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I got a copy of your letter about researching women who participated in the Feminist Art Program at CalArts from my sister, Nancy Youdelman.
    I was in the program from 1972-1973. I graduated in 1973, having transferred to CalArts from the University of California at Berkeley.
    I was active in the "art scene" in Los Angeles in the early-to-late 70s; I have a record of exhibitions I participated in then. In 1978, I decided that being an artist was not profitable, or even enjoyable because of all the financial sacrifice. They never taught us "career strategies" at CalArts.
I think most people, including the women in the Feminist Art Program, supposed they would go to graduate school & then get a teaching position at the college or university level. l was not interested in teaching.
    I began working as a graphic designer after graduation, having taken some minimal classes in the subject (printing & design for my "artist's books"). It was clear to me that, outside of art school, "artist" is a dead profession, whether the artist is male or female.
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 However, a couple of our male classmates, and none of the female that I know of, have achieved "superstar" status in the art world (I am thinking of David Salle and Ross Blechner).

    But after enthusiastic participation as an artist for several years, I said one day to myself, "The next time I have extra cash, I won't sacrifice it all on art projects; I will take a trip to Europe and enjoy life." And that is what I did. meanwhile I took photographs and kept them as a "private record", my aestheticizing of my own experience.
    In 1981 I went to Japan to take a job there in a design studio and ended up staying there for 15 years. I took a few photos and produced one printed work there. I also established an organiztion called "The Japan-America Aesthetics Research Society", an outlet for my expression of my ideas regarding art, beauty, philosophy, and morals and their connections and differences in the two countries. I don't want "art" and its expenses and its frustrations to tyrannize me.

I hope you let us know how your project goes.


Rachel Youdelman