On the heels of the Figge Art Museum’s first virtual exhibition comes a second virtual exhibition. Seen and Heard: The Art of Empowerment will open virtually at www.figgeartmuseum.org on Saturday.

 Installed in the Figge Art Museum’s second-floor orientation gallery, Seen and Heard: The Art of Empowerment will be available for online viewing.

This exhibition, drawn from the Figge Art Museum’s collection, features 13 women artists, including Marisol, Grace Hartigan, Louise Nevelson, Lee Krasner, and Alison Saar, who asserted their artistic empowerment despite social and cultural barriers. In addition to empowering themselves, several of the artists on view give voice and visibility to the marginalized through their work.

The featured artists have created innovative and significant bodies of work. They tenaciously pursued artmaking for decades, determinedly brought their creative visions to life and forged innovative methods and techniques. One such artist was Louise Nevelson —a creative force who went decades before receiving recognition. An outstanding example of her wall assemblages, Moon Zag III (1984), is on display.  A number of the artists also created work concerning women’s experiences, establishing that it was a subject deserving visibility and recognition. Other artists created work that brought attention to societal injustices and traditionally marginalized groups, such as Carrie Mae Weems who probes the racial, social, and, cultural inequities in art history through her work, Not Manet’s Type (2001). Whether pursuing individual or communal agency, the artists featured here have contributed to a more inclusive environment in the art world and beyond.

While opportunities and representation for women have improved, there is still gender disparity in the art world.  According to a 2018 study by cultural economist Clare McAndrew, only a third of solo exhibitions in museums and galleries feature women artists while major museums demonstrate even lower figures; the Figge is working to change those numbers.

Figge Assistant Curator Vanessa Sage says, “We are proud to present these dynamic artworks from the museum collection, including several recent acquisitions. While issues of inequality and representation remain prevalent in the art world, the Figge is dedicated to better representing the world in which we live and the artists who are an essential part of it.”

The Figge’s second-floor orientation gallery will be installed with work by women artists until at least May 2021.

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Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.