Circle Gallery is open today.
That statement may surprise some people. Some of you may think, “Well, why wouldn’t Circle Gallery be open?” Other may think, ‘Well why would Circle Gallery be open?”
Because, you see, our staff is all female and today is “A Day Without Women.”
This national strike was called by the organizers of the Women’s March that took place January 22. The strike is intended to call awareness to all that women do in business, in society, in families, and in our economy — in return for only receiving 80% of what men make in comparable jobs. According to a report by the American Association of University Women, that gap is not supposed to close until 2052.
Women in arts management – like the staff at Circle Gallery earn even less — 71 cents on the dollar compared to our male counterparts.
So why didn’t we close? We are staying open to support women artists.
According to the Guerrilla Girls, a group of feminist activist artists, 4% of artists in major permanent collections in the US and Europe are women – but 76% of the nudes in those institutions are of women.
If that statistic doesn’t bother you – it should. Here are some other disturbing statistics from The National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Half of all MFA degrees are granted to women, yet only 30% of artists represented by commercial galleries are female.
Female artists earn 81% of what their male colleagues bring home.
Of 590 major exhibitions by nearly 70 institutions in the U.S. from 2007–2013, only 27% were devoted to women artists.
At Circle Gallery, we take that statistic as a challenge. Right now, we have an exhibition by 12 local artists. Nine of those artists are women. If we closed our doors, their work would not be seen today – pushing women artists further into the dark. Their work spans from painting to found object to cross-stitch and it deserves to be seen.
So, cl bigelow, Patrice Drago, Mary Ellen Geissenhainer, Sheila White Guevin, Mariana Ivanova, Deborah Kommalon, Kass McGowan, Angela Petruncio, and Alexis Rosella, Circle Gallery is here to shine a light on your work. Because you are creative, because you are talented artists and because you deserve to be seen.
No one should shut the door on women in the arts.