#ArtWorldWomen talk: Do women-only organizations and galleries ghettoize women or help them?

March 8, 2016 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

On March 8, a distinguished panel of art world figures—including an industry disruptor (a former gallerist), artist, activist and business advisor—will gather at Pen and Brush to discuss the role of women-only arts organizations and galleries, and seek to answer an important question: “Does this separation from male artists help women or hurt them?” 

Part of the UN Women's HeForShe New York Arts Week, the event also coincides with International Women’s Day. Notably, the panel is mixed gender, in line with HeforShe’s remit to involve men in the movement for gender equality.  While many players in the art world seek to level the field for women, there is a divide between those who choose to exclusively show the work of women and those who feel that approach may marginalize them.  This event will include voices from all sides of the issue, while sharing honest insights into what women in the art world are experiencing today. A question-and-answer session will enable audience members to add to the conversation.  “We will explore trends in women-only galleries, and their role in getting the work of female artists shown and noticed,” said Susan Johnson Mumford, Founder of the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD), who will moderate the discussion.  “The panel will also address topics including mentoring, homophily (the love of the same), and whether or not we are furthering the gender divide.  ”Other panelists will be contemporary artist Tricia Wright, who has shown her work at a range of galleries, some of which are devoted to works by women only; Janice Sands, Executive Director of Pen and Brush, a 122-year-old nonprofit that showcases the work of female artists and writers; and Winston Peters, Business Advisor & Financial Analyst for culturally aligned companies.  “I look forward to an open and engaging conversation about the best ways to create a space for talented women artists in today’s contemporary art scene,” said Janice Sands, “and to delving into issues of artist/gallerist relationships and the dynamics of being a woman artist.”

Co-hosted by the Association of Women Art Dealers and Pen and Brush, with support from LaPlaya Fine Art, this event will be held at 29 East 22nd Street, New York, NY and is free and open to the public.  Guests are invited to arrive at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, March 8. The program will begin at 7, with an hour for Q&A and a reception to follow.

RSVP Recommended

About the Moderator:

Susan Mumford is an entrepreneur with art world expertise supporting a changing industry. She's a mentor, speaker and author. Keen to further the fair treatment of people regardless of background and makeup, she's an outspoken gender equalist.  Having arrived in the London art world in 2001 with an internship of her own devising, Susan opened a gallery in Soho in early 2006. In 2010 while steering a career in challenging post-credit crunch times, she founded the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD). Starting with a London group, the network now accepts members on a global basis and launched a New York chapter in May 2014.  Over time, Susan came to the conclusion that the art world was in need of professional development for active industry professionals. Following the close of her space while continuing to build AWAD, in 2012 she founded Be Smart About Art. She oversees the development of a programme that provides inspiration, training and support to artists, gallerists, creative entrepreneurs and arts organisations.  She regularly judges awards and can be seen in London and New York opening exhibitions, guiding tours and leading talks.

About the Panelists:

Janice Sands has served as Executive Director of Pen and Brush since 1998. She has over 37 years of experience in nonprofit management and administration and has served as a director for Planned Parenthood and The Los Angeles County Bar Association. Her work with arts and entertainment organizations began in 1992 when she became the executive director of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation and subsequently a strategic planning consultant to the Actors Fund of America. Janice has written legal education curriculum for the Constitutional Rights Foundation and contributed various articles for Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine and contributed to a U.S. congressional research paper on Huntington’s Chorea. She has participated in several arts organization panel presentations for the Arts and Business Council of New York, the Council for Arts and Humanities of Staten Island, and the Women’s Studio Center. She is a member of ArtTable, a national organization for professional women in the visual arts. Through Pen and Brush she is also a member of Americans for the Arts, the Arts and Business Council of New York and the New York Nonprofit Coordinating Committee. She personally has also received a Los Angeles mayoral citation for literacy advocacy in the Los Angeles public school system. Janice is a graduate of the UCLA professional School of Public Affairs, Department of Social Welfare.

Tricia Wright, Contemporary Artist.  Wright was born and raised in England and attended art school in London, where she lived with her family before relocating to New York in 1999. She divides her time between NYC and her studio in upstate New York.  Tricia works as an Artist Guide and Museum Educator at Judd Foundation, NYC, and DIA Beacon, NY. She has worked at two National Trust for Historic Preservation sites: Lyndhurst, NY, where she trained and managed a team of guides; and the Philip Johnson Glass House, CT, where she designed the Art Focus Tour. Tricia is also an independent Art Guide, creating private, specialized tours of New York City art museums and contemporary galleries.  Tricia has a background in art writing, editing, and editorial consulting. Her most recent publication, American Art & Artists (2007) was published by Harper Collins in association with the Smithsonian Institute.  Her works are in museum, corporate, and private collections in the UK and the US; she is represented in New York by Kenise Barnes Fine Art, and Exhibit A Contemporary Art.  In 2015 Wright's work was featured in Pen and Brush's inaugural exhibition Domesticity Revisited

Winston Peters,  Business Advisor & Financial Analyst.  With an affinitive love of the arts and being deeply enrooted in the New York fashion, music, art, & design communities; Winston saw a common theme among his creative peers; the need for organization and business advice. With this insight and his finance and business management background, Winston sought out to create a business consultancy to provide support and solutions for creative and culturally aligned companies.  As the Business Advisor & Financial Analyst for MyUberLife, Winston’s role spans from developing financial & business models to analyzing business performance and investment opportunities.His overall, main objective is to make sure the client meets their financial goals within the budgetary and schedule constraints.

About HeForShe New York Arts Week:

Launched by UN Women, the first-ever HeForShe Arts Week takes place across New York City, in partnership with the City of New York and the Public Theater, which serves as the inaugural theatrical partner for this annual initiative. Coinciding with International Women's Day, observed globally on March 8th, the first HeForShe Arts Week will run from March 8-15, 2016.

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