There have been three main barriers [to flourishing freely as an artist]: time, information, and life. In regards to time, having to balance a corporate 9-5 while building my brand as an artist & creative entrepreneur is taxing. Living in a capitalist society creates an incredible challenge for imagining living a life where I can solely create. Instead, I adapt by creating balance in my life to make time for working to survive, and time for creating to thrive. I believe one of humanity’s biggest challenges is time. I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing I had more time. The reality of time on this planet being finite creates an immense pressure of yearning to create your greatest work while you’re here. It is a pressure that demands incredible focus, but also adequate room to live. You need to live in order to have something to say in your work, which is another thing that needs to be slotted into this balancing act that we’ve become subjected to.
When it comes to information, the ideal is the old adage, “if you knew better, you’d do better.” One side of the current issue surrounding information is transparency. There is information that is gatekept and considered taboo that can be incredibly helpful, and simply life-changing for young creatives–such as salary, rates, fundraising, pitching, and other aspects relating to the business side of the art industry. Having transparent access to such fundamental and crucial information would give young creatives an extreme advantage in navigating their paths within this industry. On the other hand, we face information overload. The internet is a powerful tool, but because of it, we have direct access to a vast amount of resources (blogs, YouTube channels, podcasts, newsletters, ebooks, social media, nonprofits, the list goes on.) While most of these resources work to inform and amplify the voices of young creatives, it can be difficult in deciding what is true, where you belong, and what is necessary to you. It is simply overwhelming. Information is only useful when it is digestible. Over the years, I have joined many different communities, subscribed to many different newsletters, and followed many different pages–but I haven’t found many that made me feel like I truly belong. I didn’t feel like they spoke to me on a level I could understand, especially within the art world. The creative professional world has done a decent job in helping all types of creatives, but I think the art world has a long way to go in developing communities and providing information and resources that are easily digestible and not intimidating.
And then there is life. In all of these websites, YouTube channels, blogs, podcasts, social media pages, etc no one really talks about how to actually deal with this roller coaster of life while trying to create. There is clarity in movement, but it gets complicated when figuring out how to move. We see inspirational quotes about not giving up, but when life throws a curve ball how does one still continue their pursuit? If you’re a full time artist or creative, you need to create work to live– but you also need to live to create work. If you’re in a stage where life is knocking you down, how can you possibly create? And if you don’t create, how can you possibly survive? Life is truly a balancing act.
2005 became a groundbreaking year for the 51st edition of the Biennale whenMaria de Corral and Rosa Martinez would become the firsttwo women to curate the exhibition for the first time in its history.
This year, the exhibition, which features 213 artists, spotlights more than 180 women. Many of the featured artists are also indigenous, people of color, or non-binary artists. A choice which this year's curator Cecilia Alemani says is "a deliberate rethinking of man's centrality in the history of art and contemporary culture."
While women have been primary drivers in many facets of contemporary art culture, many of their stories have not been shared broadly by being given the space to exhibit at world-renown exhibitions like Biennale.
During a recent interview with ArtNews, Alemani said that she "made a point of focusing on women artists because [she] wanted to try to bring to the surface those stories that have been considered by many to be minor. Surrealism, Futurism, all those movements—they all had female artists."
In the exhibition openingto the public on April 23, there are heavy themes of surrealism and many new artists being featured alongside historic artists---quite different from the previous Biennale's. We can appreciate the space Alemani is also making for indigenous women in the arts.
"It is an important element of the show, not just because they are Indigenous, but because they bring to the forefront a different way of storytelling that is not the traditional one," she shared with Alex Greenberger for ArtNews.
The La Biennale di Venezia was set back a year due to the global pandemic, giving Alemani space and time to carefully curate this year's exhibition. In some ways, the pandemic and its impact on many of the participating artists truly influenced its direction.
The international exhibition "Milk of Dreams," titled after the book by Leonora Carrington (1917–2011), will take place in the Central Pavilion (Giardini) and in the Arsenale in Venice, Italy.
"The Milk of Dreams was conceived and organized in a period of enormous instability and uncertainty, since its development coincided with the outbreak and spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. La Biennale di Venezia was forced to postpone this edition by one year, an event that had only occurred during the two World Wars since 1895. So the very fact that this exhibition can open is somewhat extraordinary: its inauguration is not exactly the symbol of a return to normal life, but rather the outcome of a collective effort that seems almost miraculous," said Alemani.
The exhibit includes 213 artists from 58 countries; 180 of these are participating for the first time in the International Exhibition. There will be 1,433 works and objects on display, and 80 new projects were conceived specifically for the Biennale Arte. More importantly, let's celebrate the fact that women artists are shining bright, loudly, and boldly at this year's exhibition.
On March 27, 2021, Love Life Media revealed “The State of Fem Art” (SOFA) virtual art gallery and 360 experience designed by Fatimah “Sattom” Al Asad and curated by event founder Timea Gaines to recognize visual artists being spotlighted at this year’s SheROCKS event. The experience was crafted to commission, collaborate, and spotlight women artists and boldly declare our commitment to helping women artists and creatives be seen.
“We heard so many stories about women artists and entrepreneurs who had succeeded after attending SheROCKS event. We learned of the partnerships and relationships they established through the event. We also received numerous requests to do more. So we decided to create a space to continue the conversation, but more importantly to disrupt the industry in a way that levels the playing field for women in male-dominated industries,” said Timea Gaines CEO & Founder, Love Life Media.
With the SOFA announcement, you can expect media and entertainment, events, workshops, resources, tools, grants, collaborations, and a podcast set to feature women artists and creators.
Today is the first official public viewing of the SOFA art gallery and the podcast cover, which was created to highlight women artists who were disruptors in their own right.
On the podcast cover, you will see Frida Kahlo, Yayoi Kusama, Faith Ringold, Aretha Franklin, Audrey Hepburn, Norma MerrickSklarek, Zaha Hadid, Rei Kawakubo, Madeline Anderson, and Debbie Allen. The first episode will provide a closer look at why each artist was chosen for the cover and their inspiring stories.
To receive the latest news about #SoFemART and the podcast launch, make sure you’re following @SoFemArt on Instagram.