Chicago co-founded the Feminist Art Program at California Institute of Arts.  

Shapiro was active in the fight to have work by women artists exhibited in museums that typically only showed art by men.  Associated with the women's rights movement for political, social and artistic parity with men, femmage became a call to action.  

I only wish that I could say that the efforts of our fore-mothers affected a substantial gain for women but, according to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, even though 51% of visual artists are women, only slightly more than 1/4 (28%) of them have been spotlighted with solo shows in museums.  A recent statistic. 

I am honored to be part of a show that keeps the conversation going and reminds us that all is not created equal.

michelle saffran  A Girl Don't Need Book Learning  photo-collage apron, approx 34" x 44" paper and mixed media  2012  $1,000
detail of recipe card placed in the apron pocket - found text and photograph

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