Thursday, October 31, 2013

Brown Bag Reflection: Art from a Feminist Lens

            In all seriousness, I was one of those kids with massive art skills in Kindergarten. In fact, this past summer I visited my kindergarten teacher who happened to have some of my artwork that she’s been saving for the past 15 years or so. But somewhere along the way, art and creative expression was devalued and developing reading and writing skills was prioritized. I feel like I lost all of my creative and artistic skills as I grew older. Which is why it is great that people like Melissa Gamez and Jess Aquino have retained their artistic skills and that they shared some of their art with us during last Tuesday’s brown bag.
            One of the topics that came up during the Q&A was the fact that artists create works of art to depict something, whether a thought, emotion, or memory, yet they still have to explain their piece using words, which seems counterintuitive. A response to this question was that having some background to an art piece could deepen the meaning of the work. I’m not an art historian, but I find that knowing a bit about the artist’s life, social circumstances or thoughts helps me to appreciate and better understand their art.
            A common topic throughout the brown bag was the idea of looking at art through a feminist lens, although this may not have been the intention of the artist. I think that having a feminist perspective changes art and gives it a different meaning to the feminist viewer. What are some of your favorite art pieces? How do you view them? How would you view them through a feminist lens? Please feel free to share!
            These speakers have definitely inspired me to take an art class in the near future. I would love to develop my untapped artistic skills and create some feminist art. What could be better than feminist art?
            Sophia Wallace depicts her feminist art through her Cliteracy project in which she uses different forms of art to educate people about the clitoris. Many people do not know about female genitals and female pleasure, and Wallace visually demonstrates what we all should know. As Wallace portrays, art can be a form of activism, especially when viewed from a feminist lens. Click the link bellow to learn more about her project, and let me know what you think.

-Valerie Garcia ’15

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