Feminism in Art

There are so many powerful ways to express and depict feminism. One of my personal favorites is through art work because it can take on so many meanings for the artist and the viewer. Art is personal, touching and powerful. I wanted to share the artwork of one of my dear friends, Shelby, who has been exploring her own feminism through painting, printmaking and process art.



Shelby started incorporating feminist symbolism and imagery into her work when she came to JMU. Shelby would currently describe herself as a feminist but explains that it took her a while to embrace that identity growing up. Like myself and many people growing up (or already grown up), we wrongly believe feminists to be angry, non-shaving, radical crazies. Now through her art, Shelby is discovering the way to her own feminism. Personally, I think the results are incredible:

6345793_orig The above two pieces were inspired by slam poet, Andrea Gibson, and her moving piece, “Blue Blanket.” The two you can view below depict “The fifteen percent.” These were inspired by a Guerilla Girls poster which revealed that in 1989, 85% of nude depictions in the Metropolitan Museum of Art were of women. Shelby’s “The fifteen percent,” therefore depicts the male nude.


383005_origI hope you enjoy these pieces as much as I do. Furthermore I hope they inspire you. Expression can take many beautiful forms – writing is just one of them. If you haven’t tried exploring other mediums I’d definitely encourage you to do so. Also, thank you to Shelby for letting me include some of her pieces in this blog post. You can click on any of the artworks to go her portfolio site and learn more!


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