Female Representation in Art- The Stats are so dismal, they don't seem real.
Updated: Aug 23
Numbers don't lie and indeed tell a compelling story. Here are facts from he National Museum of Women in the Arts website. Only 13.7% of living artists represented by galleries in Europe and North America are women.
The numbers don't lie. Here are facts from he National Museum of Women in the Arts website. Only 13.7% of living artists represented by galleries in Europe and North America are women. A mere 11% of all acquisitions and 14% of exhibitions at 26 prominent U.S. museums were dedicated to female artists over the past decade. Another striking fact is that while women earn 70% of Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in the U.S, only 46% of working artists (across all arts disciplines) are women. Comparatively, women account for 28% of leadership roles in the tech industry - a field traditionally considered male-dominated.Click here for your fact check. So, women's presence in a male-dominant field like technology seems to outpace their representation in what's often perceived as a more 'female-friendly' field - fine arts.
Why does this discrepancy persist?
My theory is that the concept of a professional artist isn't mainstream. Often when I share my profession, I'm met with responses like "Oh, that's cute. So, what does your husband do?" Consequently, I've adapted my answer to "I am a full-time professional artist," and proceed to inform them about my studio and gallery at a specific location.
To many, their high school art teacher - a role where women represent 74.5% in the U.S - is the closest connection to a full-time artist. While there's nothing wrong with being an art teacher, it's crucial to note not all artists aspire to teach. I can't count the number of times people have assumed that I'd relish the opportunity to give private lessons.
News flash! Women deserve to command their own vessels, and we definitely have plenty of things to say! I'm committed to making a change. I have started a new series of private "Happy Hours" at the gallery, that will amplify a different female artist at each event. The night includes icebreakers and introductions and is limited to 20 badass influential women, I want to create a place for community, connection, and empowerment for all who attend.
What can you do in the mean time?
It's really simple attend art events featuring female artists, seek out female artist via instagram (there are a ton of us out there). Buy their art, brag about them to your friends! Be a shero!
Read more about my happy hour events and please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending one in the Austin area. Send me an email with your name, profession, title and why you would like to attend?