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St. Kate’s faculty and alumna in “The House We Built” exhibit

St. Kate’s professors are among 70 artists featured in “The House We Built: Feminist Art Then and Now” exhibition exploring the feminist art activity that emerged in the 1970s — and changed the course of contemporary art.

Current faculty include Patricia Olson, associate professor of art; Carol Lee Chase, assistant professor of painting and drawing; and Monica Rudquist, ceramics instructor. Carole Fisher who taught in the St. Kate’s art department in the mid-1970s and artist Lynda Monick-Isenberg ’73 are also part of the exhibit.

“The House We Built: Feminist Art Then and Now” runs through February 23 at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery and T.R. Anderson Gallery in Wilson Library at the University of Minnesota.

The artists in this exhibit “made history while they were making art.” They incorporated new content and approaches into the discourse of art while expanding materials and methods. Many also established new organizations, galleries or publications to encourage and support the work of women artists.

Olson is a founding member of the Women's Art Registry of Minnesota, a collective established in 1973 by a group of women artists who found themselves underrepresented in the art world — in gallery exhibitions, as professors in academia, and in art history books.

“My background in WARM is all about giving women a voice in the art-world milieu, where women are still excluded,” she said in an interview with SCAN, St. Kate’s magazine (February 2011). It was worse when [feminist artist and theorist] Judy Chicago began working and speaking out, but, according to a recent documentary, still only 2 percent of holdings at the Museum of Modern Art are works by women. The National Endowment for the Arts reported that women artists still earn something like 75 cents for every dollar earned by male artists.” 

Olson is currently directing the Women’s Art Institute, a three-week intensive summer art program designed specifically for female artists.

In addition to the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery — two-thirds of it is set aside for women-centered exhibits — St. Kate’s supports women artists by displaying artwork by and about women in public spaces.

Read more: “The Womanly Arts” in SCAN, October 2012.

Complete information on “The House We Built: Feminist Art Then and Now.”

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Feb. 19, 2013 by Pauline Oo

See also: Alumnae/i, Arts, Faculty, Liberal Arts, Social Justice