A powerful and thought-provoking exhibit opened Monday, March 21, for a three-day run in the Grand Rapids Community College Paul Collins Art Gallery.
“What does feminism mean to you? A feminist art exhibit” featured a variety of student work including oil paintings, photography, and mixed media.
The exhibit was open to any artist of any gender, not just GRCC students. Any work could be submitted in response to the question: What does feminism mean to you? The 17 total artists consisted of only female students from GRCC.
Women’s Issues Now President Tessa Dearth, 21, was impressed with how a simple idea could turn into a huge event.
“I am super happy for the event,” Dearth said, “This is the highest ever turnout with close to 200 people attending so far.”
The jazz band Brads Moods performed outside the galley as guests were treated to food and drinks.
GRCC student photographer Alisa Phillips, 20, of Ravenna, Michigan had three submissions in the photography medium including a photograph artistically representing a woman on her period. Another one of her pieces focused on what is socially acceptable when it comes to men and women,such as freely shown nipples and hair women feel they have to shave to be socially accepted.
GRCC student Devin Hankinson, 20, of Grand Rapids, had two photography pieces in the event. The most telling photo titled, “No Proof,” was about her experience as a sexual assault survivor and how she chose not to report the incident because she knows how the court systems work and did not have the hard evidence or feel the need to drag everything out into the open.
The art show is appropriate for this day and age. The subjects can be difficult in this exhibit but they are important to be seen. The viewer has a chance to see these kinds of images and understand where the artists are coming from and question how society can handle some of the issues that were displayed.