They had none for anyone different from them.
embracing a woman who was different they rejected her.
The program was for a small group - not everyone.
It was the first place I ever
met women who stood up for me.
Rather than compete for attention,
they encouraged me as an artist
and a person.
Looking back 25 years later, I have mixed feelings
about the Feminist Art Program ñ We had something
really incredible and unique and somehow we could not
get beyond personalities and create a lasting support system.
The experience also helped me to increase my
esteem for "Women's" values. Values such as;
nurturing, sympathy, consensus and other positive
actions and attitudes that can help
all of us create a more egalitarian society. On the other hand, I also learned that,
being human, women can be just as exploitive of women as men.
The Feminist Art Program was
instrumental in giving me the
confidence to assert myself and
persevere in any chosen field.
I was strong in my early twenties, but I was
no longer in a group. I was out there alone.
I decided to leave the program
as there was a little to much
emphasis placed on group projects
Experiencing the negative political machinations
of the program leaders
Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro coupled with
the dynamics of any group
endeavor threatened me as an art student. I longed to define myself
outside the program.
I left the Program after one year, because of
and because I wanted to experience the school
outside the confines
of the Program. I have avoided group feminism since then..
The Feminist Art Movement began in a rush
of collective and collaborative activity.
We founded our own galleries and schools,
published our own magazines, curated shows,
worked together in open studios, and did our
own publicity. And these structures turned out
to be extremely successful in helping women
to develop and sustain collaborative and
individual art practices. But they never became
a real alternative to the art market economy.
As the Feminist Art Program at CalArts
was a memorable experience in my life,
l'm afraid that it really did not impact
my career or any other aspect of my life.
Had I not participated in the Feminist Art Program,
I doubt I would be an artist today. Traditional
and art programs were failing rather miserably in educating,
motivating, and empowering many young women art students
to be productive artists.