Born in a classroom
In the midst of learning about Womanhouse, the landmark feminist art collaboration led by Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro in 1972, Eastern Michigan University students in the Feminist Art History seminar asked the same questions week after week: If Womanhouse happened today, what kind of work would artists make? What themes would they address? Has anything really changed for women in the arts in 2018?
A house of our own
One evening, one of the students volunteered a historic house the artists could use to find their answers.
Dear Womanhouse, What Now? The Art of Being Female in America Today evolved into an interdisciplinary and intergenerational collaboration involving more than 70 artists (and counting) to create works of art in 2d, 3d, performance, poetry and music. Art educators presented a history of Womanhouse, and collaborated with designers and makers to create a secondary school curriculum to include the next generation.
The overall project echoed the original Womanhouse in that the artists worked to reclaim a dilapidated house and transform it into an exhibition space to express women’s artistic perspectives of the female experience in America.
After 3 months of volunteer renovation, the exhibit opened in October 2018 for six weeks in the rural village of Manchester, Michigan.
The inclusive and dynamic scope of the project continues to expand as more artists add their vision and voices to this conversation across the decades about the lives and concerns of women in America today.
The art of Dear Womanhouse is scheduled to travel in 2019 to a variety of exhibition venues.