An exploration of third-wave feminism through the lens of painting and printmaking will debut Friday at Tempe Marketplace’s Night Gallery from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The “Third Wave” exhibit will be on display until Sept. 29 and feature pieces created by more than a dozen former and current ASU students and faculty.
Curators Rossitza Todorova and Sarah Rowland began working on the exhibit after each graduated from ASU last spring with a master’s degree in drawing and painting.
The two said they were inspired by the number of talented women working and studying at the University, particularly in the School of Art.
“We wanted to put together an exhibit of painters and printmakers and bring a group of women together who were making really powerful work — and really powerful work on its own,” Todorova said. “Having an exhibit like this at the Night Gallery gave us an opportunity to work with all of these women.”
Todorova and Rowland invited artists to participate in the exhibit and from there chose which pieces they wanted to include. Each piece relates in some way to third-wave feminism, a movement which began in the early 1990s and advocates defining feminism for oneself.
The topic of third-wave feminism, they said, was especially pertinent given the changes that had occurred in their lives over the past year.
Rowland had her first child in February, and Todorova got married in August.
“Ideas of femininity are very current for us,” Todorova said. “It became a concentration for us, how our generation is seeing ourselves in traditional roles.”
The featured pieces range from addressing ideas of femininity explicitly to abstractly.
Forrest Solis, who teaches art, has two paintings in the show and chose as her inspiration a book published in 1913, which outlined gender roles for women at the time.
“The compositions are split: On the left side, I have painted an excerpt of the text and a vintage illustration in acrylic and on the right side in oil paint is a representational figure painting,” she said in an email. “The figure’s relationship to the text and illustration is meant to both inspire critique and draw a connection between gender stereotypes of the past and present.”
Rowland said she hopes that those visiting the exhibit come to realize that the dialogue of feminism has certainly changed over the years.
“Feminism today isn’t always the combative and the contentious battle that it once was,” she said. “We have achieved so much for gender equity. I think the perfect scenario is for the visitor to walk away with a new set of ideas afloat.”
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