|COMMEMORATING THE IMPORTANCE OF |
WEAD MEMBERS AND WOMEN’S ART HISTORYZAPATOS, Elina Chauvet, Jose Garcia, Juarez Chihuahua, Mexico, 2009.March is U.S. Women’s History Month. WEAD joins with The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and Holocaust Memorial Museum to commemorate and encourage the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.
These goals mirror WEAD’s global mission statement: to educate others, to promote, network and support all women artists working with critical issues of eco and social justice.
Beyond March WEAD will continue to mark 2020 as Women’s Year—especially noting the U.S. 100th anniversary of achieving Women right to vote. Let’s celebrate 2020 as Women’s Decade, and beyond, Women’s Century.
The future is ours to shape, but the historical work that has come before functions as our foundation. To properly commemorate our past, present and future histories, WEAD here spotlights 10 members’ work, one per day for the next 10 days.ARTIST NO. 2
ZAPATOS, Elina Chauvet, Jose Garcia, Juarez Chihuahua, Mexico, 2009.RED SHOES IS PERSONALLY AND POLITICALLY a most important project for me. I began working on it in 2009 in Ciudad Juarez, my native city. It grew out of an earlier project in community art workshops.The Ciudad Juarez city government, along with state and federal governments, awarded grants for artists to give courses in communities with vulnerable people in summer 2010. My project was selected which consisted of two workshops for children and young people to make art from recycled objects. In the first workshop I worked with young children and their mothers who painted and assembled a multitude of small objects, all made from waste. Moms learned to make jewelry. For the second workshop I worked with young graffiti artists, asking them to step into sculpture and to paint in three dimensions. The idea was immediately greeted with enthusiasm. The result is a metal sculpture made by teens with a new artists’ group called Indian Brook.While there, I saw firsthand that the violence in Ciudad Juarez had escalated out of control. The military came to town bringing more violence. In my visits downtown I was alarmed to see how many posters for missing girls were stuck to the telephone poles. That’s when I realized that the women in Juarez were dying or disappearing. Then and there I began to ask questions but did not find answers. Stories of women went underreported. The settling of accounts among gangs was treated with more importance; that was what made headlines in the newspapers. Plus, a lot of my past artwork speaks of domestic violence. This is an issue I know. That’s how my idea for the RED SHOES project was born. – excerpt from Elina Chauvet Interview by Joyce Janvier
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