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Panel Discussion

Essential or Essentialized?
The past, potential and current place of artist-run women artist’s cooperatives

In the 1970’s, energized by a groundswell of feminist activism, and fueled by Linda Nochlin’s fraught questioning of why there were great women artists, pioneering women’s cooperative galleries such as A.I.R. began to reshape the gallery landscape and culture. The idea that female “essence” could be contained in an exhibition space was paralleled by fears that women artists might be “ghettoized,” and that “cooperative,” as an alternative to “commercial,” meant a compromised standard. A conciliatory view held that women-only spaces were neither good or bad, but necessary in a still sexist world. Despite these galleries proven success in providing opportunities for women artists closed out of the male-dominated art world, and a sense of camaraderie in a competitive art world, many artists and critics still question their continued necessity in what many feel is a now a more inclusive art world. 

This panel will explore the reasons artists have and still choose to join womens cooperatives, the challenges involved in setting up and sustaining them, and the changing role they have played in the art world at large and the lives of artists. This panel will also explore the visibility and potentialities of women’s galleries in India.

Kathryn Myers, artist, Professor of Art, The University of Connecticut

Yvette Drury Dubinsky, artist, A.I.R. Gallery member
Margaret Lanzetta, artist, New York, New York, Fulbright Senior Global Flex Scholar
Pradosh Mishra, Professor of History of Art, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Fulbright Senior Scholar, United States
Jayanthi Moorthy, artist, A.I.R. Gallery member, Art Educator
Nancy Morrow, artist, A.I.R. member, Associate Professor of Art, Kansas State University
Sharmila Sagara, Professor of Visual Arts, Ahmedabad

Later Event: December 16
Artist Talk