Friday, August 19, 2011

Lovely ladies of OTiS

Yesterday afternoon, Erin, Kenzie, and I met with the lovely Paige and Jenay, interns to the Otis College of Art and Design exhibition of "Doin' It In Public:Feminism and Art At The Women's Building" taking place this Fall in conjunction with Pacific Standard Time. We sat around a sunny bench in the Burns courtyard at LMU to discuss the future of both our projects. Paige and Jenay were very enthusiastic and supportive about our Womynhouse project and we both exchanged pledges to cross-publicize each others events. We were amazed to hear the list of speakers and artists involved in their project! Some of the original "Womanhouse" ladies including Suzanne Lacy and Judy Chicago will be attending these events! We can only hope that our feminist foremothers will be proud of our efforts to re-visualize the original project in a way that genuinely honors both us and them with the utmost respect.
"Doin' It In Public" will last over four months and will take place in amazing venues all over the city. What's even better is that most of these events are either free or affordable for the struggling art student. Yipeee! Some of their highlights include:

October 15-16 Still Doin’ It: Fanning the Flames of the Woman’s Building: Part convening, part symposium, part reunion, part performance, the event is a dialogue between feminist artists then and now. Doin’ It in Public essayists Alexandra Juhasz, Jennie Klein, Michelle Moravec, and Jennifer Sorkin present tours of the exhibition on Saturday afternoon, and WB writers read from their work in the evening at Antioch University. Sunday includes a no-host reunion breakfast with keynote speaker Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, plus interactive dialogues and performances. On Sunday afternoon Phranc, the all-American Jewish lesbian folksinger, hosts “This Is Your Life: the Woman’s Building” at the Skirball Cultural Center.
November 5 A premiere of the film Mother Art Tells Her Story, followed by a tour of the show by feminist art cooperative Mother Art in The Ben Maltz Gallery.
January 14 A presentation by Feminist Art Workers: Cheri Gaulke and Laurel Klick in The Ben Maltz Gallery
We look forward to a beautiful collaboration with you!
-Amanda Courtney

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Start of A Beautiful Friendship

Yesterday afternoon I met with David Greenfield, Instructional Technology Analyst for The College of Communication + Fine Arts and The School of Film + Television. David is interested in discovering efficient ways to bring new technology into the classroom. He hopes these advancements will enrich and heighten the educational experience here at LMU. We were put in contact through Dean Busse who recommended that we collaborate on using new media for the Womynhouse project. Our conversation, however, ended up being an exchange of inspiring stories circling around feminism, Chicago's Dinner Party, Hildegard of Bingen, barbies, African music, and sensitivity training.
David instantly understood the message of the Womynhouse project. He connects with our mission for artistic female empowerment and wants to assist in sharing both our collaborative and individual stories to the LMU community. It's all very exciting!
Some questions that I took away from him:
How do we create a welcoming environment and non-threatening space for the male visitor? Can we sensitize him to female issues?
How do we get rid of the Feminist label and stereotype? How do those patterns in history get erased?
Check out David's blog here:

-Amanda C.

Rae Linda Brown

Thank you to Rae Linda Brown, VP of Education at Loyola Marymount University for her generous gift of $500.00 to the Womynhouse project. We are so gracious for your contribution and we look forward to meeting you soon!
the ladies of Womynhouse

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cindy Rehm & Craftswoman House

Last week, we met with Cindy Rehm, creator of Craftswoman House. Her organization creates projects and exhibitions which aim to inspire a dialogue about feminist issues today. She gave us creative insight about working as a large group as well as mentorship about embarking upon a female-based art show. We are lucky to have her support and she has agreed to do two performance art workshops with us, once the show gets rolling. It was refreshing to hear her say that we shouldn't worry about reshaping the feminist movement, but rather take pride and excitement in the fact that we have even organized a group of women working together to make art.

Below is the link to the blog which she co-created with Launa Bacon. I have also borrowed some images from the site and would like to thank her and Craftswoman House for the interesting photographs and inspiration.

And for more:

In addition, please see the paragraphs below, which I have posted from the Craftswoman House blog. There is a call for submissions for all feminist artists from Craftswomans House:

"Throughout history, creative works by women have been devalued, dismissed, and even buried. In an attempt to keep women’s work visible, Craftswoman House seeks artworks that make a direct reference to, or were inspired by, second-wave feminist art for inclusion in a November-December 2011 group exhibition. We are also seeking video and performance works for an event in early December. Please send images or links of up to five works, or a link to video or performance, a short statement on the relationship between your work and second-wave feminist art, and a CV to withStemma as the subject. For further information about Craftswoman House, go to or Deadline September 7, 2011"

Womynhouse Chooses an Opening Date

Last night our group met and decided on the official opening day of Womynhouse: Thursday October 20th. We will post our schedule soon. Stay tuned for updates about our special guests and the momentum of our show.

Womynhouse Begins

“A wish for otherness.  A space in which you are surrounded by an entirely different world aura, transcending the established plane”.[i] (Judy, Catalogue)

From October 16 to November 11, 2011, thirteen female Loyola Marymount University painters, photographers, performers, writers, and historians will gather forty years later to present our very own Womynhouse.  The Thomas P. Kelly student art gallery will become the site for our own explorations of all things art: installations, spoken word, performances, films, mixed media, poetry, prose, and the uncategorized.  The space will become our sanctuary to practice, interact, debate, philosophize, and engage with ourself, each other, and the viewer.  Using the Southern California Feminist movement that swept across the 1970s as our guide, Womynhouse will not only become the first all-female show at LMU, but it will also cross boundaries by giving voices to a group of passionate and talented students who are interested in spreading this language to the rest of the LMU community with frank vulnerability on pressing female issues today.  

In 1972, Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro started the Feminist Art Program where they went on to create the Womanhouse project with their students.[i] The purpose of the Feminist Art Program at Cal Arts was to "help women 
restructure their personalities to be more consistent with their desires to be 
artists and to help them build their art making out of their experiences as
women”.[ii]  Using this as our main inspiration, we will be channeling and pumping this inherent female energy into our own projects with a focus on the contemporary gender issues we see in 2011. Some of these themes and ideas will criss-cross and overlap with those of the 1970 Cal Art students yet we hope to bring our own stories, struggles, and celebrations to our peers here at LMU. Although our own project will be taking place in an institutional setting, the ideas and concepts are still genuine, honest interpretations that are happening to females in a Southern California university in 2011. The original 1972 Womanhouse project stems from deep academic roots; it simply could not have existed without the support of the educational system.  Similar to our Feminist foremothers, we cannot exist without the support of our own university.  

Womanhouse at Cal Arts shows the “pivotal role of the institution in nurturing the artistic legacy of Los Angeles” by providing an experiment “in considering institutional boundaries, social context, and critique”.[i]  In conjunction with Pacific Standard Time, a collaboration taking place in over 60 institutions across Southern California, the Womynhouse project will allow our own LMU community to participate in the celebration and honoring of the "birth of the L.A. art scene." 

Womynhouse will become the opportunity to expose both our campus and our talented art students to the rest of the LA community.  Through collaborative forces, our hopes are to generate a campus-wide discussion that invites both men and women to understand the teachings of what it means to be a Feminist through all things art. If you are interested in supporting us! Please email 

Thank you,
Amanda Courtney 

[i] McFadden, Jane, “Los Angeles: Then and Now, Here and There”, LA Artland (London: Black Dog Publishing, 2005), 46. 

[i] Joselit, David.American Art Since 1945 (London: Thames & Hudson, 2003), 180. 
[ii] Schapiro, Miriam. Shaping the Fragments of Art and Life. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1999), 10.

[i] Chicago, Judy and Miriam Schapiro. "Womanhouse" (Valencia, CA: California Institute
of the Arts, 1971.)