Artists for Congress
Women’s Art Caucus conference brings feminist edge to Salinas.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
When the College Art Association appointed an all-male board in 1972, women arts students organized what would become the Women’s Caucus for Art, a nonprofit dozens of chapters strong.
WCA’s regional Honoring Women’s Rights Conference comes to the National Steinbeck Center on Sept. 8, when the lineup of presenters includes not only artists but political activists. Among them is Sandra Fluke, the women’s health advocate who caused a national media stir last spring when her testimony was excluded from a Congressional hearing on contraceptive coverage.
San Juan Bautista-based sculptor and conference chair Darlene Boyd says voices like Fluke’s help connect the arts to activism. “The arts do teach things, but we wanted to be able to teach as well as activate people,” she says.
Monterey Bay chapter president Sue Anne Hillyer launched a community art project, Art for Girls’ Sake, which started this summer with middle school girls expressing body image-issues artistically. Their work will be shown at the Steinbeck Center as part of the complementary conference exhibit.
County Supervisor Jane Parker also speaks, representing the 36-percent minority of women electeds in local office, according to 2011 data compiled by the Women’s Fund of The Community Foundation for Monterey County.
Boyd’s message to women conference-goers isn’t just to keep making art, but also to get political.
“I want every single one of you running for political office,” she says. “That’s where we need you.”
Conference tickets ($125 general admission) are available at www.honoringwomensrights.org