Neither an optimist nor a pessimist, on many matters I’m a realist, with a tendency towards hope.
Researching the women in history who have gone before me is eye-opening … but I’m also finding that it has a strange effect on me. Learning that to this very day I still make 22% less than my male counterparts, that art created by women makes up only 30% of the art represented in galleries and about 5% of the art in museums — these things make me sad, yes, but also determined. I’m finding myself looking for and focusing more on the light, the hope.
I find myself more determined to continue to make art, to teach art, to talk about art. To encourage other women, and be a champion for the cause of equality across the board. To encourage young girls, to make them see that despite the fact that they do not often see their own gender reflected back at them as they look at history, they still can. Whatever it is: Yes, you can. Across the board: Yes, you can.
I find myself moving forth in life with more energy and excitement. Because when future generations look back on this time in history, I want them to see the women running with the progress we have made. I want them to see that the women of my generation not only rose, but shined. We stood up; we stand up. I see women in my field and across the board doing this, and I celebrate them. I salute them. The grief I felt for the women of art history as I dive into their stories is turning into something else. Fuel maybe, but hope for sure!