International women’s day: female art and power


Isabel Marquez Flores

Students work on projects in art class. The arts are filled with students with unique perspectives, and art is one of the many ways to empower these students.

Today, on International Women’s Day, we celebrate the achievements of women in all fields. We don’t have to look too far to find remarkable examples of feminine talent. Within the walls of our school young girls with aptitudes for numbers, science, art and leadership fill the halls on their way to class. Principal Schmidt, female teachers and staff nurture the minds of new generations and replace the historic narrative of patriarchy with one of impartiality and empowerment. When women meet art a singular phenomenon occurs, one of great possibilities and change.

At our high school, we have a thriving community of gifted and curious young female artists. Tate Edmondson, a senior, believes that both genders should be represented equally in art. She says, “Women definitely have a unique perspective in their art pieces, since we are different to men, we should celebrate that diversity! I feel very lucky about having so many different arts class options. I find it very therapeutic to be creative and feminine at the same time.” Rachel Lords, a senior taking sculpture and AP 3D design, adds that women have historically faced more obstacles compared to men. She says, “Representing this in our artwork and giving media representation to all genders and artists equally is important and of cultural value. I grew up around art and really look up to my sister, a freelance artist that works at this school as a teacher: Brooke Lords.”

Women have been creating art for centuries, but their work has often been overlooked or undervalued. It was not until the 20th century that women began to gain recognition for their artistic contributions. The feminist art movement of the 1960s and 70s was a turning point for women in the art world, and it paved the way for future generations of women artists.

Today, women are creating some of the most innovative and groundbreaking works of art. From Yayoi Kusama’s immersive installations to Kara Walker’s powerful silhouettes, women are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in art.

 In our own community, we have the advantage of having passionate art teachers like Tia Factor, our Painting, Advanced and AP Art teacher. Who decided to share her personal experience with the art world. “I’ve found that even though women represent more than half of the in-class students at art colleges, oftentimes only 10% make it to be successfully published well-renowned artists.” She says “I always try incorporating powerful female artists in my lectures and broaden the horizons of my students with diversity of all forms. It is also important to me, as an artist myself, to be aware of the male gaze and socio-cultural constructs in our society and what role they play in artwork.” Tia’s experience highlights the ongoing issue of gender inequality in the art industry and the importance of acknowledging, addressing it and, as educators, of purposely creating an environment of equal opportunity and exposure.

It is important for young girls interested in art to have role models and mentors who encourage them to explore their creative abilities. In addition to having supportive teachers at school, it is crucial for young artists to have a community outside of school that fosters their love of art. Art classes, workshops, and galleries are great places for young artists to connect with like-minded individuals and learn from experienced professionals.

Next time you look and appreciate the art around you, think of the role women played in it or what female artists have endeavored in the style and remember, in the immortal words of Beyoncé, who runs the world? Girls!