Rutgers chapter of "Feminist Art Project" hosts exhibit in New York City
The Rutgers branch of The Feminist Art Project is hosting an exhibit titled "Crossroads: Art + Native Feminists" at the College Art Association Conference in New York City from Feb. 16 to Feb. 18.
As an initiative with an expansive transcontinental and international standing, The Feminist Art Project (TFAP) celebrates “The Feminist Art Movement and the aesthetic, intellectual and political impact of women of the visual arts, art history and art practice, past and present,” according to TFAP’s website.
TFAP was created in 2005 amidst several other historic anniversaries, such as the Women’s Caucus for Art and the National Museum for Women in Art, said Connie Tell, director of TFAP’s Rutgers chapter, via email.
TFAP was introduced to Rutgers in 2006 and has since contributed to the over 3,500 events, talks and resources seen on the website calendar, Tell said.
TFAP’s primary goal is not only to highlight the presence of women across distinct societal realms through visual works, but also to publicize more marginalized artists who are typically excluded from mainstream feminism.
“TFAP’S mission is to establish equality and visibility for all women and transgender artists and scholars who are underrepresented and unrecognized in art history and the contemporary art world,” Tell said.
The New York City exhibit is addressing the historically “underrepresented and unrecognized,” Tell said.
These three days will be focused on Native American feminists and their transferral of sentiment and observation into visuals through the medium of art.
“The visual language of art and culture affects us as living beings at our most instinctual level, before we can even process in our brains what is going on we are having a gut reaction. In our bodies on a physical level it is the most effective medium for embodying and conveying messages,” said artist and co-organizer of the exhibit Maria Hupfield in an email.
One panel will include Native American artists conveying their own experiences with the varied nuances of capturing Native American culture in film and theater.
“Land recovery, self-determination and social relations based in respect and inherent dignity of all living beings from non-human to human, are a few examples that fluidly move across and between traditional and contemporary practices today,” Tell said.
This exhibit will have other panels focusing on the identity of participating artists as artists who are divorced from their native heritage. They will focus on ways to advance movements and ideas to disassemble the patriarchal aftermath of colonial structure and violence, Tell said.
TFAP is utilizing art as a universal equalizer and holding panels that are can be relevant for every artist as well as Native American feminists. Discussions of ways to defy, empower and reform are contextually addressed to Native American artists, but can also be assumed by every artist wishing to create change.
When Rutgers TFAP is not preparing for an event, it organizes and develops tools to expand the Center for Women in the Arts. It hosts visiting artists, updates archives and runs several smaller-scale art exhibits, according to its website.
TFAP has expanded its audience to the general public and also offers educational resources for children and adults. The resources are free and include lesson plans, suggested reading lists and a list of leadership organizations youth can become involved with, according to the website.
Through a number of public exhibits and accessible learning material, TFAP is disseminating its belief of recognizing women who have pushed political, intellectual, and aesthetic boundaries. Hupfield said programs such as The Feminist Art Project are extremely important.
“We live in a society based on two genders where the power structure favors one side. Half of the population benefits and is placed in a position of privilege on the backs of the other. Indigenous Feminists teach us that this power structure is based on settler colonialism. Organizations like TFAP are essential hubs of interconnectivity, support and for gathering to imagine a space of radical transformation for future possibilities,” she said.
Kelly Kim is a School of Engineering first-year student. She is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum.