Women display their art and views to U

by Emily Babcock

A painting of Jesus Christ as an African woman is artist Jane Evershed’s way of illustrating social change and empowerment through art. It is necessary to view art images that are opposite of traditional, she said.
Evershed showed her painting of Jesus along with other pieces of her work on Wednesday to an audience of about 75 at Coffman Union. The display is part of a week-long celebration of women’s art hosted by the University YW.
Organizers wanted to host an event that focused on how women use creativity and artistic expression to promote social change, said Angie Anderson, a College of Liberal Arts senior and the University YW organizer.
The event, called “Women’s Revolutionary Art … Thing,” is also a chance to experience art from a different perspective. Organizers wanted to take an anti-capitalist approach to the events, Anderson said. That is, instead of viewing art as a commodity, the U-YW wanted to take a holistic approach to art, she said.
“A lot of people think of art as this far-off thing,” said Nora Riemenschneider, a junior in individualized studies. “People don’t think about art as a part of everyday living.”
Organizer Lynne Saxton, a CLA senior, said the artists have the opportunity to express their aggravation with “the system.”
“We’re focusing on women’s revolutionary art and liberation art,” Saxton said.
Evershed, an artist whose brightly colored paintings illustrate themes from relationships to the environment, grew up in South Africa and now lives in the United States. Her artwork depicts injustices that invade American society and others around the world.
“They are beautiful pictures,” Anderson said, “but also strong messages about the injustices of the world.”
Anderson will lead a workshop today discussing the ways in which women can change media messages creatively. Workshop participants will learn how to influence messages on billboards and advertisements that use women’s bodies to sell products.
The week began Monday with a night of performance art with themes including political statements, ethnic consciousness and environmental issues.
The week of events will end with two days of spoken art. Author and women’s studies adjunct professor Judith Katz will emcee a full evening of open-mike tonight. Katz will read some of her original work and offer others the opportunity to read, sing or recite any original or already published works.
The event is open to the public. However, only women’s voices will be heard.
“I’m really excited for the open-mike night,” Anderson said. “It is a chance to share with people and build a community.”
The final event of the week is a Friday concert, featuring female musical artists at the Whole Music Club in Coffman Union.
Saxton said the events this week, especially the open-mike evening, are a chance to acknowledge artists that usually don’t get attention.
“Women need to be recognized for the art they put out,” Saxton. “It is sad when our society cannot support their artists.”