Save the Date!
A Woman's Work is Never Done: Women in the Arts
Organized and presented by Unbound Visual Arts - Opening Reception: Friday March 31, 2023, 7:00 - 9:00 pm ET
Curated by Paige Moreau
Exhibit Assistants - Jingyi Wang, Minhao Yang, Shuxian Zhang, Tricia Park
Arthaus Art Exhibit Gallery - 43 N. Beacon St., Allston, MA
This exhibition will investigate the malleable definition of women’s work in the field, in the home, and, importantly, in the arts. While women’s participation in the labor market steadily increased in the second half of the 20th century, participation has plateaued and even slightly declined as we move through the 21st century. Further, women’s workforce labor (distinguished from domestic labor) was disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as more women lost employment than men or remained home to provide child care during school closures. These statistics and events have been met with calls for increased affordable childcare resources, emphasis on paid family leave, and initiatives to close the gender pay gap. According to U.S. Secretary of Treasury, Janet Yellen, via the Brookings Institute, if the obstacles of underrepresentation, unreasonable work-life balance, and pay disparities consist, we will squander the potential of our citizens and our economic growth. So where does that leave us? At this moment, where do women conceive of themselves in terms of “work” and how do we value the different conceptions of women’s work?
Many recent exhibitions in the greater Boston area have highlighted the work of women artists as well as objects that are specifically designed for women’s work i.e. childcare and domestic chores. Between 2019 and 2021 the MFA Boston mounted the exhibition Women Take the Floor. Drawing largely from the museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition strove to challenge 20th-century narratives by centering the often overlooked and underrepresented work of women artists. On view through December 18, 2022 the Mass Art Art Museum is hosting the exhibition Designing Motherhood: Things That Make and Break Our Births which investigates the material culture surrounding contraception, pregnancy, birth and beyond allowing us a window into how women’s roles are conceived of via design. Additionally we continually see monographic exhibitions dedicated to women artists that question the canon of art and insert women’s voices into political and racial justice discourses including Frida Kahlo: POSE at the Rose Art Museum in 2020 and Sonya Clark: Monumental Cloth, The Flag We Should Know at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in 2021. A Woman's Work is Never Done: Women in the Arts will join this ongoing conversation and will assert that the work of women in the arts to carve out an equal space is an ongoing process.
Greater Boston-area female-identifying artists are invited to submit work to A Woman's Work is Never Done: Women in the Arts. Art in all mediums will be considered for this exhibition including but not limited to, 2D images, sculpture, video, poetry, recorded performance, etc. We are seeking artwork that explores and engages women’s identities, challenges preconceived notions of women’s roles in labor and contends with the history of women’s art and the mediums that have traditionally been considered “women’s work” i.e. crafts, ceramics, fiber arts, etc. Are the mediums women work in neutral? Is there something inherently feminine about women’s art? Where do you conceive of yourself and your female peers in the workforce? How does labor, physical or metaphysical, play into your work?
Image credit: A Woman's Work Is Never Done, See Red Women's Poster Collective, poster, 1976, Victoria and Albert Museum, E.1714-2004
Below are some example works we selected from previous exhibits
(From top to bottom, left to right:
Andrea Zampitella, Suzie Homemaker, #2
Nancer Ballard, Run Like a Girl
Nilou Moochhala, Singular Multiplexity
Ruth Rieffanaugh, Finding Strength in Broken Places)
Source for material above: https://www.unboundvisualarts.org/a-womans-work-is-never-done-women-in-the-arts/