Can you name 5 women artists? Every Women’s History Month since 2016, The National Museum for Women in the Arts (NMWA) asks that question.
Go ahead. Take a minute or two – who springs to mind?
Think of sculptors, painters, photographers, muralists, etc. Can you easily name 5 women artists, or more?
If you are a little dumbfounded, you are not alone. Women artists, both working now and long dead, struggle to be recognized and afforded the same acclaim, space, and pay as men. NMWA shares the following statistics on their website:
- 87% of works in major art museums are by men
- $5 billion is the pay gap between top male and female artists
- Less than 3% of the artists in the Met in NYC are women but 83% of the nudes are female
That last one stings a little, does it? It does help to answer the question – why does gender matter in art?
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If you want to expand your number and discover some local Austin women artists and venues, it can be a great way for you and your family to celebrate Women’s History Month. Check these out – and check online for their COVID protocols as needed:
- Women and Their Work Gallery – The Smithsonian recently acquired their archives, which represent over 40 years of the organization’s groundbreaking work collecting and showing women’s art. Visit their new home on East Cesar Chavez.
- The Contemporary Austin – The current showing “I’m” by Deborah Roberts, which is her first solo museum exhibit in her home state of Texas (she lives in Austin) and the first solo exhibit by a Texas artist at The Contemporary. 💪
- The Femme Abstract- Curated by the multitalented artist and businesswoman Moya McIntyre, this large exhibition has brought a range of female artists into conversation and celebration with each other. This year’s show, which closed on February 27, was especially poignant. Take a minute to watch this “curator’s tour” and maybe follow an artist or two on Instagram.
- 40 Books by Austin Female Authors – It’s almost time for a new beach read and we could all probably stand to get lost, at least for a few minutes, in a good book. Which of these will you grab next?
- Meet the Women of Austin R&B – Ready for some music? This is Austin and there is so much talent. I’ll miss hearing all kinds of music tumbling out of every venue in town during (virtual) SXSW this year, but in-home concerts and a few outdoor options get us back in the live music groove.
However you engage in art, it can provide challenge, comfort, identification, beauty and/or vision. Add more women artists to your repertoire!
Let us know your #5womenartists in the comments below!