Sexism in the history of the art world has left a massive impact on female artists, and it continues to do so today.
According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ website, “only 5 percent of the art currently on display in U.S. museums is made by women.”
In an effort to encourage, celebrate and empower women in art, the MSA/GPC Craft Studio is hosting the 21st Annual Women in Arts gallery show. The show began Monday and will run through March 28.
Sponsored by the Women’s Center and the Women’s History Month committee, this event serves to bring attention to women’s role in the arts both historically and in present day.
“Columbia’s a very artistic town,” says Craft Studio coordinator Kelsey Hammond. “There’s lots of (women) making great work here. The community and campus are extremely supportive, and the quality of work that’s submitted to the show is fabulous.”
Hammond cited the foundation for the event as a desire to prove history wrong.
“Throughout time, women have often been left out of the standard art history cannon,” she says. “Women didn’t have as much access to making art, so they had to have a father or brother who was an artist if they wanted to make it in the art world. Times have changed, of course, and there are a lot of women artists working today, but because the history is so long, there’s always going to be a disparity.”
Hammond also says the subject matter of the work shown will be different than what some might expect.
“I think sometimes people assume that because it’s a women’s art show, the subject matter is all just vaginas, mother-and-child-esque stuff, or something else that’s ‘typically female,’” Hammond says. “It’s art by women, but it’s not at all necessarily themed that way. We’re just trying to make a space where women can be involved in the arts and show off what they’re making — without competition. We’re purposefully making a space where we can celebrate women in art.”
The Craft Studio will be hosting a reception for the gallery, complete with live music and refreshments from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday in room N12 of Memorial Union.