TAKE 5: Five Questions for activity organizers on Open Field this summer
Name: Robyn Hendrix
Occupation: I wear a lot of hats. I am a visual artist, and for this project, my most relevant position is my unpaid, enthusiasm-fueled role as an Exhibitions Committee Co-Chair and Social Media Contributor for the Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota.
About WARM: The Women’s Art Registry of MN commits itself to building a strong presence and a prosperous future with and for women artists. WARM’s mission is to build networks and programming that create mentoring, educational, exhibition and professional development opportunities that reflect the diverse voices, visions and values of Minnesota women visual artists. Visit http://www.thewarm.org for more info.
City/Neighborhood: I live in South Minneapolis. WARM has members throughout the state and even in Wisconsin, Iowa, and other neighboring locales.
Open Field Activity: Feminist Art Discussions hosted by the Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota
Description: This summer the Women’s Art Registry of MN is hosting a fun, informal discussion group on women’s art and the feminist art movement. Join us as we share knowledge, perspectives and ideas about roots and the future of the feminist art movement in Minnesota and nationally/worldwide.
“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” -Rebecca West
Date of Activity: Wednesday, August 31st 7:30-9pm in the Sky Pesher
We have two short suggested readings for this meeting:
Are you a feminist?
“Feminism, A Love Story” (the first one refers to this one)
And there are more details as well as links to a couple of the previous readings on our Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=200835239980193
1) What’s your favorite public space, in the Twin Cities or beyond?
The Stone Arch Bridge area is one of my favorite places to wander around.
2) How did you find out about Open Field and why did you decide to host your own activity on Open Field?
I knew about Open Field when it began last year because I keep up with events at the Walker. I’m a bit of a Twin Cities art events junkie anyway. This spring I started thinking about what WARM could do on Open Field that would be a fun, low key way to reach out a bit more to the broader art community with an activity related to what the organization is all about. At WARM’s strategic planning retreat in April there seemed to be a lot of interest and energy in asking ourselves what feminism means now to our organization and to the art scene at large. As an organization founded by women, for women artists, it is important to continue reevaluating what we can do to stay relevant. So one day those two ideas just merged while I was driving home from work and I realized WARM should have a feminist art discussion group on Open Field. So I made it happen, with the help of Bethany Whitehead, our Board President, and Jeanne Souldern, another rockstar board member.
Some of our WARM members lived through or grew up during the feminist art movements of the 70’s. In its early years the Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota clearly had an integral and vibrant role in that movement here in Minnesota, as the organization grew out of a collection of women artists inspired by hearing Judy Chicago speak at St. Kate’s. Other WARM members, such as myself, have grown up in a generation in which feminism is often either taken for granted or polarized. I realized that as a young artist I would love to learn more from those who took part in the movements of the 70’s first hand, hear what the energy was like at that time, and find out whether those artists are disappointed, hopeful, disillusioned, or frustrated by the state of things today.
My hope with these discussion events is to create an easy going atmosphere in which artists from different generations, cultures, and perspectives can share their ideas and knowledge about the women’s art movement and talk about what does feminism mean to us, and what the heck do we WANT it to mean? Our first two discussions were lovely, enlightening and empowering to take part in, so I’m excited to facilitate one more on Wednesday and then evaluate how this practice could be continued in future WARM programming beyond Open Field.
3) If you could learn any skill on Open Field, what would it be?
Well, this summer I personally have been working on finally learning how to ride a bike, because my 9 year old self was a chicken and never got off the training wheels. However, I’m not entirely sure Open Field would be the best place to practice, haha! Too hilly, and too many wonderful interesting people who I wouldn’t want to smash into. So if not biking then…maybe screenprinting! Or papermaking.
4) What is the ideal audience for your Open Field activity?
Anyone is welcome to attend, WARM member or not, artist or non, male or female, young or not quite so young, etc. If you identify as a feminist, come tell us why. If you don’t, come tell us why not! Or tell us about a woman artist who has inspired you. We’d love to hear any and all perspectives. Bring your curiosity, your passion, your open mindedness and your art-making muscles! For this last event we’ll be making Picture-a-Feminist exquisite corpse drawings as a (hopefully hilarious) bonus activity.
5) If Open Field had a mascot, who/what would it be?
A giraffe wearing an I <3 Art apron who is simultaneously learning how to pickle, hot wire a car, drawing in Drawing Club with its tail, having a funky arty discussion with Scott Stulen (or maybe Scott Seekins! You never know…) and flying a kite above the field off of its horns.