Working Towards A Goal During A Pandemic

When the pandemic hit, I was taken aback as most of us were. I didn’t know what that meant for my career, all my plans seemed impossible, and I would have to adjust.For the past several years, my work has been in service to the community.

In March of 2020, I was a year into a very personal project that felt instantly irrelevant and meaningless come COVID.Like most artists, I have to work to make money, and what to do with the work I started? So I reinvented what I was working on and made plan B and applied for a grant, fingers crossed. The application process allowed me to organize my intentions behind the work and have a plan in writing.

Here is the short version of the proposal and my intention for the work I’m doing.

OVERALL DESCRIPTION
What Does it Mean to Be A Woman (placeholder title) celebrates the ways people who identify as women express their gender identity while challenging harmful gender stereotypes that society reinforces in the media.

The project welcomes contrasting definitions of identity as part of an art exhibition of large paintings, video, and three public educational events. The project invites women to reimagine themselves in today’s challenging times—highlighting the wisdom they naturally embody beyond limited role models.

My hope is to encourage meaningful conversation that empowers women and exposes fuller gender representation—providing a platform for perspectives and experiences which carry the power to shape a different collective future. In video interviews, each woman will share unique and diverse perspectives on the meaning of womanhood, allowing the viewer exposure to new ideas or possibilities about what it means to be a woman. The work honors many points of view ultimately intended to break gender stereotypes and promote unbiased gender expression.

I will know in December 2020.


IMAGE CREDITS: Top of page is Ruth Chase in a Zoom conversation with Be Boggs. Below, Gabi Markham from her instagram.

PARTICIPANTS: Kim Stewart, Nicole Weaver, Adrienne, Carolyn Crist Wright, Be Boggs, Luciano Mota, Beatriz E. Ledesma, Michelle Amador, Mira Clark, Gabi Markham, Tia Tuenge, Terra Nyssa, Aqueila M. Lewis-Ross, and Sarah Clark.

What Does It Mean To Be A Woman

What does it mean to be a woman, a question I have never explored until this very moment.

From an early age, I noticed that being a “girl” put me in a place of vulnerability and I was very aware that physical danger was awaiting me if I wasn’t careful. So as a young adult “woman” I would make sure that my clothes and persona were tough enough to scare away predators.

Now I look back and see that it wasn’t until bearing a child, at the age of 40, that I began to connect with my womanhood. I was getting in touch with my body and its functions specific to having a child and becoming awakened to the physical characteristics that make me a WOMAN. I loved being pregnant, I loved my body and being able to hold another universe within.

I have spent a lot of time rejecting the expectations put on me by the outside world of what a woman is or should be, or should not be. I have never been sure of how I fit into the expectations of the world around me. I also, at times, did not want to own the power and blessings that come with femininity. On the inside, I felt like I hadn’t decided if I wanted to be feminine and on the outside, I knew to be a tomboy or punk sent a message to leave me alone, I’m not open for this “girl” business. Sometimes I wonder if I would have chosen to be a woman in this lifetime if I were given a choice before I was born. I suppose I have also been pissed off about being a woman, now that I think about it. So far, the most amazing thing about being a woman has been birthing my daughter, who by the way is VERY girly and VERY feminine. I’m having an ‘aha!’ moment writing this. I may even need a good cry.