Feminist Art to Spread Across the U.S. in 2020

By Hannah Shepard

Museums across the United States are planning to team up ahead of the 2020 election to produce a collection of exhibitions on feminist art. The project is being led by a group of feminist curators who call themselves the Feminist Art Coalition and, principally, was initiated by Apsara DiQuinzio, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. The mission of the Coalition, simply put, is to “Engage. Reflect. Act.” In broader view, they foster “collaborations between arts institutions that aim to make public their commitment to social justice and structural change. [The FAC] seeks to generate cultural awareness of feminist thought, experience, and action.”

Made possible with lead support by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the major endeavor will present a series of concurrent events, including commissions, exhibitions, performances, talks and symposia, over the course of three months – September through November of 2020, during the run-up to the next presidential election. With at least 50 organizations already committed, the hopes of the project, according to the FAC, is that by “promot[ing] quality within our institutions and beyond, these collective projects will advocate for inclusive and equitable access to social, cultural, and economic resources for people of all genders, sexualities, races, ethnicities, classes, ages, and abilities.” To name a few already committed: Art21, Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Los Angeles’ MOCA, MFA Boston, Seattle Art Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, New York’s Whitney Museum and more to come.

While the project is inspired by feminism, it is encompassing of all genders and is ultimately up to the institutions on what they consider feminist art. Some participating institutions already included programming on their calendar that aligned with the undertaking, while others have been inspired to produce activities and exhibitions to coincide with the project. Notable highlights of the program include a Judy Chicago retrospective at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, a major survey exploring recent feminist practices in contemporary art at BAMPFA, curated by DiQuinzio herself, and a solo exhibition of Diana Al-Hadid at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle.

While waiting for the schedule of activities to kick-off next fall, one can visit the FAC website to enjoy “Notes on Feminism,” a series of commissioned essays in which writers have been asked to discuss issues relating to feminism that she/he considers urgent, or their “Resources” section offering an abundance of seminal quotes, videos and books that inspire and continue to shape feminist thinking.

For more information, visit feministartcoalition.org.


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