According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, females account for a mere 13.7% of living artists represented by galleries in Europe and North America.
The Shah Garg Foundation is dedicated to amplifying the voices of women artists and artists of color, through philanthropy and free exhibitions including the “Making Their Mark” exhibition in New York City.
After receiving a tip from a colleague (shout out to Lisa Wilkerson!), Women’s Empowerment Club advisor, Kerri Tracy approached AP Art Teacher, Jodi Burger to see if they could team up for a field trip to NYC. The idea was a hit with students, with 32 spanning grades 9 through 12 signing up for the adventure.
The group hopped on the train to Grand Central, then over to Hudson Yards before walking the Highline to the exhibition featuring artwork from over 80 female artists from the past eight decades who have made their mark in the genre of abstract art.
Students explored the exhibition on their own before receiving a guided tour. The AP Art students had already conducted investigations on some of the artists featured, but the context gained through the discussion with the docent brought their appreciation and intrigue to the next level.
AP Art Student, and abstract art-lover, Frankie, genuinely gushed with excitement when recounting the experience. As a young woman and artist, she shared how inspired she was by the level of representation throughout the exhibition. Frankie described the show as “the perfect size” explaining that she and her friends were truly able to appreciate and immerse themselves in each piece. When I caught up with Frankie, she was discussing her next project with Ms. Burger and determining how she was going to connect the experience to her next piece.
As far as favorite pieces go, Suzanne Jackson’s “Cut/Slip for Flowers” rose to the top. Frankie also shared how she and her friends were in awe of Cecily Brown’s “The Demon Menagerie,” explaining how they all saw something different in the piece.
Both students and teachers were equally excited about an art installation featuring ribbons painted with female empowerment quotes. Frankie was very pleased to share that she received special permission to take two ribbons because she loved the idea so much. Now in her bedroom, Frankie has ribbons hung as a reminder of the importance of supporting not only female artists but all women. Because we know you’re curious, the quotes on her ribbons are:
🌎 “Women and the Earth Have to Tolerate A Lot”
♀️ “Empower the Women Around You”
The exhibition is free and open to the public through March 23, 2024 (Open Tuesday—Saturday from 11 AM — 6 PM) at 548 West 22nd Street, New York.