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Opening Final Friday, June 27th

A Brief Introduction:

The name YWAs is inspired by another group of young artists, namely, the Young British Artists (YBAs) who rose to prominence in the 1990s and were, like most co-ed art movements, a bit of a sausage fest.

Our YWAs exhibition, by intentional contrast, was inspired by recent events in the art world and our American culture at large; women's health issues were inciting fierce debate in state houses and the white house, public opinion about the gender pay gap was flooding my news feed, and most specifically, I was troubled by a nagging sensation that whenever I saw art shows locally, the majority of work I encountered (especially in solo exhibitions) was made by male artists, and most of the outgoing (delightful) artists we met even at our own gallery, were men. I looked inward and outward to consider how pernicious this problem might be on my own turf and in our local culture. In conversation with my friend and fellow feminist Art Historian Paula Rose, I learned that a similar project was already underway in LA, and was spreading fast (and girl, was it awesome).

Like Gallery Tally artist Micol Hebron and the Guerrilla Girls before her, we feel it doesn't make much sense for successful artists to overwhelmingly be male; over time, we hope to not only address this gender gap issue by exhibiting more women artists, more thoughtfully in our own gallery, but we'll also look carefully at the recent history of other local galleries to determine if the KC-area's creative gender gap is as wide as it appears to be elsewhere in America.

Our initial goal is modest; to mount an exhibition of exceptional woman artists whose talents dwarf their exposure in the local art scene. Eventually, however, we hope to publish the results of our KC/Lawrence gender gap survey along with related original essays both online and in print, in a catalog that will commemorate the first YWAs exhibition. Our online catalog, we hope, will become a resource for women artists and scholars of feminist art history interested in connecting, sharing influence, and increasing opportunities for all artists and arts organizers.

In the next few weeks, we'll be rolling out more news, event dates, and data related to our YWAs exhibition. We hope you'll stick around to see what shakes out.

With thanks,
Meredith Moore
Wonder Fair Gallery

Guerrilla Girls image (Ingres' Grand Odalisque with Gorilla Mask) Copyright © Guerrilla Girls, Courtesy www.guerrillagirls.com.