Stepping Back in Time

March 8 I will be telling Pushing Boundaries at the American University Museum at the Katzen Center (6 PM Free) in conjunction with an exhibition - IMPACT: The Legacy of the Women's Caucus for Art. I went over today to see the show - to "get into" my story - which contains a big bit about the 1970s and the women's artists movement. 

The AU Museum's fine space is a good place for this show which is smallish considering that it spans a large group of women artists over a 35 year period. I can imagine the WCA budget was stretched to bring these works together; even so I was sorry Mimi Shapiro is represented by a small paper work instead of one of her glorious fabric works - however the luscious piece by Joyce Kozloff gives a rich taste of the decorative work of some in those days. 

I laughed out loud at the full frontal male nude by Sylvia Sleigh - wondering who would remember the statement she was making in those works. 

After enjoying the wall works I sat for an hour watching the digital images of the "life achievement " awardees on a large monitor. It was like sitting down with a blown up version of your high school year book and memories assaulted me. I knew many of these women, remembered their art work as well as the times when we were speaking up and acting out to have a better place for women in the art world. 

When the images for my good friend Joyce Aiken popped up before me - I admired the work but wished she had sent them a picture of her red wood coffin embellished with cupids instead. It is a great statement on making a personal statement in your art work. I came to know Joyce when we worked together leading the new political organization The Coalition of Women's Art Organizations which established  women artists as an activist group in the large women's movement. We did good and we had a wonderful time doing it. Not to mention the serendipity that when we were elected together - she in California and me in Maryland - it turned out that Joyce and Jim had grown up in the same Fresno neighborhood and gone to college together. 

As I looked at the words about these women, particularly those missing - it hit me. I am an eyewitness to a special time and as such I have things to tell that I have not told before. In sight of this show is probably the best place to bring it up. Hmmm!!! Feeling grateful to have a chance to add a tad to the record.

1 comment:

Still the Lucky Few said...

I'm so glad you are doing so much to preserve some record of your experiences! Life is so short and fleeting! So much will be lost forever unless people like you write and talk about it. Thanks for persevering!