NPR did a story last week about the gender gap in prices paid for art. I didn’t even know there was a gender gap in the art world.
What they found is that art made by women sells for an average of 42.1% of the price paid for art made by men. That’s worse than the gender wage gap in the US, which has narrowed, but remains at 82%.
Combine that statistic with the research done by the Guerilla Girls about the absence of art made by women in museums, art galleries, art collections, art magazines and art history books, and it looks like there’s a real problem here.
My initial reaction was surprise followed by cynicism and discouragement. Yes, of course there’s a gender price gap — why wouldn’t there be? Men’s work is taken seriously, and women are dismissed. Isn’t that how it always is?
But staying in those feelings has the potential to deter and derail me. I needed to find a way to move past them and find some higher ground.
Some people might choose to protest the inequality, and others might work to change things from within the system.
While both of those are necessary and useful actions, my choice is to focus on why I create art in the first place. I make art because the making of it brings me great pleasure, and if I’m lucky, my art will convey that joy to others.
Yes, it would be lovely to see my work in museums and art magazines, but that’s not why I create it. I create art to lift my own vibration and uplift the world. Everything else is secondary.
What brings you great joy? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share them with us in the comments section below.
Coming soon . . . ArtWalk Ventura on October 6th and 7th! I’ll be in a PODS gallery at the corner of Main and California Streets this year, right in the heart of Downtown Ventura.
You’re also invited to the ArtWalk Collector’s Reception at the Museum of Ventura County on Thursday, October 4th from 6-8pm. It’s a free event with live music, lovely hors d’oeuvres and a no-host beer and wine bar. The exhibition in the Smith Pavilion is a preview of the art that will be shown at ArtWalk.
With love and appreciation,
Painting at top: “Trail,” triptych, 24 x 72 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas. This is one of my favorites with its silvery purple background and fun fingerpainting.